’Stangs toe-to-toe with defending champs
by By RICHARD ROBERTS Sports Editor
Dec 05, 2012 | 735 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WALKER VALLEY'S Chase Gregory, left, battles Soddy-Daisy's Garrett Alexander in the 170-pound match in front of Mustangs coach Al Morris Tuesday, in "The Stable" at Walker Valley. Banner photo, LYNNAE ROBERTS
WALKER VALLEY'S Chase Gregory, left, battles Soddy-Daisy's Garrett Alexander in the 170-pound match in front of Mustangs coach Al Morris Tuesday, in "The Stable" at Walker Valley. Banner photo, LYNNAE ROBERTS
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Ten matches in, Walker Valley held a 28-24 lead over defending state wrestling champion Soddy-Daisy. Four matches later, the Trojans showed why they are the defending state champions, closing out with four straight victories to claim a 43-28 win.

"I know they have some people out of their lineup and we have some out of ours, all that aside I was proud of the way our guys got after it tonight. They fought the No. 2 team in the state, the defending state champs," said Mustangs coach Al Morris.

Tyrus Hamrick gave the Mustangs an early 3-0 lead with a decision at 132 pounds to lead off the night. The Trojans responded with three straight pins to go up 18-3.

QyRe Brown put Walker Valley right back in it with a pin at 160 and Chase Gregory made it 18-12 with a decision at 170.

After a pin at 182 put Soddy up 24-12, Billy Raulston started a roll for the Mustangs with a pin at 195 that culminated in a 28-24 after a Sam Dworak pin at 285.

From there, the Mustangs were unable to hold the lead and won the next four matches with two decisions and two pins.

"I have a lot of respect for that program," Morris said of the respected Trojans. "They have a new coach, he is doing a great job and they are carrying on their tradition, but Walker Valley went out there tonight and fought. There were sometimes when we may have been a little out manned, but the guys went out there and fought hard.

"There were some matches we stayed in until the third period and we were able to pull out a win. That is the kind of effort it its going to take for us to be mentioned with with Soddy-Daisies, Clevelands and so forth."

Morris said growing pains along the way as the Mustangs have learned to stay in the fight have cost them in the past. But, Tuesday's match with Soddy-Daisy is the dawning of a new day for the program. Gone are the days, he said when inexperienced teams would give way to more mature programs.

"With past teams, young, inexperienced Walker Valley teams we had some of that. It was just part of the process," said Morris of the maturing of the Walker Valley Program. "This group of kids are doing a great job. My coaching staff has done a great job of preparing the kids for this type of match. I'm never going to be happy with losing, but I can take this match and we can go to work with some very positive things. There may be a few negative things, but we can throw them away and throw them aside. We are going to build around all the positives and go to work and do the things we are capable of doing."

SUMMARY

SODDY-DAISY 43,WALKER VALLEY 28

(Match started at 132 pounds)

106 — Jacob McClure (D) major dec. Drake Haney (WV), 15-5; 113 — Mason Blevins (SD) dec. Logan Smith (WV), 12-7; 120 — Jacob Stevens (SD) pinned Braxton Brewer (WV), 1:00; 126 — Tucker Russo (SD) pinned Arrie Bramlett (WV), 1:33; 132 — Tyrus Hamrick (WV) dec. Alex Oliver (SD) 13-11; 138 — Sheldon Robertson (SD) pinned Devin Pruett (WV), 1:33; 145 — Gage Richmond (SD) pinned Lawrence Cotton (WV), 4:10; 152 — Turbo Smith (SD) pinned Ryan Hager (WV), 2:47; 160 — QrRe Brown (WV) pinned Branndon Hunt (SD), 3:45; 170 — Chase Gregory (WV) dec. Garrett Alexander (SD), 8-7; 182 — Blaike Henry (SD) pinned Chazz Fulford (WV), 0:33; 195 — Billy Raulston (WV) pinned Andrew Chadwick (SD), 2:45; 220 — Zach Miller (WV) major dec. Luke Reno (SD), 11-3; 285 — Sam Dworak (WV) pinned Cody Grant (SD), 4:21.