County sends 58 to state wrestling championships
By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
Brentwood’s Luke Hamilton and Centennial’s Nick Patton have battled for their entire high school careers, including this match in the Region 6-AAA finals last week. Both return to the state wrestling championships as medalists.
Williamson County will be well represented today when the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Wrestling Championships get underway this afternoon at the Ag Expo Park, with 58 individual student-athletes prepared to battle for a state title.
The event, sometimes known as the “traditional” championship will name individual champions, fourteen weight divisions in each of the three classifications, plus a special girls invitational event.
Team championships were held at the park just two weeks ago.
In Division 1, Class AAA, Ravenwood, which finished third in the state in the team competition before winning last week’s Region 6-AAA individual tournament, will send eight wrestlers into competition, including 2013 medalists Taylor Warren and Rex Shotts.
Brentwood will also send eight athletes, led by last year’s third place finisher at 138-pounds, Luke Hamilton. Hamilton won the Region 6-AAA last week at 145-pounds. While finishing second in the team point competition in the region, the Bruins won the most individual titles, five, at the event.
Franklin is the third school in the county with eight team members heading to the championships. After being shut out of the medal stand last year, the Rebels, led by 160-pound regional champ Patrick Dooley, appear ready to remedy that situation this weekend.
Adam Fuller, who captured the 106-pound regional title last week, leads a school record of seven qualifiers from Centennial into the fray. Senior Nick Patton, who battled Hamilton for the title last week, finishing second, is headed back to the state championships. Patton took fourth last year in the 138-pound class, falling to Hamilton.
After an emotional season, four Independence wrestlers will compete with injured teammate Hunter Garstin on their mind. The Eagles will look to Robbie Allen for leadership after he medaled last year at 132-pounds. Allen is the regional champ at 138-pounds this year.
The toughest task may fall on Summit, as the Spartans move from Class AA to a much tougher Class AAA field. Mark Sweeney, who finished second behind Allen at 138-pounds in the region, and Hunter Hancock (285-pounds) become the first Summit wrestlers to make a state appearance in the higher class.
In A/AA, Page has four wrestlers looking for a title. Brian Lacey, who was named the regions “Wrestler of the Year” in the lower weights, takes a 43-3 record and number one seed into the 138-pound class. Junior Bryce Teague is also a top seed after winning the regional title at 152-pounds. Peter Leichner, whose finals event last week was named best match, Andrew Birchett will both be making their first trip to the state finals.
In Division II, all schools wrestle in one tournament, dropping the A and AA categories. Brentwood Academy sends a county high eleven into the event, led by medalists from 2013 – Justin Becci, Christian Dilucchio, Jacob Cretin and Josh York.
BGA moves up, to an extent, but will still have six wrestlers in the mix, including returning medalist Johnah Neuman.
Class AAA preliminary and early consolation matches dominate the entire schedule today, beginning at 3 p.m. and Friday at 10 a.m. Class AAA quarter-finals and consolations get underway, along with the start of the Division I Class A/AA event. A second session at 6 p.m. includes championship quarter-finals, consolations and the start of the girls’ invitational.
Saturday’s 10 a.m. session includes more consolation matches and the girls championships at noon.
The “Celebration of Finalists” starts at 4:45 p.m. as a prelude to the 5 p.m. championship finals in all three classes.
Posted on: 2/13/2014