County honors CHS wrestling state champs

By AUTUMN HUGHES
Posted 3/22/19

The culture of athletic dominance as demonstrated by the Cleveland High School wrestling team, was honored this week by the Bradley County Commission.

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County honors CHS wrestling state champs

Posted

The culture of athletic dominance as demonstrated by the Cleveland High School wrestling team, was honored this week by the Bradley County Commission.

County Mayor D. Gary Davis presented a proclamation honoring the wrestling team, which won the state championship last month. It marked the 16th overall championship for the program, which compiled a 34-1 record this season.

Among the achievements listed in the proclamation are:

• The Cleveland Blue Raiders Wrestling Team, coached by Joey Knox, earned the title of State Champions, their 16th overall, after winning the 2019 TSSAA AAA State Duals Championship on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, in Franklin, and two weeks later the 2019 TSSAA AAA Traditional State Championships in Franklin, on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019.

• Trae McDaniel (106), Jackson Bradford (113), Grant Lundy (145) and Austin Sweeney (152) earned the elite accomplishment of State Champions. Sweeney is a two-time state champion.

• The Cleveland Blue Raiders Wrestling Team compiled a 34-1 record, also earning a championship at the Smoky Mountain Duals.

In addition, the proclamation states “the Bradley County Commission herby declares that Cleveland/Bradley County is the #1 wrestling town in the state of Tennessee and any team wanting to win a state championship must come through our community first!”

Davis declared Feb. 16, 2019, as “Cleveland Raiders Wrestling Day.”

Knox said the recognition means a lot to the program's participants. He added at the beginning of the year this group was ranked 47th in the nation.

"That's a pretty big deal," he said.

Knox said the CHS wrestlers earned 233.5 team points at the state tournament, which is the highest scoring CHS has had at that event. He added McDaniel is a double All-American, in both freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling. The team also boasts three Division I college athletes and a 3.125 team grade-point average.

"We're doing a lot of good things," Knox said.

County commissioners were eager to congratulate the young athletes.

"This seems to be a day for champions," Commissioner Bill Winters said, offering congratulations to both the CHS wrestlers and the Bradley Central High School Bearettes basketball team, which won the TSSAA State Championship.

Commissioner Kevin Raper, a former wrestler himself, applauded the "dedication, longevity, perseverance it takes to get there" for the wrestling champs. He also congratulated the Bearettes.

Commissioner Tim Mason, a former Bradley Bear, congratulated the Bearettes on their state championship.

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