It's no secret why Cleveland wrestling is ranked at the top of the heap in the state of Tennessee. With five wrestlers ranked No. 1 in their respective weight classes and five more ranked fifth or …
Even with all but one ranked Raider watching from the sideline, Cleveland was more than Walker Valley could handle Inside "The Stable" Thursday. Cleveland rolled off a string of four consecutive pins and ended the night with five total pins in a 54-13 win over The Mustangs.
"It was a good night, we learned a lot. We had some young guys in the line due to some skin issues and things like that. For them to come out here and put up 54 points against a solid Walker Valley team is good," said Blue Raiders coach Joey Knox after the lopsided victory. "Cael Laxton has got to get in a little better shape to get ready for February, but he did pretty good. We had a lot of young guys in there so it was good to them some matches to get them ready for next year."
The Mustangs got wins from Kallum Lowe who won a major decision at 195 pounds. Jadon Langford earned a decision at 285 and the Mustangs received a forfeit at 152.
Ashton Davis started the night for Cleveland with a technical fall win at 170 followed by a 56 second pin by No. 2-ranked Wilson Benefield at 220. Ely Parker (106) and Arlo Laxton (113) picked up decisions setting up a string of four consecutive pins that sealed the night for the Raiders.
Charles Randall (120), Burns Meagher (126), Garrett Stevenson (132) and James Just (138) all wrestled to six-point wins for Cleveland. Laxton won a decision at 145 and a major decision from Nate Schillin at 160 put the final points on the night for the state's top team.
"It was a little nerve-wracking at some points, especially with our 152-pounder tonight. He's not been able to wrestle recently. Other than that it was good," said Knox.
Blue Raiders wrestle again Tuesday against Ooltewah, Rhea County and McMinn to wrap up the dual season before Thursday's region tournament at Walker Valley.
With the duals season drawing to a close the Mustangs will continue to hone their skills Saturday at the Walker Valley Duals at Ocoee Middle School. The Mustangs will host Thursday's region tournament looking to qualify as many Mustangs as possible for the state tournament the first week in February.
"Obviously they didn't come in here with their entire team. They're not the No. 1 team in the state for no reason. They showed that. They've got depth and we've just got to keep battling," said a complimentary Mustangs coach Al Morris. "But, I see some areas of improvement. I also see some areas where we need to improve.
"We've still got plenty of season and we can keep improving. With this team being as young as it is we're not really much of a threat as a dual team. But, we're going to battle individually hopefully. Our goal is to get as many people to Franklin as we can at the end of the season."
CLEVELAND 54, WALKER VALLEY 14
(Meet started at 170)
106 — Ely Parker (C) dec. Joshua Bramlett, 5-4; 113 — Arlo Laxton (C) dec. Mario Acevedo, 6-4; 120 — Charles Randall (C) pinned Austin King, 0:54; 126 — Burns Meagher (C) pinned Ian Bentley, 5:18; 132 — Garrett Stevenson (C) pinned Markus rich, 1:21; 138 — James Just (C) pinned Caden Decker, 0:56 145 — Cael Laxton (C) dec. Ethan West 11-6; 152 — Joey Vecchione (WV) win by forfeit; 160 — Nate Schillin (C) major dec. Michael Teasley, 14-4; 170 — Ashton Davis (C) technical fall Tristan Mason, 16-1, 6:00; 182 — David Giraldo (C) win by forfeit; 195 — Kallum Lowe (WV) major decision William Harris, 13-5; 220 — Wilson Benefield (C) pinned Jacob Anderson, 0:56; 285 — Jadon Langford (WV) dec. Caleb Flickner, 8-5.
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