Two local wrestling powerhouses were in action Thursday night at Walker Valley High School as the 11th-ranked Mustangs welcomed the top-ranked Cleveland Blue Raiders, the Alcoa Tornadoes and the Greenback Cherokees into the “Stable.”
Between the two Bradley County programs, 11 wrestlers in the top six statewide of their weight class took the mat and won in convincing fashion.
Cleveland’s Raiders dropped just six points all night, as they cruised to a 73-6 victory over Alcoa and a 77-0 win over Greenback, while the Mustangs beat the Tornadoes 71-9 and the Cherokees 77-6.
“I felt like we did a good job tonight. We had a lot of hustle and a lot of effort put in. That’s what it takes to win,” said head coach Jake Yost.
Yost went on to say that the night also provided an opportunity for some of the younger wrestlers on the team to see some quality varsity minutes on the mat.
“We gave some of our younger kids a chance to get out there and get a feel for a big varsity match.”
At 126 the Raiders wrestled Taylor Bishop against Alcoa and Victor Barbosa against Greenback, both of whom posted victories by pinning their opponent.
In the 145 classification, Joel Simpkins put on a dominating performance with a pair of first period pins.
Cleveland freshmen Triston Blansit earned his third-in-state ranking with a pair of first period pins at 106. Also getting wins were top-ranked Austin Stevinson with a pin and a forefit at 120, Ezra Taylor grabbed a pin and a major decision at 132, and top-ranked 138 pounder Haden Hamilton got a major decision and a pin.
The wins kept rolling as second-ranked Josh Hamilton got a pin and a forefit at 152; Sean Von Potts got a pin and a forefit at 170; top-ranked Ethan West got a pair of pins at 182; fifth-ranked Oleg Stukanov got a pin and a forefit at 195; 220-pounder John Gaither got a pin and a decision win; and heavyweight Koran Kennedy notched a pair of pins.
“I think our heavyweight and 220 did a really good job tonight. We worked with them on a few things over the week, and I think they are really starting to improve on those things,” stated Yost.
Cleveland will wrestle third-ranked Division Two Father Ryan tonight at the Allan Jones Wrestling Complex to celebrate their wrestling alumni night before kicking off the Cleveland Duals over the weekend.
On the other side of the gym, Walker Valley was also taking care of business, but despite the big wins head coach Alan Morris said that he felt his team lacked the energy that let them go toe-to-toe with defending-state-champion Soddy-Daisy earlier in the week.
“I actually feel disappointed with the way we looked tonight. I felt that we looked lethargic. We just didn’t seem interested. We had such a great effort against Soddy the other day. I’m glad we didn’t go out and wrestle Soddy like this, because we might not have won a match,” expressed Morris.
Despite the lagging effort, there were a few silver linings for the veteran coach.
“I thought Zack Miller looked good tonight. Chase Gregory really got after it out there, but honestly those are the two guys that made an impression on me tonight. It’s still early in the season, so we have to focus on getting better every match, every practice, every day.”
Walker Valley’s Arrie Bramlett grabbed a pair of pins at 126; fifth-ranked Tyrus Hamrick got a pair of pins at 132; second-ranked Caleb Langford also notched two pins in the 138 class; Lawrence Cotton got a pin and a technical fall at 145; at 152 Ryan Hager got a forefit and a technical fall; Qy’Re Brown got a pin and a forefit at 160; Chase Gregory got the exact same thing at 170 pounds.
Chazz Fulford notched a pair of victories via injury defeat and pin in the 182 class; fourth-ranked Billy Raulston got a pin and a forefit; fifth-ranked Zach Miller got a pair of pins at 220 and heavy weight Same Dworak got a win for the Mustangs.
This weekend Walker Valley will do battle at the Tullahoma Duals where they will grapple with the likes of Independence, Bradley Central and Montgomery Bell Academy.
Walker Valley (WAVA) 77, Greenback (GREE) 6
(Match statered at 132)
132: Tyrus Hamrick, WAVA, pinned Michael Rhyne, GREE, 0:23. 138: Caleb Langford, WAVA, pinned Caleb Arp, GREE, 1:10. 145: Lawrence Cotton, WAVA, pinned Zack Cook, GREE, 0:57. 152: Ryan Hager, WAVA, tech. fall Donavon Folkner, GREE, 17-1. 160: Qy’Re Brown, WAVA, forf. 170: Chase Gregory, WAVA, forf. 182: Chazz Fulford, WAVA, inj. def. Joseph Burch, GREE,. 195: Billy Raulston, WAVA, forf. 220: Zack Miller, WAVA, pinned Shon Wampler, GREE, 0:15. 285: Jacob Martin, GREE, pinned Samuel Dworak, WAVA, 2:22. 106: Drake Haney, WAVA, forf. 113: Logan Smith, WAVA, forf. 120: Braxton Brewer, WAVA, forf. 126: Arrie Bramlett, WAVA, pinned Jesse Miller, GREE, 1:54.
Walker Valley (WAVA) 71, Alcoa (ALCO) 9
(Match started at 126)
126: Arrie Bramlett, WAVA, pinned Jacob Testament, ALCO, 3:04. 132: Tyrus Hamrick, WAVA, pinned Dakota Ray, ALCO, 3:54. 138: Caleb Langford, WAVA, pinned Karim Shereef, ALCO, 5:32. 145: Lawrence Cotton, WAVA, tech. fall Nicholas Moore, ALCO, 4:44 15-0. 152: Ryan Hager, WAVA, forf. 160: Qy’Re Brown, WAVA, pinned Courtland Roddy, ALCO, 4:29. 170: Chase Gregory, WAVA, pinned Chris Brewer, ALCO, 1:03. 182: Chazz Fulford, WAVA, pinned Jake Warwick, ALCO, 0:55. 195: Billy Raulston, WAVA, pinned Logan Moses, ALCO, 1:22. 220: Zack Miller, WAVA, pinned James Hall, ALCO, 0:53. 285: Samuel Dworak, WAVA, pinned Corey Long, ALCO, 0:48. 106: Drake Haney, WAVA, forf. 113: Ryan Verhulst, ALCO, dec. Logan Smith, WAVA, 8-4. 120: Nathaniel Murphy, ALCO, pinned Braxton Brewer, WAVA, 3:43.
Cleveland (CHS) 71, Greenback (GREE) 0
(Match started at 126)
126: Victor Barbosa, CHS, pinned Jesse Miller, GREE, 12:45. 132: Ezra Taylor, CHS, pinned Michael Ryan, GREE, :26. 138: Haden Hamilton, CHS, tech fall Caleb Art, GREE, 18-3. 145: Joel Simpkins, CHS, pinned Zach Cook, GREE, :24. 152: Josh Hamilton, CHS, pinned Donavan Fawlkner, GREE, 2:31. 160: Aaron Lopez, CHS, forf. 170: Sean Von Potts, CHS, forf. 182: Ethan West, CHS, pinned Joe Burch, GREE, :27. 195: Oleg Stukanov, CHS, forf. 220: John Gaither, CHS, pinned Shon Warpler, GREE, :56. 285: Koran Kennedy, CHS, pinned Jacob Martin, GREE, 3:44. 106: Triston Blansit, CHS, pinned Tracy Raider, GREE, :23. 113: double forf. 120: Austin Stephenson, CHS, forf.
Cleveland (CHS) 73, Alcoa (ALCO) 6
(Match started at 132)
132: Ezra Taylor, CHS, tech. fall Dakota Ray, ALCO, 16-3. 138: Haden Hamilton, CHS, pinned D. Hodges, ALCO, 1:16. 145: Joel Simpkins, CHS, pinned N. Moore, ALCO, 1:00. 152: Josh Hamilton, CHS, forf. 160: Aaron Lopez, CHS, forf. 170: Sean Von Potts, CHS, pinned Chris Brewer, ALCO, 1:33. 182: Ethan West, CHS, pinned K. Dowkery, ALCO, :20. 195: Oleg Stukanov, CHS, pinned L. Moses, ALCO, 1:47. 220: John Gaither, CHS, dec. Hall, ALCO, 7-3. 285: Koran Kennedy, CHS, Pinned C. Long, ALCO, 3:28. 106: Triston Blansit, CHS, pinned H. Gillbert, ALCO, 1:18. 113: Verhurst, ALCO, forf. 120: Austin Stephenson, CHS, pinned Murphy, ALCO, 1:25. 126: Taylor Bishop, CHS, pinned Sparks, ALCO, 1:13.