The Cleveland High School wrestling team members showed they were excited to take the mat for the 2011-12 season as they handed Signal Mountain and Northwest Whitfield (Ga.) lopsided defeats Thursday night at the Jones Wrestling Complex.
Cleveland sent Signal Mountain, coached by Raider alumni John Lennon, home with a 68-9 loss.
The Raiders then turned their sights on Northwest Whitfield (Ga.) and again showed what a defending state traditional champion can do, sending the Bruins south of the border with a 71-3 defeat.
In total, 11 different Raiders won by pin fall, with four wrestlers pinning their opponents in both matches.
“I saw some good things tonight,” stated Raider head coach Eric Phillips. “Some of the things we have been working on we executed well.”
“In our first match our body language wasn’t quite where I wanted it to be, but I think the first match you need to remember what the fatigue and the adrenaline and the crowd all feel like.”
Despite the minor hiccups a number of Raiders came to the mat strong and walked away with impressive wins.
Third-ranked heavyweight Jordan Hines posted a pair of technical falls as he displayed his impressive mobility and technical skill.
Austin Stevinson (113) and Brandon Strickland (138), both fourth-ranked in the Tennessee Wrestling Federation’s preseason poll, posted a pair of pins each, along with Haden Hamilton (132) and Seth Snyder (220).
Cleveland’s returning state champion and No. 1-ranked Aaron Lopez defeated his lone opponent by an impressive 21-6 decision in his 145-pound match.
The Raiders were just thankful to be back on the mat and getting the season underway.
“We were excited to get back on the mat. We can only improve so much in the practice room, but when you get out there against some other competition you learn things that are going to make you better,” explained Phillips.
Next up for the Raiders is the UTC Old Timers Duals Saturday against teams like Baylor, McCallie and Soddy-Daisy.
“We will get tested hard this weekend. We will have a lot of our mistakes exposed this weekend, and that’s really what the first three to four weeks are all about,” Phillips said.
Raiders 68, Eagles 9
(meet started at 138)
138 — Brandon Strickland (CHS) pinned Erik Allen, 1:53; 145 — Javier Fromeisno (CHS) forfeit; 152 — Josh Hamilton (CHS) pinned Anthony Cauzillo, :31; 160 — Chuck Norwood (CHS) dec. Micha Presley, 12-7 ; 170 — Michael Ledford (SM) injury defeat Brock Presley; 182 — Harrison Hall (SM) dec. Oley Stukanov, 9-7; 195 — Jesse Jones (CHS) pinned Austin Presley, 2:31; 220 — Seth Snyder (CHS) pinned Austin Stephens, 3:30; 285 — Jordan Hines (CHS) technical fall Tyler Montgomery, 18-3 5:18; 106 — Christopher DeBien (CHS) forfeit; 113 — Austin Stevison (CHS) pinned Eric Fush, :40; 120 — Tyler Croft (CHS) forfeit; 126 — Cody Skinner (CHS) pinned Jacob Newman, 1:27; 132 — Haden Hamilton (CHS) pinned Alan Buck, 1:55.
Raiders 71, Bruins 3
(meet started at 152)
152 — Dustin Pendergrass (NWW) dec. Josh Hamilton, 4-2; 160 — Chuck Norwood (CHS) pinned Brandon Davenport, 3:20; 170 — Matthew Herd (CHS) pinned Will Rittenhouse, 2:44; 182 — Oley Stukanov (CHS) dec. Jared Hawes, 9-5; 195 — Jesse Jones (CHS) dec. Brian Whitmire, 14-3; 220 — Seth Snyder (CHS) pinned Tyler Floyd, 1:11; 285 — Jordan Hines (CHS) technical fall Adam Selby, 15-0 5:22; 106 — Christopher DeBien (CHS) pinned Justin Palmor, 2:06; 113 — Austin Stevinson (CHS) pinned Blake Hayes, 1:35; 120 — Tyler Croft (CHS) forfeit; 126 — Cody Skinner (CHS) forfeit; 132 — Haden Hamilton (CHS) pinned Alex Reynolds, :54; 138 — Brandon Strickland (CHS) pinned Sean Coley, :58; 145 — Aaron Lopez dec. Austin Taylor, 21-6.