The Fairview wrestling team sits on the brink of history for the Williamson County School. And all of it might come down to the unique hairstyle of a handful of Yellow Jacket wrestlers who proudly boast a mullet.
Paying homage to one of the all-time great sports interviews – just check out wrestler Sammy Brooks of Iowa in 2016 – the Fairview boys will return to the mats making sure their hair is “feathered and fluffed” for the school’s first potential team championship.
Fairview will wrestle defending champion Pigeon Forge for the state title at 5:30 p.m. at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center in Franklin.
State Wrestling Photo Gallery – Class A-AA Duals (Faivirew, Nolensville)
The Fairview and Nolensville wrestling teams competed in the TSSAA State Wrestling Duals, including meeting in the semifinals of the Class A-AA tournament, on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020 at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center in Franklin.
“We snuck up on Hixson two years in a row as underdogs,” said Fairview wrestling coach James Derrick, who’s team is in its third consecutive state dual tournament. “Well, we weren't sneaking up on anybody today, but tomorrow, guess what? We may sneak up on somebody because once again, we're the underdog and we kind of like that position.”
On Friday, the Yellow Jackets wrestled into the Class A-AA State Dual Championship match after dispatching Greeneville 56-21 in a consolation rematch from last year and a 42-24 win over Williamson County foe and defending runner-up Nolensville in the semifinals.
Fairview senior Riley Bennett praised his teammates for stepping into big roles, but credited the five or so grapplers with mullets as helping carry the team’s swagger.
“We have a bunch of kids with wonderful mullets,” he said smiling. “Tomorrow we’re going to make sure they’re feathered and fluffed and we’re going to be prepared.”
Bennett scored two technical falls for the Yellow Jackets on the mat in the 138-pound weight class, despite a more reserved style of hair. His younger brother Malachi ran into a state title contender at 145 in Greeneville stud Kodiak Cannedy, but bounced back to defeat Nolensville’s Jacob Vogelpohl. Vogelpohl won the last meeting between the pair last month.
“That was one of those big matches for us,” Derrick said, referring to Malachi Bennett’s 6-1 decision against the Knights. “Like we have all said before, you want to lose small and win big, and that seemed to be a problem for us for awhile today because we weren’t winning big in some places.
“Regardless, I told the guys to enjoy this one for an hour, but then get home and start preparing for tomorrow to get our heads wrapped around wrestling for a title.”
Derrick’s team finished third in the Yellow Jackets first state duals appearance in 2018. Last year, Greeneville edged Fairview in consolation, while the Knights went on to wrestle Pigeon Forge for the championship.
“We’ve got a good relationship with Greeneville and with Josh Peck at Nolensville,” Derrick said. “So it’s strange in a way to have these matches and really appreciate and like the coaches on the other side.”
Blake Mitchell added two big wins for Fairview, pinning Trenton Baucom of Nolensville to kick off the dual at 126 as well as moving up to 132 earlier in the day to pin Greeneville’s Hunter Johnson.
Luke Maxwell and Cody DeLano also earned two wins on the day trading places at 182 and 195 for Fairview.
The Yellow Jackets bolted in front 33-3, but the Knights rallied to find a potential path before Joshua Helm helped seal the victory with a 9-8 decision at 106.
Pigeon Forge advanced to the championship with a 38-32 win over Hixson. The defending champs will battle Fairview and a few mullets on the main stage at 5:30 p.m.
Nolensville slipped into consolation and will wrestle again at 11 a.m. for a spot in the third-place dual.
The Knights edged Signal Mountain 35-32 in the first round getting a huge win from heavyweight Parker Short, who went 2-0 on the day.
2020 Class A-AA State Dual Wrestling Championships at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center in Franklin
Fairview def. Nolensville, 42-24, Class A-AA Semifinal
126 – Blake Mitchell, FVHS, pinned Trenton Baucom, 1:43; 132 – Julian Johnson, FVHS, pinned Kayden Walker, 3:20; 138 – Riley Bennett, FVHS, tech. fall Zach Sinner, 23-8; 145 – Malachi Bennett, FVHS, dec. Jacob Vogelpohl, 6-1; 152 – Kendrick Curtis, FVHS, maj. dec. Sean Allen, 19-8; 160 – Gavin Channell, NHS, dec Marco Pukl, 8-7; 170 – Luke Maxwell, FVHS, pinned Joshua Bryant, 1:01; 182 – Cody DeLano, FVHS, dec. Nathan Montpool, 14-9; 195 – McKinley Wagner, NHS, dec. Jacob Clevenger, 7-4; 220 – Bailey Black, NHS, won by forfeit; 285 – Parker Short, NHS, pinned Kerry Baker, 0:34; 106 – Joshua Helm, FVHS, dec. Cole Dorsett, 9-8; 113 – Keegan Seaver, FVHS, pinned Tate Crowell, 3:07; 120 – Riley Lippincott, NHS, won by forfeit.
Fairview def. Greeneville, 56-21, Class A-AA First Round
120 – Todd Wallin, GHS, pinned Zach Derrick, 3:32; 126 – Hunter Mason, GHS, pinned Mathew Blaylock, 1:42; 132 – Blake Mitchell, FVHS, pinned Hunter Johnson, 1:51; 138 – Riley Bennett, FVHS, tech. fall Morgan Lowery, 19-4; 145 – Kodiak Cannedy, GHS, pinned Malachi Bennett, 1:14; 152 – Kendrick Curtis, FVHS, tech. fall Andy Spano, 15-0; 160 – Marco Pukl, FVHS, pinned Spencer Schofield, 0:47; 170 – Isaac Haynie, GHS, dec. Jackson Metts, 7-6; 182 – Luke Maxwell, FVHS, pinned Juan Reynoso, 0:48; 195 – Cody DeLano, FVHS, pinned Ross Cornelius, 0:21; 220 – Jacob Clevenger, FVHS, pinned Cameron Hensley, 1:09; 285 – Kerry Baker, FVHS, maj. dec. Christian Feltner, 10-0; 106 – Jeffrey Anderson, FVHS, won by forfeit; 113 – Maxwell Morrill, FVHS, won by forfeit.
Nolensville def. Signal Mountain, 35-32, Class A-AA First Round
120 – Daniel Uhorchuk, SMHS, pinned Trenton Baucom, 1:47; 126 – Riley Lippincott, NHS, pinned Eli Shriner, 5:24; 132 – Kale Albritton, SMHS, pinned Kayden Walker, 0:58; 138 – Jacob Vogelpohl, NHS, pinned. Ahmed Aljack, 2:49; 145 – Brock Shipley, SMHS, dec. Sean Allen, 4-3; 152 – Gavin Channell, NHS, maj. dec. Clay Gallant, 13-2; 160 – Kevin Muschel, SMHS, dec. Alex Rhodes, 15-11; 170 – Preston Worley, SMHS, pinned. Joshua Bryant, 2:53; 182 – Nathan Montpool, NHS, dec. Pearson Lindsay, 10-3; 195 – Bailey Black, NHS, won by forfeit; 220 – McKinley Wagner, NHS, maj. dec. Daniel Odom, 13-0; 285 – Parker Short, NHS, pinned Mason Hilke, 2:33 (Hilke disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct); 106 – Caleb Uhorchuk, SMHS, tech. fall Cole Dorsett, 15-0; 113 – Noah Shriner, SMHS, won by forfeit.