The Stone Memorial wrestling team placed second to Maryville on the strength of seven medalists in the 12-team William Blount Invitational on Saturday.
Cody McCarl (106), Darren Rosser (145) and Anthony Giattino (152) placed first, while Dakota McAdoo (132), Justin Johnson (182) and Alex Norris (285) placed second in the tournament. Chase Eichner (220) placed fourth.
“We had a strong showing even with four guys out of the starting line-up. We should be back up to full strength by the end of this week when our big Region matches begin,” said Coach Brian Parker.
McCarl had a very good day with a first period pin in the semis and in the finals.
“Cody is starting to get back to his own style of wrestling where he goes hard the whole time and makes things happen in his favor. This is a good time in the season for that,” added Parker.
McAdoo had a win and a pin before losing in the finals to take second in the tournament.
“Dakota had a good tournament but got caught in a tough move in the finals,” replied Parker.
Rosser had a technical fall and a major decision on the way to the finals. He went on to win the finals by a score of 8-5 over a previous state qualifier.
“Darren dominated his first two opponents. He started off slow in the finals giving up a couple of takedowns, but rebounded as his opponent got tired. He finished strong in the third period to win it all,” said Parker.
Giattino went 3-0 on the weekend with a pin and two decisions including one in the finals versus a very tough Maryville kid. He has won this tournament all four years that he has been in high school. He won it the first time as a freshman at 103 pounds.
“Anthony is looking tough and using more of a variety of moves in his matches. We plan to have him at the top of his game by the region tournament,” said Parker.
Johnson had two pins on his way to the finals at 182 pounds. He upset the second seed to get there. He lost a very exciting match to the number one seed in the finals.
“Justin has really made some big strides as a rookie starter. He had the champion on his back in the second period but was not able to finish him off. The kid’s experience finally got the best of Justin. I am excited to see what he can accomplish in the future,” continued Parker.
Eichner went 2-2 on the day to take the fourth place medal. He lost in the first round but came back with a decision and a pin in the consolations to get in the medals.
Parker replied, “Chase had made a lot of improvements in the last few weeks and it shows. He has a lot of determination and it will pay off as the season comes to a close over the next month.”
Norris had two big first period pins to propel himself into the finals at heavyweight. He lost to the first seed to claim the silver medal.
“Alex went from being too heavy to wrestle heavyweight to placing in two tournaments in just a couple of weeks. He really worked hard to improve his technique in the off-season and he is finally getting to use it. I am very proud of his efforts,” said Parker.
Brenden Carter (120), Landon Barlow (170) and Brandon Burnett (195) also participated in the tournament. Barlow had one pin.
“This was a good tournament for us to lead into the rest of the season. We will spend the next couple of weeks preparing to win the Region in order to head the state duals. We still have a lot of work ahead of us,” concluded Parker.