It’s been a whirlwind week so far for Soddy Daisy wrestling coach Jim Higgins and it’s only Tuesday.
He and his wife put their house on the market Monday and it sold less than 24 hours later. Add to that Soddy Daisy’s 27-21 win over defending state champ Bradley at the Soddy Daisy Wrestling Arena Tuesday night and you can see that a lot of good things have happened in a hurry.
The Trojans have won a lot of big matches in recent years, but none have been any more important or any closer or more significant than the win over the Bears.
Tuesday's battle was a match for the ages. It's one thing for each team to win seven matches, but for all but two to be decided by regular decisions is almost unheard of.
The difference was pins from Soddy Daisy’s Ty Boeck and Jacob Allen at the start that propelled the Trojans to a 15-0 lead.
The Bears never recovered.
While the Trojans had those two pins, the other 12 matches were decided by regular decisions. Some were closer than others, but the hosts were able to win the ones Bradley coach Ben Smith called toss-ups and that was the difference in the outcome.
“That was a good one,” Higgins said in the biggest understatement of the evening after his team had improved to 11-1 overall with its only dual-meet loss to Cleveland.
“I can’t remember us ever having a bigger or more important match at this facility, but that’s what a total team effort looks like. We have a tremendous respect for Bradley and the job they do. They beat us bad last year at their place, so it feels good to get this one.
“Unfortunately, we’ll be leaving a great team at home next weekend for the state duals and that’s unfortunate, but I feel like the team who wanted it worse won tonight,” Higgins added.
Perhaps the turning point for the evening took place at 170 pounds where Soddy Daisy’s Bailey Faires pulled the biggest upset of the night with a come-from-behind 6-5 victory over Henley Headrick.
Faires is a 17-year-old junior who dropped from 182 pounds this year. His record is only 14-12 and he’s not used to being in the spotlight, but he was the hero for the Trojans as his win extended Soddy Daisy’s lead to 27-15 with two matches remaining and basically sealed the deal for the winners.
“I’m so happy,” he said shortly after the final match ended.
“I just went out and gave my best effort and was really just trying to shave a few team points,” he said, not knowing that a five-point swing in the second period gave him a 5-4 lead at the time.
“Bailey is my nephew and has really worked hard to get where he is. He had major staph infection a couple of years ago and thought he would need a hip replacement, but he stepped up big tonight and really came into his own,” the coach praised.
Larry Johnson and D.J. Gibson were able to get wins by decision for Bradley in the final two matches, but those two early pins for the Trojans were the difference.
“Just really good wrestling for the most part between two evenly matched teams,” said Bradley coach Ben Smith once the final points had been scored.
“You have to get bonus points and win the close ones to win a match like this and we didn’t do either. Soddy Daisy was really prepared as they forced us to wrestle their match.
“We lost two really close matches (at 145 and 160) and we gave up an upset at 170, but we had to bump a few guys around and I don’t regret any move we made. We have been getting pinned three or four times each match, but we only got stuck twice tonight. It is what it is,” he continued.
The bright spot for Bradley came at 182 pounds when Trey Johnson got inserted into the lineup and responded with a 12-10 win over Bryce Settles in a match that wasn’t settled until the final seconds when Johnson scored the decisive takedown.
“Trey has a heart the size of Texas and I’m really proud of the way he wrestled tonight. If every kid on our team gave that kind of effort…” Smith concluded.
While Boeck and Allen had the only two pins of the night for Soddy Daisy, teammates Jacob Kilgore, Tony Wilson, Hayden Maynor, Faires and Addison Roberts had regular decisions.
Other winners for Bradley included Wes Devaney, Daniel Mroz, Sergio Hernandez, Ian Marchesa and Skyler Bradley.
With Tuesday’s win, Soddy Daisy will most likely face Walker Valley in the Region Duals Thursday at Bradley while the Bears will most likely get a rematch with top-ranked Cleveland.
The top two teams in the Region Duals will advance to the State Duals, which will be held next weekend in Franklin.
SODDY DAISY 27, BRADLEY CENTRAL 21
(Match Began At 220 Pounds)
106 – Jacob Allen (SD) pinned Glen O’Daniel, 1:26;
113 – Wes Devaney (BC) dec. Cole Prestwood, 2-0;
120 – Daniel Mroz (BC) dec. Jacob Pratt, 4-0;
126 – Jacob Kilgore (SD) dec. Waymond Cooper, 7-0;
132 – Sergio Hernandez (BC) dec. Briston Hatfield, 4-1;
138 – Ian Marchesa (BC) dec. Landon Lewis, 8-5;
145 – Tony Wilson (SD) dec. Andy Robinson, 11-8;
152 – Skyler Bradley (BC) dec. Trey Vincent, 16-11;
160 – Hayden Maynor (SD) dec. Parker Falls, 8-3;
170 – Bailey Faires (SD) dec. Henley Headrick, 6-5;
182 – Larry Johnson (BC) dec. Bryce Settles, 12-10;
195 – D.J. Gibson (BC) dec. Brent Settles, 8-1;
220 – Ty Boeck (SD) pinned Luke Pace, :58;
285 – Addison Roberts (SD) dec. Kevin Gentry, 2-1.
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)