FRANKLIN – Dual disappointment. Twice over.
After advancing to a third consecutive Class AA State Dual Wrestling Championship, the Summit High School boys reached the challenge they wanted Saturday by wrestling Tennessee royalty in now six-time defending state duals champion Cleveland. It was the second meeting in three years for the Spartans against the powerhouse program on the state stage and ultimately resulted in another narrow setback.
“These guys have prepared for this and that’s why we have the Spartan Wrestling Club so we take these guys and travel all over the country to get them exposure, but we just have to be more prepared – I have to be more prepared,” said Summit coach Pete Miller, who hails from the same Chattanooga-area hot-bed of wrestling and has steadily built Summit into a contender over the last decade.
Miller and his team plunged everything they had into the semifinal matchup after dispatching Maryville 52-21 in the first round at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center.
“We poured our heart and soul into it. We threw everything we had at them,” Miller said. “It came down to the last match and that’s what we wanted, but hey, state duals are just flat out tough … it came down to bonus points and they’ve been here and done it before and it showed.”
The Spartans battled to a 17-17 tie pushing the Blue Raiders through nine matches before Cleveland ripped through the lighter weights to build a big enough cushion heading into Summit anchors and top-ranked hammers in juniors Jarvis Little and Landon Desselle.
Defending state individual champion Little won his match at 126 pounds by technical fall to lift Summit within 30-22 with two matches to go, but the opponent he beat in last year’s individual semifinals – Bentley Ellison – scored a 5-3 decision at 132 against Michael Posey to stretch the Cleveland lead enough to forfeit the final match with Desselle in waiting.
Cleveland had picked up a 14-3 major decision at 106 and an 11-second pin at 113 to gain the advantage after sweating through the heavier weights – all Summit wins. A 9-3 decision at 120 with Zac Bosken edging out Little’s freshman brother, Zachery, added to the momentum swing.
Cleveland advanced to the state finals with a 33-28 victory and went on to defeat rival Bradley Central for a sixth consecutive state duals championship after a 36-27 win.
“We really came in with the belief that we could be state champs,” said Summit senior Luke Justice, who wrestled up at 220 and edged Cleveland’s Tyson Russell, 3-2, in the semis. “That was a very winnable match against Cleveland. A couple things went wrong for us. We have to grow from it.
“It was a tough and crazy match, but we came up short.”
Justice’s narrow decision was sandwiched between teammates Jensen Schreiber and Peters Savarino. Schreiber collected a 6-1 decision at 195 and Savarino outlasted Stonewall Shurette in the heavyweight match to provide the tying decision.
Luke Justice of Summit wins a battle wrestling up at 220 pounds with a 3-2 decision. Spartans are within 17-14 through seven matches. A little glimpse of the action here in this semifinal against Cleveland —> pic.twitter.com/gok1wj300M— Charles Pulliam (@cspulliam) February 4, 2023
Fellow senior Finley Jameson credited the trio for boosting the entire Spartan sea of orange supporters.
“Honestly, what those guys did was just beautiful,” said Jameson, who majored Cleveland’s Dylan Harrold at 170. “They rose to the occasion and some of our other guys did, too, but then some others fell into the pressure.”
The senior said the loss was especially sour because he and his teammates reached a goal, but fell short. And they didn't bounce back.
Peters Savarino of Summit hangs on for a 3-2 decision at heavyweight and the Spartans are knotted at 17-17 with Cleveland through 8 matches in the state semifinals —> pic.twitter.com/TXzwWyw5M9— Charles Pulliam (@cspulliam) February 4, 2023
About 20 minutes after the semifinal setback, the Spartans took on Dobyns Bennett in consolation and ultimately fell 32-31 with the last match at 145 pounds – a 3-2 Cannon Mullins decision over Spartan Patrick Brew – deciding the dual and propelling Dobyns Bennett into the third-place match where they made similar work against Wilson Central in a second meeting Saturday.
“It’s just really disappointing,” Jameson said. "We needed to do better and just didn't have it."
From the flip to the finish, Dobyns Bennett seemingly held a bit of an edge by trading wins, just like how they challenged Wilson Central in the first round before falling 31-30 and how they slipped past Brentwood in a unique tie-breaker in consolation to stay alive.
Unlike in the semifinals for Summit, the upper weights belonged to Dobyns Bennett and despite winning four of five matches late, the Spartans sputtered.
“That’s just not how I wanted my last dual to go, you know,” said Jameson, who had to battle Max Norman at 170 in the final dual in a rematch of last year’s state championship at 145 pounds – also won by Norman. “I tried not to give up the bonus points, but I just couldn’t get out in the third. He’s a tough kid obviously and nationally ranked.
“I just have to get back in the practice room and regroup, refocus and get back here. We all do.”
Miller, his staff and the team spent about 15 minutes discussing the close to the day and how the back-to-back losses on the state stage don’t define the Spartans.
“We as a team have to do a better job at bouncing back,” Miller said. “We have to refocus – plain and simple. We can’t beat ourselves up anymore and allow us to dwell on it because we got three more tough weeks to be able to get back at it and we’re going to finish right here again.”
The individual state wrestling championships for Division I are scheduled to return to Franklin on Feb. 23. The Spartans finished sixth in the team standings last year with seven wrestlers qualifying for the state tournament.
Little won the school’s first boys’ state title as a sophomore, Jameson was runner-up at 145, Desselle settled for a third-place showing at 132 and Justice placed sixth at 182 to lead the Spartan boys.
“It’s time to move on, bounce back and get back to work,” Justice said. “We will go win some individual titles now.”
The Brentwood boys also advanced to the state duals, reaching the big stage for the first time since 2018. The Bruins battled, but fell to eventual runner-up Bradley Central 48-22 in their opener.
Despite giving up three consecutive pins against Dobyns Bennett in consolation at 113, 120 and 126, Brentwood’s Judson Jarrett scored a 8-3 decision win over Gavin Armstrong and 138-pounder Arash Yazdani pinned Ben Tucker early in the second period to knot the dual at 36-36.
After about 10 minutes of working through the scores, Dobyns Bennett was awarded the win after going to the fifth tie-breaker: most points scored first in each of the 14 matches. Dobyns Bennett claimed the first points in 9 of 14 matches to advance.
There were no misconduct points. Both teams managed five pins apiece and neither scored a major or technical fall to send the tie-breaker deep into the rulebook.
“We did everything we could,” Yazdani said. “It was just so close. I think this Brentwood team has the most potential in a while, though, and we put it all on the line. We were right there and that’s all that matters.
“Now it’s time to get back to work and try to get back here.”
FRANKLIN – Wrestling for hardware has become somewhat of an expectation for the Fairview High School boys.
Class AA State Dual Wrestling Championships
Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023 at Williamson County Ag Expo Center
Dobyns Bennett def. Summit, 32-31, Consolation Semifinal
152 – Brayden Leach, SHS, pinned Johnson Zhang, 3:00; 160 – Gavin Crowder, DB, pinned Thomas O’Leary, 1:06; 170 – Max Norman, DB, maj. dec. Finley Jameson, 10-2; 182 – Jensen Schreiber, SHS, dec. Jake Dempsey, 8-6; 195 – Nikolas Burke, DB, dec. Luke Justice, 6-5; 220 – Jimmy Taylor, DB, maj. dec. Matthew Tchiblakien, 8-0; 285 – Garret Crowder, DB, pinned Peters Savarino, 1:34; 106 – Blaise Masi, SHS, dec. Bryce Pulitzer, 8-4; 113 – Mason Jakob, DB, pinned Noah Hajek, 0:36; 120 – Zachery Little, SHS, pinned Kennedy Watterson, 3:36; 126 – Jarvis Little, SHS, maj. dec. Titus Norman, 13-2; 132 – Michael Posey, SHS, dec. Gavin Armstrong, 3-2; 138 – Landon Desselle, SHS, pinned Ben Tucker, 2:23; 145 – Cannon Mullins, DB, dec. Patrick Brew, 6-0.
Cleveland def. Summit, 33-28, Semifinal
145 – Brayden Leach, SHS, maj. dec. William Schuft, 11-3; 152 – Logan Fowler, CHS, pinned Patrick Brew, 0:27; 160 – Cy Fowler, CHS, pinned Thomas O’Leary, 2:48; 170 – Finley Jameson, SHS, maj. dec. Dylan Harrold, 15-4; 182 – Lucas Szymborski, CHS, tech. fall Cooper Felts, 15-0 (5:18); 195 – Jensen Schreiber, SHS, dec. Gabe Moore, 6-1; 220 – Luke Justice, SHS, dec. Tyson Russell, 3-2; 285 – Peters Savarino, SHS, dec. Stonewall Shurette, 3-2; 106 – Joes Cordero, CHS, maj. dec. Blaise Masi, 14-3; 113 – Chase Walker, CHS, pinned Noah Hyjek, 0:11; 120 – Zac Bosken, CHS, dec. Zachery Little, 9-3; 126 – Jarvis Little, SHS, tech. fall Preston Congdon, 20-5 (5:33); 132 – Bentley Ellison, CHS, dec. Michael Posey, 5-3; 138 – Landon Desselle, SHS, won by forfeit.
Dobyns Bennett def. Brentwood, 36-36 (Tiebreaker), Consolation Quarterfinal
145 – Cannon Mullins, DB, dec. Andrew Donelson, 7-2; 152 – Clark Vaughn, BHS, pinned Johnson Zhang, 4:57; 160 – Max Norman, DB, pinned Ryan Butler, 0:34; 170 – Wyatt Gibbs, BHS, pinned Jake Dempsey, 2:52; 182 – Nikolas Burke, DB, dec. Aiden Thompson, 8-6 (SV-1); 195 – Noah Dixon, BHS, pinned Branson Carswell, 3:04; 220 – Ruger Humble, BHS, pinned Jimmy Taylor, 3:03; 285 – Garret Crowder, DB, pinned Jackson Ard, 3:38; 106 – Reed Loeffel, BHS, dec. Bryce Pulitzer, 4-1; 113 – Mason Jakob, DB, pinned Brady Griffiths, 0:56; 120 – Kennedy Watterson, DB, pinned Graham Stanley, 1:28; 126 – Titus Norman, DB, pinned Aidan Scruggs, 2:46; 132 – Judson Jarrett, BHS, dec. Gavin Armstrong, 8-3; 138 – Arash Yazdani, BHS, pinned Ben Tucker, 2:42.
Summit def. Maryville, 52-21, First Round
138 – Michael Posey, SHS, pinned Ben Helton, 1:49; 145 – Landon Desselle, SHS, pinned Riley Lee, 1:42; 152 – Brayden Leach, SHS, pinned Collin Walsh, 3:00; 160 – Finley Jameson, SHS, pinned Caleb Millard, 0:51; 170 – Michael Collegian, MHS, pinned Austin Sherman, 2:38; 182 – Jensen Schreiber, SHS, pinned Christian Teaster, 1:38; 195 – Thomas Stadel, MHS, dec. Luke Justice, 9-2; 220 – Peyton Cooper, MHS, pinned David Cannon, 0:11; 285 – Hayden McDonald, MHS, pinned Peters Savarino, 1:37; 106 – Noah Hyjek, SHS, pinned George Schwaiger, 1:09; 113 – Blaise Masi, SHS, dec. Cameron Abbott, 8-4; 120 – Jackson Bourdon, SHS, pinned Dominic Chimeno, 2:11; 126 – Zachery Little, SHS, dec. Coen Lovin, 13-6; 132 – Jarvis Little, SHS, maj. dec. Daniel Halcomb, 19-6.
Bradley Central def. Brentwood, 48-22, First Round
138 – Ethan Lipsey, BC, maj. Arash Yazdani, 11-1; 145 – Luke Belcher, BC, pinned Andrew Donelson, 2:32; 152 – Gunner Taylor, BC, pinned Nicholas Hamada, 1:58; 160 – Clark Vaughn, BHS, dec. Jake Fox, 6-4; 170 – Wyatt Gibbs, BHS, maj. Wade Brooks, 11-1; 182 – Knox Watson, BC, dec. Aiden Thompson, 6-4; 195 – Lane Hicks, BC, pinned Noah Dixon, 3:04; 220 – Hayden Nichols, BC, pinned Ruger Humble, 2:25; 285 – Jackson Ard, BHS, pinned Manuel Flores-Urena, 5:33; 106 – Miguel Rincon, BC, tech. fall Reed Loeffel, 16-0; 113 – Kyler Groves, BC, pinned Brady Griffiths, 3:31; 120 – Bryson Moats, BC, pinned Graham Stanley, 1:00; 126 – Aidan Scruggs, BHS, maj. Landon Goins, 15-5; 132 – Judson Jarrett, BHS, won by forfeit. Unsportsmanlike – BHS assistant coach.
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