TSSAA D-II Wrestlers Eligible for Nat'l Prep Tourney

Thursday, January 23, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

In the hey day of the Old Mid-South Conference (late 1940s-1970), McCallie and Baylor gave Southern wrestling a good name by competing well at the National Prep Wrestling Championship in Lehigh, Pa.

The two schools have a combined total of 18 Individual champions while Baylor was team champ in 1970 (runner-up, ’65-66-67) and McCallie runner-up in 1968 and 1971.

Now for the first time, TSSAA, the National Prep Board and the D-II schools have worked out an agreement where 2014 D-II state wrestling champions are eligible for a wild card entry into the prestigious national event.

The D-II state traditional tournament is Feb. 14-15 in Franklin and each champion can compete at the National Prep tourney, Feb. 21-22.

The long standing TSSAA rule has been once the state tournament is completed, the season is over in that sport for competing schools and individuals. And the long standing National Prep rule has been independent prep wrestlers must compete under the banner of their school.

Starting this year, D-II state champs (grades 9-12) can compete as independent wrestlers under Team Tennessee and not their respective schools.

89th Annual Championship: The National Prep Wrestling Championship was first held in 1935 (no championship in 1936)

In the 1950s and 60s when McCallie, Baylor and a few other Mid-South schools competed, The Hill School (Pa.), Milton Hersey (Pa.), St. Benedict’s (NJ), Wyoming Seminary (Pa.), Tatnall (Delaware), and Bryn Athyn (Pa.) were the powers.

Today, its Blair Academy, as the N.J. based prep school has won 33 team titles in a row.

National Prep Champions From Tennessee

Baylor (11):  Moe Trail (1962), Charlie Moore (1962), Chip Healy (1964-65), Lane Headrick (1965), Alec Roberts (1967), John Hannah (1967), Rob Healy (1968-69), Randy Weinberg (1969), Albert Wilson (1970)

McCallie (7): Pat Smartt (1959), Lou Hudson (1966-OW), Jim Glasser (1966-67), Luther Killian (1968), Steve Gross (1969), Brian Card (1971)

St. Andrews (1): Bill Harlow (1962-OW)

Baylor’s First Nationals: Sent five wrestlers in 1947 … Howard Frumin won one match and lost in the semis.

McCallie’s First Nationals: sent two wrestlers in 1959 … Pat Smartt became first Southerner to win a national prep title … later wrestled for Lehigh Univ. and was a 1963 NCAA All-American.

St. Andrews First Nationals: Bill Harlow won a title as a senior in 1962 and was tournament Outstanding Wrestler … 1966 NCAA champion at Okla State, 1970 world silver medalist and National AAU champ.

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net

Prep Football Picks: Week One

Watford Leads By 3 In State Mid-Amateur

Franklin's Kevin Watford shot a 3-under 70 on Thursday and took the lead in the State Mid-Amateur Championship at The Honors Course. Watford stands at 6-under entering Friday's final round. He heads Tim Jackson from Germantown and Knoxville's Ryan Greer by three shots. Brandon Cissom and Richard Keene lead the local contingent of Chattanooga golfers. They are at 6-over, ... (click for more)

School Board Unanimously Makes Cuts To Teacher Insurance; Spouses Can Only Stay On If They Have No Other Insurance

The Hamilton County School Board on Thursday night voted to Increase the premium for spouses by $100 - a move officials said would save the schools from $2,040,000 to $3,040,000. Spouses will not continue to be covered if they have insurance available to them on their jobs. School officials said the 1,700 spouses on county school insurance last year had $10 million in claims. ... (click for more)

City Audit Hits Travel Abuses By Top Chattanooga Library Personnel; Report Forwarded To State On Possible Fraud

A report by Internal City Auditor Stan Sewell found travel abuses by top personnel of the Chattanooga Library. The auditor said he found possible instances of fraud and forwarded information to state officials in regard to "reported potential fraudulent activity" by Margaret Backus, Systems Administrator and Nathaniel Hill, Assistant Library Director. The report says, ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)