The Ravenwood and Independence wrestling squads each left the Williamson County Ag Expo Center empty handed last weekend, failing to place in the Tennessee Secondary School Athletics Association’s Class AAA State Dual Wrestling Tournament.
Ravenwood, the reigning four-time Region 6AAA champion, was eliminated from contention in the third round of the consolation bracket in a 34-31 loss to Blackman while Independence, the Region 6AAA runner up, lost to Soddy-Daisy 46-33 in the fourth round.
The pair fell to the consolation bracket Feb. 1 – Ravenwood on a 49-20 decision to Wilson Central in the quarterfinals and Independence with 39-31 loss to Heritage in the same round.
Independence, whose trip to the state tournament was a surprise to some, fought admirably in the consolation bracket, making their way to the fourth round before Soddy-Daisy defeated them.
“Nobody really thought we were going to be here,” Eagles coach Jared Grindstaff after their opening round win against Knoxville Halls. “We weren’t even supposed to get out of our district. We made it out of our district and now we’re winning matches.”
The Eagles jumped to a large lead on Halls early, winning the first eight pairings before the East Tennessee school got on the scoreboard with as Tanner Justice pinned Dylan McKinney in the 106-pound weight class.
Halls would win the next three matches, bringing the team score to 35-28, before Indy’s Robbie Allen pinned Trey Lepper 40 seconds into the first round.
“My 132-pounder is a stud,” Grindstaff said of Allen. “He’s our team leader. Everything he does, he does right – academically, on the mat. That’s all he does in our duals. He goes out and gets pins for us.”
Allen won four of five matches in the tournament – pinning three of his opponents. His only loss came in a 5-2 decision to Heritage’s Jose Hernandez.
Ravenwood had a similar Round of 16 contest against Beech, defeating the Buccaneers 37-33.
The Raptors won the first four matches – three coming via pin, before Beech answered by winning four-of-five.
After being sent to the consolation bracket, Ravenwood easily defeated Dobyns-Bennett 50-24 before losing in a nail-bitter, 34-41 to Blackman.
Robin Kilingersmith (138), Jacob Freeman (145), Evan Long (195), and Marvin Shotts (220) all had pins in the Raptors match against Blackman.
The TSSAA returns to the Ag Expo Center Feb. 14 for the Individual State Wrestling Tournament.