SMHS Wrestling (Dec 19 and 20)
Over the holiday break, the Stone Memorial wrestling team had six dual meets. The Panthers went 5-1 in dual meets beating Cumberland County (36-25), Kingston (57-12), CAK (42-29), Cocke County (60-24), and Rhea County (36-31), while losing to Oakland (22-48) to improve their record to 11-6.
“This was a great week for us. We got on a roll and the technique is starting to click for some of the new guys,” said Coach Brian Parker.
The highlight for the Panthers was the win over CCHS. The Panthers won seven matches to the Jets' five matches with pins from Ismael Matias (132) and Justin Johnson (195). Others winners for the Stone team were Cody McCarl (120), Anthony Alegria (126), Justin Woolfrom (160) and Dakota Karge (220).
“Coach Mac (Wes McNeely) is doing of fine job of rebuilding the Jet wrestling team. They were tough in a lot of places. Anthony stepped up and got us a good win at 126. Marco and Joel Hernandez kept their loses close at 138 and 170, helping us get the win. These guys have been a fantastic addition to our team as rookie starters,” added Parker.
McCarl, Matias, and Johnson went undefeated for the week, while Karge and Eichner each went 5-1. Connor Heavilon was injured in the Kingston match and did not wrestle in the other matches.
The Petro’s Wrestler of the Week for these matches was Ismael Matias at 132 pounds. He had four pins and a major decision on the week. He will receive a meal from Petros.
“Ismael turned it on this week. He showed a lot of improvement in his technique and has a way of wearing other wrestlers down, even when he gets behind in the match. I am very proud of him and I think he has a shot at making it to the state,” concluded Parker.
SMHS Wrestling (BOYS)
On Dec. 28, the Stone Memorial wrestling team participated in the Independence Holiday Tournament at Independence High School in Thompson Station, TN.
The Panthers had three wrestlers place in the top four at the Independence Tournament. Cody McCarl placed third, Ismael Matias was fourth, and Justin Johnson won the third-place medal.
McCarl went 3-1 on the day with three pins in the 106 pound class. His only loss was the to the eventual champion and state-ranked kid from Independence.
“Cody lost to the champion by two points in the semis and learned a valuable lesson that will help him the rest of the season. That lesson is to protect your legs in neutral (standing) position. Cody is on a mission this season, I wouldn’t want to be in his way,” said Coach Brian Parker.
Mathis was 3-2 in the tournament with three pins.
“Ismael keeps rolling the wins off, but ran into a couple of more experienced kids. This is just his second year but he is getting noticed,” added Parker.
Johnson went 4-1 with two pins and two decisions. His only loss was in the semis to the eventual champion from Clarksville who is ranked in the top five in the state.
“Justin is very hard to wrestle, just when you think you have him, you don’t! He learns from his mistakes and believes he can beat anyone eventually. His only losses this year are to ranked kids,” stated Parker.
Other wrestlers winning multiple matches were Connor Heavilon, Joel Hernandez, Juan Loza and Chase Eichner. Joel ended up placeing fifh with three wins and one lose. Marco Hernandez and Jacob Flannery had one win each.
Parker said, “Joel is doing very well as a rookie starter. I am impressed by his improvement every week. In fact, he was our wrestler of the week because he went from being seeded last in the tournament to making the top five. Next goal is the state tournament.”
The Petro’s Wrestler of the Week for the week of Christmas was Joel Hernandez.
"He is a rookie and a junior at SMHS. He has 15 varsity wins on the season with more to come," concluded Parker.