Winning big: Alcoa, ’Kees pin down big boys
By Will Estep | (email@example.com)
Both Alcoa and Greenback went up against Class AAA schools on Thursday afternoon at Alcoa High School, and both took down the two opponents on the wrestling mats.
Knox Central and Knox West each made the trek out to Blount County to face off against Alcoa and Greenback, who are both in Class A-AA Region 3.
Greenback and Alcoa, who didn’t face each other, both won their two matches against the larger schools. Alcoa knocked off Central, 65-16, in the first round of matches while Greenback took care of West, 39-21. Less than an hour later, Alcoa finished off West, 70-12 and Greenback won a close one with Central, 36-28.
Alcoa coach Brian Gossett liked what he saw from his team in the two matches as the Tornadoes inch closer to a very important meet with Stone Memorial later in the month.
“We have got to keep building, and keep getting better towards that dual meet in January with Stone Memorial so that we can have a chance to go to state duals,” Gossett said. “That is what we are working for.”
Greenback won their first match over West with individual wins from Zack Cook and Donavon Folkner, both of whom won by pinning their opponent. Greenback coach Ben Ward thought his team looked better entering the 2013 portion of the schedule.
“We are improving, and that’s a good step for us,” Ward said. “We did well.”
Ward also thinks beating a school in a higher class will help his team down the road.
“It is huge, with us being a small school,” Ward said. “It gives us a lot of confidence and gives us something to build off of for the future, and that is what we are doing this year is building for the future.”
Alcoa received several points by forfeits in both matches, but also started off each match on the right foot with wins by Austyn Renshaw in the 132-pound class and Karim Shereef in the 138-pound class. Renshaw captured two wins by pin and Shereef finished with a pin win and a decision victory.
“They (Renshaw and Shereef) came right out of the gate in both matches and got us off to a great start and they are really starting to come of age,” Gossett said. “They are two ninth-graders and they are tough, and are really getting after it. They got us off to a good start.
“I’m starting to see our team chemistry start to improve and we are starting to do a lot of things better. A lot of that has to do with the leadership we are getting out of our seniors Dakota Ray and Nick Moore.”
Greenback got a key win in the 285-pound class as Jacob Martin came back from a three week hiatus to knock off Central’s Ethan Dane.
“Our heavyweight tonight in the Central match was the pivotal match because that could’ve gone either way,” Ward said. “Our guy has been out sick for three weeks, hasn’t practiced, and got lucky and pinned him.”
Both Alcoa and Greenback will wrestle at William Blount on Friday in the WB Duals.