Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

January 7, 2014

Panther wrestling team finishes in fifth place at William Blount Invitational last Saturday


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CROSSVILLE — 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)

Dec 28

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.

SMHS Wrestling (GIRLS)

The Stone Memorial girls’ wrestling team participated in the Independence Holiday Tournament at Independence High School in Thompson Station Dec. 28. The Lady Panthers placed two out of four wrestlers in the tournament. Laura Napier and Nicole Tewell both placed second in their weight classes.

"Laura had two pins and her only loss was to the champion. Laura is doing very well. She does a great job of helping all the new girls.With a little more work, she can make it to the state finals,” said Coach Brian Parker.

Tewell had three pins and her only loss was also to the eventaul champion.  

“Nikki is really tough on the mat for a rookie.  She is hard to get off her feet and she is pretty tough in referees position. With a little more technique work, she could do well at the state also,”  said Parker.

Achaia McDonough and MacKenzie Wylie also wrestled in the tournament, with McDonough getting one pin.  

“These two girls are working hard in practice and getting some good experience that will definitely pay off in the long run if they stick with it. Keep up the hard work girls,” added Parker.

The Petro’s Wrestler of the Week for the Lady Panthers was Nicole Tewell.  

As a rookie, she placed second in the Independence Tournament.  She will receive a meal form Petro’s chili and chips.  “Nikki’s performance at the tournament was impressive for a first year wrestler.   She definitely earned this award,” concluded Parker.

SMHS Wrestling

The Stone Memorial wrestling team participated in the William Blount Individual Tournament on Jan 4 at William Blount High School. The Panthers had six wrestlers place in the top four at the tournament and finished fifth out of 13 teams.

Cody McCarl was tournamnet champion. Connor Heavilon placed third, with Juan Loza fourth, Justin Johnson third, Dakota Karge second and Chase Eichner third in their respective weight classes.

McCarl won the tournament with two first period pins in the 106 pound weight class. 

“Cody didn’t really have any competition at this tournament. He is very tough and a lot of teams can’t fill this weight class,” said Coach Brian Parker.

Heavilon lost his first match at 145, but came back to win four straight to place third. He scored a pin in the consoaltion finals.  

“Connor should not have lost his first match, but I have to give a lot of credit for coming back strong, making a lot of improvements, and dominating his meal match,” noted Parker.

Loza (182) got a pin in his first match, but met the defending state champ in the second round.   He went on to win two more in the loser’s bracket and then lost a close match in the consolation finals.  

“This has been a great confidence builder for Juan. I think he wrestled a lot tougher in the medal match than he thought he could.  He did a great job,” continued Parker.

Johnson went 3-1 with two pins to take third place at 195 pounds.  

“Justin caught a really tough 6 foot 7 inch kid in the semifinals and got cradled. He was a good match for him though because he needs to learn his weaknesses to be prepared for the state tournament next month,” added Parker.

Karge won two matches with a decision and a pin to make it to the championship finals at 220 pounds. He lost the finals match in the last minute of the match.  

“Dakota has been wrestling really well this year. He is very strong and keeps getting better at his technique. A little more self-confidence and he will be on his way to the state,” Parker said.

Heavyweight Chase Eichner got a pin in the first round, but lost the semis to the eventual champion.

He went on to take the bronze medal with a pin and major decision in his next two matches.   “Chase has made bigger strides in the first half of this season than he did in both of the last two. I am excited about how far he has come and where he is going. He has confidence, strength, and he gain more technique each day,” continued Parker.

Other wrestlers winning matches in the tournament included Chandler Brickle with two pins at 138 pounds, Anthony Alegria with a win at 120 pounds, and Joel Hernandez with a pin at 160 pounds.

The Petro’s Wrestler of the Week for the week of New Years was Juan Loza, a sophomore who just earned a starting spot in the 182 pound class.  As an unseeded wrestler, he went 3-2 in the tournament to place fourth.  

“Juan decided being jv wasn’t good enough.   He really stepped it up in just his second varsity tournament. I am very proud of his effort and I am excited about his future,” concluded Parker.

Schedule: SMHS is scheduled to travel to Heritage Jan. 9 and host Alcoa and Livingston Jan. 10 at 5 p.m.