Cleveland High’s Ethan West, Jr. earned the award for the most pins, while Packy Mullin, who lives in Cleveland but wrestles for Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, had the most takedowns.
After winning a state wrestling championship in Georgia the previous year, West transferred to Cleveland High last summer and was able to put his opponent’s shoulders to the mat 29 times as the Blue Raiders won both the TSSAA State Duals and Traditional championships this year. In what was voted the Best Match of the TSSAA Traditional State Tournament, West captured the 182-pound runner-up trophy.
Last year, Zach Watson of Baylor received the recognition for most pins. The 119-pounder recorded 38 pins and won his fifth straight championship. The number tied Ky Hart’s 2010 season, when the 160-pounder from LaFayette, Ga., set a record with 38 pins.
A 126-pounder, Mullin recorded 137 takedowns for the Fighting Irish this past season and finished second to Cleveland High state champion Austin Oliver at the TSSAA Traditionals.
Last year, Chris DeBien of Cleveland High was honored for most takedowns. On his way to the first of two straight state titles, DeBien, then a 106-pound wrestler, recorded 134 takedowns. He broke the previous record of 125 pins established by Bailey Jones, a 160-pound Blue Raider state champion in 2010.
“We have selected these statistics for this honor not just because it is an impressive accolade for the recipients but also a benchmark of excellence for future student-athletes who compete in Tennessee,” said Glen Coronis, chief operating officer at U.S. Money Shops.
“This is the fourth year U.S. Money Shops has honored high school wrestlers of all weight classes in the greater Chattanooga region for most takedowns and most pins. The region covers Northeast Georgia and Southeast Tennessee and includes all public and private schools,” a company press release said.