Cleveland, Soddy Daisy Advance In State Duals Wrestling

Central, Hixson Sent To Losers Bracket In A-AA Competition

Friday, January 31, 2014 - by John Hunt

FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- It was a good day for Cleveland and Soddy Daisy in the first day of competition here in the TSSAA State Duals wrestling tournament at the Williamson County Agricultural Expo.

The same couldn't be said for A-AA competitors Central and Hixson.

The defending AAA champion Blue Raiders of Cleveland looked methodical and businesslike as they breezed to a couple of wins, including a 58-12 romp over Beech in the first round and then a 43-36 verdict over Knoxville Halls in the quarters, a  match that wasn't nearly as close after Cleveland forfeited the final five weights after wrapping up the victory, its 25th of the season against three defeats.

Soddy Daisy had a real battle on its hands in the first round, but rallied to beat Heritage by a 39-36 final.  The Trojans were much more on track in their 49-27 victory over Brentwood in their second match.

Cleveland will face Ravenwood in one semifinal match at 1 p.m. (CST) on Saturday while Soddy Daisy will face Wilson Central in the other semifinal, a rematch of last year when the Wildcats shocked the Trojans by a 39-31 final.

Central's Purple Pounders came out on the short end of a 50-30 final against Eagleville and will face White House in the consolation round at 9 a..m. Saturday.

Hixson rolled to a 48-28 victory over East Literature in the A-AA quarters before getting sent to the consolation bracket following a 33-28 setback to Pigeon Forge.

Hixson awaits the Central-White House winner in the second round of consolations.

Cleveland coach Jake Yost was more cool than a cucumber the Blue Raiders' two wins.

"We had a couple of close ones, but I thought we did pretty well," Yost said after the second win.

"So far we're doing well, but we don't want to take a chance on anyone getting hurt and that's why we forfeited the last five matches.  We have two down and two to go, but we need to get out of here, get something to eat and get to bed since it's getting late," Yost added.

Soddy Daisy coach Jim Higgins said that he wasn't tense during the Trojans match with Heritage, but he had enough strong words for his team afterward to suggest that he was more nervous and bothered than he first admitted.

"I'm just glad to get out with a win, but I've always felt better looking bad and winning instead of looking good and losing.  We've been known to start slow all season and I don't know how to correct that, but there are times when you run into teams that want to win just as bad as you do," Higgins added.

Soddy Daisy assistant Brad Laxton agreed that the entire team was breathing a whole lot easier after that second win over Brentwood.

"We came out and took care of business and we're moving on now," he said while members of the Trojans picked up their stuff and started heading toward the upper level.

"It was good that we won that first match and got off on the right foot and we can live with that kind of effort.  Now we get a shot at redemption tomorrow afternoon," Laxton nodded.

There wasn't much positive to say for Central after they got beaten pretty handily by the Eagles.

Coach John Lennon just hopes that his young team will benefit from such an embarrassing start.

"I think that Eagleville came ready to wrestle and we didn't, but our inexperience showed up tonight," Lennon began.

"We can't afford to give up pins at the state duals and that's what we did in too many cases.  I just hope that we learned something from it," he said.

It was a roller-coaster ride for Hixson and coach Garrick Hall.  The Wildcats were hoping to get back to Saturday night's championship match, but they'll be battling for third place for the fourth straight year.

"I'm happy to get that first one out of the way, but we have to stay focused," Hall began after the win over East Literature.

"We were sloppy and flat in places, but other places we looked pretty sharp.

"But the lack of bonus points in that last match killed us.  Pigeon Forge has a really good team and they just beat us.  They got pins where they had to have them and we didn't, but I just asked my guys who would be ready to battle first thing tomorrow morning.  They all raised their hands.

"These guys have all worked so hard and that's why I hate it for them to lose a match like this.  Pigeon Forge is solid from top to bottom and we knew it would be a battle.  That should have been the match for the finals, but these kids knew what they were up against," Hall concluded.

BAYLOR BEAT McCallie in the Division II semifinal and will face Father Ryan in the championship match Saturday night.

All three championship matches will begin at 7 p.m. CST.

Go to www.trackwrestlling.com for individual match results.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


UTC Women Drop Matches To Air Force, Tennessee

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's tennis team gutted out a 4-3 win over Air Force in Knoxville, Tenn., today.  The Mocs split two duals on their trip, falling 4-0 at Tennessee in the second match. The Air Force bout was full of drama in both singles and doubles action.  It came down to a three-setter at No. 5 singles that senior Rachele Gazzola won ... (click for more)

Mocs Tennis Team Falls To No. 6 North Carolina 6-0

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's tennis team dropped a 6-0 match at No. 9 North Carolina today.  The Tar Heels (4-0) swept all of the action as the Mocs dropped to 0-2 against a tough schedule.    "I want to congratulate Coach Paul and his Tar Heels on their impressive victory," stated UTC head coach Carlos Garcia.  "They make you work for ... (click for more)

Alabama Man Faces Murder Charge In Shooting Death At Bradley County Landfill

An investigation by  s pecial agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of an Alabama man in a shooting death that occurred last fall at the Bradley County landfill.   At the request of 10 th  District Attorney General Steve Crump, last Sept. 8 TBI special agents began investigating a shooting death that occurred that ... (click for more)

Man Shot In East Lake Winds Up Facing Several Criminal Charges

Police said a man who was shot on Sunday morning in East Lake was assaulting the woman who shot him and others immediately before the gunfire.   Police said 29-year-old Latesha Hinton would not be charged in the shooting of Dieshunn Lindsey, 30. At approximately  10:50 a.m.,  officers with the Chattanooga Police Department responded to the 2700 block of ... (click for more)

Proud Of Chattanooga And The Women's March

I was very happy to participate in the Women’s March on Chattanooga yesterday afternoon. The diversity and the sheer numbers of women, men and children were incredible. One estimate was at least 3,000. Standing together with all of these like-minded souls was overwhelming and humbling.  I have rarely been so happy and so proud of my town.  One question is, why is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Washington’s Favorite

By the time darkness fell over Washington, D.C., on Sunday, it had clearly been a monumental weekend. On Friday Donald Trump had ben inaugurated as the 45 th President of the United States. On Saturday a fierce crowd of a half-million women who each are entitled to have the identical rights as men in the same United States, marched on The Mall. And then, the Washington Post printed ... (click for more)