The Raiders played host as the Mustangs, the Rhea County Eagles and the Cookeville Cavaliers all gathered at the Jones Wrestling complex.
Cleveland and Walker Valley never faced off against each other. They instead held two-mat action, wrestling beside each other as they took turns grappling with Rhea and Cookeville.
The Raiders and Mustangs won both matches handily with the Raiders felling the Eagles 81-0 and the Cavaliers 68-3, while the Mustangs bested the Cavaliers 51-18 and the Eagles 66-6.
Raiders 80, Eagles 0
In their first meet since falling to top-ranked (D1) Soddy-Daisy the day before, sedond-ranked (D1) Cleveland looked impressive taking on the Rhea County Eagles.
Nine different Raiders found a way to put their opponent on the mat for pins, five of them needing less than the first round.
Forth-ranked Seth Snyder (220), fifth-ranked Jordan Hines (285), top-ranked Austin Stevison (113), second-ranked Austin Oliver (120), third-ranked Ezra Taylor (126), forth-ranked Brandon Strickland (138), Javier Franscisco (145), sixth-ranked Josh Hamilton (152) and top-ranked Jesse Jones (182) all posted pins against Rhea.
Oleg Stukanov (195) won his match by decision, and four other matches were decided by Eagle forfeits.
“I saw a much higher level of intensity out there on the mat tonight,” said Raider head coach Eric Phillips. “The guys were embarrassed after the Soddy match, but this is a positive.”
Despite the strong showing Phillips says the teams still has a lot of work to do, and some good tough training sessions are in order to get the team where he wants it.
Raiders 68, Cavaliers 3
It was another dominant display by the Raiders as they faced off in their final match against the Cookeville Cavaliers.
Hines, Stevison, Taylor and Strickland all notched a second pin on the night.
Top-ranked Christopher DeBien (106) won against his opponent by scoring a technical fall. Third-ranked Haden Hamilton (132), J. Hamilton and Chuck Noorwood (160) got on the board by scoring decision wins.
In total the Raiders only lost one match all night, and that was by decision in overtime.
“It was a good night for what it was, but I still think we need a good, hard-nosed couple of training days to get us where we need to be. I think the guys need a little dose of Coach Phillips,” Phillips said with a grin.
The Raiders are eyeing a contest against rival and third-ranked (D1) Bradley on Thursday, and likely want to make an emphatic statement at the match.
Mustangs 51, Cavaliers 18
Another team looking to make a statement was the 10th-ranked (D1) Walker Valley wrestling Mustangs as they took on the Cookeville in their first match.
Against the Cavaliers, Walker Valley mustered six pins and three decision victories as they cruised to a lopsided decision.
Scoring pins for Walker Valley were Billy Raulston (195), Zack Miller (220), Austin Gregory (113), second-ranked Caleb Langford (132), Ryan Hager (160) and Chase Gregory (170).
Braxton Brewer (126), Lawrence Cotton (145) and Micah Langford (152) all scored decision wins in their match-ups.
“It always feels good to go out and get a few wins,” said Walker Valley coach Alan Morris after the match. “As a coach I always see areas my guys can improve on and we are always trying to focus on improving.”
Mustangs 66, Eagles 6
In their second match the Mustangs again established dominance and cruised to an easy win against the Rhea County Eagles squad.
Walker Valley notched another half-dozen pins in the match and held the Eagles to a single victory through the whole meet.
Gregory, Tyrus Hamrick (120), C. Langford, Cotton, M. Langford and Miller all put their opponents’ shoulders to the mat.
Raulston and Brewer both won by decision to score points for the Mustangs.
Walker Valley will be in action over the weekend in Soddy-Daisy, participating in tournament action.