It looks like the race is wide open as far as the Region 2-A/AA wrestling tournament that will be held at Hixson Middle School on Friday and Saturday.
Based on Wednesday's seeding meeting, host Hixson appears to have the early nod as the Wildcats got 12 of their 14 wrestlers seeded in the top four of their respective weight classes.
Hixson only has one top seed, but they have five picked second with two more thirds and four fourths.
East Ridge had the most number ones with three while Red Bank, Notre Dame, Central and Signal Mountain all had two apiece.
Sale Creek and Lookout Valley both have one each.
Landon Goforth is picked first for Hixson at 152 while Cederick Harris (113), Isaac Yates (126), Javarrus Stegall (138), Dylan Bargerstock (182) and McKenzie Martin (195) all earned second seeds.
Guilane Palacio (220) and Brody Gregory (285) were chosen third while Spencer Groves (106), Konnor Ziegler (120), Ronny Huff (145) and Chris Nicholson (170) were selected as fourth seeds.
East Ridge had three top seeds, including Brandon Whitley at 126, DeAngelo Johnson at 170 and C.J. Baker at 285, but the only other seeds for the Pioneers came at 106 where Hunter Owens was picked second and Spencer Griffy, who was tabbed third at 132.
Central's number-one picks include Alonso Heyward at 145 and Truman Martin at 195 while Red Bank's two include Trent Comeaux at 106 and Gabe McDuffie at 145. Notre Dame has Luke Mullin at 113 and Packy Mullin at 132, who is one of only two wrestlers in the field still undefeated. Mullin is 20-0 while Owens of East Ridge is 12-0.
Signal Mountain's Cale Shelton was the top pick at 182 while Micah Pressley is the man at 220. Lookout Valley's Trent Walliser was the number-one pick at 120 while Sale Creek's Sam Morgan is the man to beat at 160.
Friday's action will begin at 6 p.m. in the middle school gym and will run through the quarterfinal round and possibly two consolation rounds. Saturday's action begins with the championship semis at 10 a.m. and will be followed by the other consolation rounds. Championship and consolation finals are set to begin about 3:30.
Hixson took a shot to the chin last Friday when the Wildcats suffered a heartbreaking loss to Pigeon Forge in the semifinals of the state duals in Franklin. The Wildcats came back strong on Saturday to finish third for the fourth straight year.
The biggest concern for Hixson coach Garrick Hall is how his kids will respond and how focused they'll be on this next serious challenge.
"I really don't know what to expect, but it's all up to the kids now," Hall said at the end of Wednesday's seeding meeting.
"If they respond in a positive way like I'm expecting, we'll do fine, but we have to stay focused. Our goal is to win the region and take all 14 wrestlers to the state next week. That's never been done at Hixson before," he added.
Chris Byrd is the first-year head coach at East Ridge who feels blessed to have inherited a pretty good team when Brad Laxton resigned for another position at Soddy Daisy.
"There's no question that Hixson is the best team, but I inherited a bunch of really good guys and I'm just trying to keep them moving in the right direction. I feel like we have some kids who will do really well, but this tournament is wide open.
"I just hope that we wrestle well. If we do, we'll do okay, but we'll just show up on Friday and do the very best we can," Byrd promised.
Listed below is the team legend and the first-round matches on Friday.
LEGEND: Boyd-Buchanan (BB); Brainerd (Bra); Chattanooga Central (CCen); Chattanooga Christian (CCS); East Ridge (ER); Hixson (Hix); Howard (How); Lookout Valley (LV); Notre Dame (ND); Red Bank (RB); Sale Creek (SC); Sequatchie Co. (Seq); Signal Mountain (SM); Silverdale (Sil); Tyner (T) and Whitwell (W).
106: Trent Comeaux (RB), Devon Sanderfer (How), Stanton Grisham (CCS) and Spencer Groves (Hix) all advance with byes; Ned Warwick (ND) vs. Gary Wayne Smith (Seq); LaDedrick Lane (Bra), Andrew Weaver (BB) and Robert Owens (ER) all advance with byes.
113: Luke Mullin (ND) vs. Cornelius Woodruff (Bra); Jarrod Smith (BB) vs. Blake Reichel (RB); Warren Weaver (SM) vs. Jason Langston (How); Logan McDonald (ER) vs. Cedrick Harris (Hix).
120: Trent Walliser (LV) vs. Cody Davis (W); Gavin Gardner (Seq) vs. Konnor Ziegler (Hix); Jared Nelson (ND) vs. Hunt Drennan (SM); Josh Williams (ER) vs. Cody Baugh (RB).
126: Brandon Whitley (ER) vs. Kenny Diaz (BB); Issac Coffman (CCen) vs. David Hodges (ND); Carter Thomas (CCS) vs. CaDarius Harris (T); Daidrick Dunham (How) vs. Isaac Yates (Hix).
132: Packy Mullin (ND), Steven Davoren (BB) both advance with byes; Grayson Layne (Hix) vs. Slade Dickerson (Sil); Andrew Fite (CCS), Spencer Griffy (ER), Matt Lewis (Seq), Domonique Rahman (How) and Bryson Lemons (CCen) all advance with byes.
138: Gabe McDuffie (RB) vs. Justin Hitchcock (ER); Casey Brock (ND) advances with a bye; Justin Wheeler (CCS) vs. Michael Minnick (LV); Zane Williams (BB) advances with a bye; Jacob Newman (SM) vs. Kyle Gross (SC); Hans Casseus (CCen) vs. Chaysen Patrick (T); Cameron Thomas (How) vs. Jerrick Daniel (Seq); Jovarrus Stegall (Hix) advances with a bye.
145: Alonso Heyward (CCen) vs. Mark Warren (BB); Alex Hundley (CCS) advances with a bye; David Johnson (RB) vs. Cordaro Cummings (Bra); Ronny Huff (Hix) advances with a bye; Hunter Daugherty (T) vs. John Pendergrass (How); Jalyn Allen (ER) advances with a bye; Greg Layne (W) vs. Jarred Keener (Seq); Noah Bankston (ND) advances with a bye.
152: Landon Goforth (Hix) vs. Dakota Silvers (Seq); Grant Williams (Sil) advances with a bye; Avery Shrum (W) vs. Jacob Anderson (SC); Kain Kell (RB) advances with a bye; Xavier Norwood (CCen) vs. Jonathan Griggs (ND); Kobeia Ford (Bra) advances with a bye; Brandon Spurling (BB) vs. Zach Peters (ER); Niejel Billingsley (How) vs. Chase Daugherty (T).
160: Sam Morgan (SC) advances with a bye; Juan Camacho (T) vs. Matthew Mapp (ER); Daniel Mikel (W) advances with a bye; Richard Daniels (Seq) vs. Robert Perry (RB); Kyler Kayanek (SM) vs. Michael Quantrano (ND); Jayson Smith (BB) and Kenzell Robinson (Bra) both advance with a bye; Ryan Turner (Hix) vs. Jaylen Stinson (CCen).
170: DeAngelo Johnson (ER) vs. James Beckett (T); Denzell Robinson (Bra) vs. Chris Nicholson (Hix); Seth Patarra (SM) vs. Hayden Foster (Seq); Kell Stott (BB) vs. Devin Crawl (RB).
182; Cale Shelton (SM), Matt McCulley (Sil) and Charles Von Canon (Seq) all advance with byes; Nakota Culver (ER) vs. Marcus McMillan (Bra); Eddie Lee Joseph (T) vs. Michael Nelson (CCS); Jeremiah Parker (How), Calvin Conn (BB) and Dylan Bargerstock (Hix) all advance with byes.
195: Truman Martin (CCen) vs. Doug Salvador (ER); Gabe Smith (RB) advances with a bye; Kevin Cortes (T) vs. Seth Cumby (W); McKenzie Martin (Hix) advances with a bye.
220: Micah Pressley (SM) advances with a bye; Juliah Capehart (SC) vs. Curtis Noisseaux (CCen); Gulliane Palacio (Hix) and Chris Hornsby (ND) both advance with byes.
285: C.J. Baker (ER), Anthony Ottinger (RB) and Jared Leslie (T) all advance with byes; Hunter Whiting (ND) vs. Sedric Jordan (Bra); Brody Gregory (Hix), Charles Shamblin (Sil), Andre Calloway (How) and Sam Stephenson (CCen) all advance with byes.
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)