More Blount County wrestlers clinch State spots
By Will Estep | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Eight wrestlers from Blount County clinched a spot to the state tournament on Friday night at William Blount High School. On Saturday afternoon, 11 more earned a spot to wrestle next weekend in the Division 1 State Wrestling Championships held at the Ag Expo Center in Franklin.
The eight that clinched Friday wrestled for the Region 3 title in their respective weight classes on Saturday along with other wrestlers in Region 3. Those that lost Friday had to wait until Saturday to clinch a spot by going through the consolation bracket.
Cleveland dominated the event with nine wrestlers taking titles in their weight classes and 14 qualified for the state tournament, winning the event by scoring 286.5 points.
Heritage had five wrestlers vying for titles on Saturday. Two more earned their spot in the state tournament by reaching the consolation finals. Michael Diemer in the 126-pound class and Joel Payne in the 170-pound class each pushed through the consolation bracket before losing in the third place match.
“Michael Diemer, I am real proud of him,” Heritage coach Jerry Teaster said. “He has done well this year and fought hard on everything. Joel Payne coming back in and finishing out, I am proud of him too. We are banged up and these kids are still out here fighting.”
Heritage finished fourth in team points with 118.5 as the Mountaineers had five second place finishers that included Nick Crawford (106-pound class), Jose Hernandez (132), Schuyler LaRue (182), Jeb Davis (220) and Joey Evans (285).
Maryville’s Chad Solomon took home the 170-pound weight class title by knocking off Walker Valley’s Chase Gregory by a 10-4 decision.
“Chad looked really good today,” Maryville coach Mark Humphrey said. “The last time he wrestled that kid it was 5-2 and a much closer match. He scored four takedowns, and the only time that kid scored was when he escaped.”
Solomon was the only Rebel in the championship matches, but Maryville did have five more qualify by reaching the consolation finals.
Tres Markham (138), Nathan Wilson (152), Clay Strawn (195), Robert Wright (285) all finished third. Connor Gavlick finished fourth in the 113-pound weight class.
Two seniors were all that William Blount had this season and both of them made the state tournament. T.J. Satterfield won the 220-pound class and was named the most outstanding wrestler of the tournament. The win for Satterfield gave him his third Region 3 title as he defeated Heritage’s Jeb Davis 5-0.
Evan Howell finished second in the 145-pound class.
“I have two seniors on the team,” William Blount coach Tim Satterfield said. “Both of my seniors get the opportunity to go to the state and you always want that for your seniors.
“To have wrestlers that make some of the accomplishments that these two boys have made is good for our program. I am so proud of them.”
Alcoa entered Saturday with no one guaranteed a spot in the state tournament. That changed quickly as four Alcoa wrestlers worked their way through the consolation bracket. Ryan Verhulst (113) and Dakota Ray (126) each finished third while Walker Murphy (120) and Karim Shereef (138) finished fourth.
“All four kids were seeded in the top four coming into the tournament, and for the most part they held their seeds,” Alcoa coach Brian Gossett said. “It is the most kids we have ever taken in one year to the state tournament from Alcoa, so that was pretty big for us.”