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  1. LOL! I was thinking the same thing. Thanks for sharing though, durdon! Congrats, Coach Leen!
  2. Great point, Samson. This is why this division is so great and has really helped grow wrestling in Tennessee. So many teams entering the year with legitimate shots of reaching the top! AA and D2 have felt like foregone conclusions with Cleveland and Baylor playing the role of Penn State. That's no hit on AA or D2...just speaks to how impressive both the Blue and Red Raiders runs have been.
  3. Who you got this year, Sampson? I always like reading your insights!
  4. Now that would be a 3 day tournament everyone could get behind! Unfortunately, I believe Ummno is correct. I don't ever see it happening. The TSSAA isn't going to spend any money that they don't have to for something like this. If there's enough interest though, which it sounds like there is, someone should try to do an All-Start tri/dual to kick off the season. I know they used to do this for college, not sure if they still do. You could host something like this at one of the middle-TN high schools too v. cow palace after the state tournament.
  5. I would argue that the Mocs aren't even mediocre right now. I wish they were LOL. This program is unfortunately one of the worst in the country right now. The results prove that. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Jordan Leen. He has the coaching experience, too. He would be a homerun hire in my opinion.
  6. Kyle and his staff's inability to keep the state's top recruits at home is a major red flag. Keeping the top TN kids in TN wouldn't solve all of their issues but it would be a move in the right direction. I get the sense that his struggles to keep these guys in state stem from a lack of effort. Example: Baylor is less than a 10 min drive from campus, I wonder if he ever even attended one of their dual meets or called any of those guys? James Howard is right down the road at McCallie and you have the Yost connection... All that talent at Cleveland and Coach Knox is a UTC alumnus... You have the Uhorochuk brothers at Signal... You get the point...This is all talent that is literally right in your backyard. How are you not getting some of these kids? When you have a Mark Branch at Wyoming (over 1,000 miles away) who is showing guys like Harper and Dendy more interest than Kyle who is 10 minutes away, that's an issue. Then you don't even call the state's best wrestler, Hunter Mason or someone like Kodiak that's a 4xer and ranked in the top 20 nationally? If one goes with the line of thinking, "Well a Hunter Mason would never go to UTC, why waste the time trying to recruit him?" Not even trying to recruit your state's top prospect is essentially admitting we're no good, I've got no confidence in my ability to attract top talent, and we're content with that. Unbelievable! I would bet a lot of money that Hunter would have been Bono or Heath's first call. That in itself is a fireable offense for a D1 head coach. I wonder if he even thought to call Corday when he decommitted from Army? That was another potential score that was missed. These in state guys are all quality students, too, that could likely receive some academic aid through the Hope Scholarship to help with the program's alleged lack of funding its full 9.9 allowable scholarships. Unacceptable to not put more effort into these guys. Unfortunately, I struggle to find any reason to believe Ruschell will get this program to reach its potential.
  7. I published this last year during the spring and wanted to get others thoughts on next year. It’s never too early to get excited, and this year should be no different. I don’t know if I can remember a year where this many teams have a legit shot at winning. This is my top 5, but it doesn’t even include teams like traditional power Fairview, Tullahoma, Sycamore, and Gibbs who should all be good again next year. Who do you have in your way too early top 5? #1 Greeneville Returning starters: 9/14 Returning state qualifiers: 6 Key losses (4): Kodiak Cannedy (170lbs, 4x state champ), Leandre Dabney, Jr. (113lbs, ’20 state champ, 2nd in ’21), Malik Harris (132lbs, state qualifier), Ross Cornelius (195lb starter) Key returners: Carson Dupill (106lb state champ, nationally ranked), Hunter Mason (145lbs, 3x state champ, nationally ranked), Colin Dupill (152lbs state champ, nationally ranked), Zac Crisman (3rd at 220lbs), Cooper Johnson (4th at 120lbs) Coach Shelton’s squad is the defending traditional champion and returns 3 studs that are all state champs and ranked in the top 20 nationally. Zac Chrisman is coming off a breakout season and could be the guy to beat at 220 once February rolls around. The losses of Kodiak and Dabney hurt, but with Greeneville’s top end talent, they’re still the team to beat in the traditional tournament. Their success in duals will depend on the development of their guys not named Dupill, Mason, Crisman, or Johnson. #2 Signal Mountain: Returning starters: 12/14 Returning state qualifiers: 7 Key losses (1): Noah Shriner (2nd at 126lbs) Key returners: JoJo Uhorchuk (2nd at 106lbs), Ethan Uhorchuk (113lbs, 2x state champ), Caleb Uhorchuk (120lbs, 3x state champ) Signal finally broke through and won the program’s first state title last year with their upset over Greeneville in the duals. Houston Clements’ team loses a very talented Noah Shriner, but returns the trio of Uhorchuk brothers giving them the fire power to challenge the Devils in a tournament. I do believe this team is the favorite to win the duals again given how solid they are in each weight class. While they have a great dual team, I suspect their lack of placers outside of the Uhorchuks will prevent them from winning a traditional title. #3 Pigeon Forge: Returning starters: 10/14 Returning state qualifiers: 6 Key losses (2): Josh Parton (160lbs, ’20 state champ, 2nd in ’19 and ’21), Hunter Gentry (132lbs, 2x state placer) Key returners: Andy Cable (126lbs, 2x state champ), Wyatt Howard (138lbs, 3rd), Aiden Littles (182lbs, state finalist), Caleb Wolfe (220lbs, 2x state finalist) After a rocky regular season, no one was talking about Greg Foreman’s team last year heading into the post-season, but he proved once again why he is one of the best, if not the best, coach in Tennessee, as he took a down team for their standards within a few points of a dual title and still finished in the top 5 finish in the traditional tournament. Had Garrett Foreman and Parton been healthy last year, maybe we would be talking about this team as the defending champs. They have the studs to be considered a legit title contender going into next season. #4 Knoxville Halls Returning starters: 14/14 Returning state qualifiers: 9 Key losses: none Key returners: Aiden Wright (106lbs, 4th), Sam Hutchison (132lbs, 3rd), Harlen Hunley (145lbs, 3rd), Briar Whaley (160lbs, 3rd), Bull Goodman (220lbs, 6th) How often is it that you see a team in any sport at any level return every single one of its starters from the previous season? Shannon Sayne should be as excited as any coach in the state heading into next season with this experienced bunch. Halls will have the talent to beat anyone in a dual this season. In a perfect world, Hutchison, Hunley, and Whaley all make the finals next year, and this team will be right there with a chance to win it. #5 Page Returning starters: 13/14 Returning state qualifiers: 8 Key losses (1): Will Parcel (160lbs, 2nd) Key returners: Thomas Brown (120lbs, 5th), Grant Hawkinson (132lbs, 2nd), Josh Ward (152lbs, 5th), Ronan O’Connell (285lbs, 6th) Coach Gray’s team came within 1 match of upsetting state dual champ Signal in the first round last year, and they return all but 1 starter, which should give you all the evidence you need to know why the Patriots are poised to take the next step this year and make a run at a title. I feel like they will be on the outside looking in compared to the big 3 (G’ville, SM, PF) in a tournament unless they could get 3 finalists out of the four key returners mentioned above, but this team is as well coached as any and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were to come out of nowhere like Signal did last year and win the duals.
  8. A few thoughts before I dive into my individual predictions… The team race will be won by 1 of these 3 teams: Greeneville, Signal Mountain, or Pigeon Forge Don’t buy into the hype of Gibbs after beating Greeneville this weekend at Sectionals. Gibbs likely only has 3 placers (1 finalist). Josh Parton’s health could decide who wins the team title. I heard his injury was pretty serious and he may not even compete. If he is healthy enough to place in the top 3, Pigeon Forge is the team to beat. If you’re thinking, “I’ll just come up Friday for the Semis and Finals on Saturday,” think again! We’re going to have so excellent quarter final bouts on Thursday between ranked guys and returning placers. 106 1. JoJo Uhorchuk (Signal Mountain) 2. Carson Dupill (Greeneville) 3. Aiden Wright (Halls) 4. Ezra Finstad (Gibbs) 5. Chris Lagorio (Hixson) 6. Luke Carpenter (East Hamilton) JoJo v. Carson…expect fireworks! They should start the finals at 113 and wrestle this one last! 113 1. Ethan Uhorchuk (Signal Mountain) 2. Porter Finstad (Gibbs) 3. Leandre Dabney (Greeneville) 4. Taylor Turner (Harpeth) 5. Steve Ramos (MLK) 6. Lucas Martin (Hillwood) 120 1. Caleb Uhorchuk (Signal Mountain) 2. Ryan King (Stone Memorial) 3. Thomas Brown (Page) 4. Drew Lewis (Soddy Daisy) 5. Ellis Haney (Upperman) 6. Cooper Johnson (Greeneville) The quarterfinal matchup between King and Brown will be one of the best matches of the tournament. Two exciting guys to watch. 126 1. Andy Cable (Pigeon Forge) 2. Noah Shriner (Signal Mountain) 3. Keegan Seaver (Fairview) 4. Dylan Davenport (Sycamore) 5. Greg Gomez (MLK) 6. Caleb Adkins (Tullahoma) 132 1. Zander Hutson (Hixson) 2. Mo Moktani (Munford) 3. Sam Hutchinson (Halls) 4. Hunter Gentry (Pigeon Forge) 5. Wyatt Davis (Whitwell) 6. Grant Hawkinson (Page) No clear cut favorite here. I wouldn’t be shocked if any of these guys 1-6 won the whole thing. Should be fun to see this one play out! 138 1. Wyatt Howard (Pigeon Forge) 2. Dalen Kimble (Sycamore) 3. Brody McLemore (Eagleville) 4. Perrin Clark (East Ridge) 5. Braiden Vanderploeg (Forrest) 6. Christian Perez (Munford) Howard upsets McLemore in the semis, which is likely the deciding factor in the team race. Regardless, I'm taking the Howard/McLemore winner to beat Kimble in the finals. 145 1. Aubrey Thompson (Stone Memorial) KIDDING!!! I hope cbg and oceansize didn’t fall out of their seats after reading that. LOL MR. HUNTER MASON (Greeneville) pins or techs his way to his 3rd title depending on how long he actually wants to stay on the mat. 2. Luke London (Sycamore) 3. Sasha Warner (Polk County) 4. Cole Morse (Tullahoma) 5. Seth McCoy (Forrest) 6. Cole Jenkins (Signal Mountain) Don’t sleep on Warner. He placed 2nd at McCallie this year. The Morse-Magouirk (Whitwell) matchup in the quarters could be interesting, too. I remember watching Magouirk last year and he impressed me. Seems like he’s had a down year though… only a 12-7 record according to Track and got majored by the Signal kid at Sectionals. 145lb is obviously a tournament for 2nd place, but lots of exciting matchups to be had here that don’t include the P4P King. 152 1. Colin Dupill (Greeneville) 2. Ethan Hylton (David Crockett) 3. Malachi Bennett (Fairview) 4. Thomas Magness (Harpeth) 5. Jerzy Hendrix (Tullahoma) 6. Jackson Davis (Signal Mountain) 160 1. Logan Heckert (Sycamore) 2. Maclain Otting (East Hamilton) 3. Josh Parton (Pigeon Forge) 4. Will Parcel (Page) 5. Ben Whaley (Halls) 6. Carson Reep (Gibbs) Depending on Parton’s health, he is definitely good enough to beat Heckert. If he can give it a go, that will be one of the best matches of the tournament in the quarters between him and Heckert. 170 1. Kodiak Cannedy (Greeneville) 2. Kyle Watts (White House Heritage) 3. Jake Stacey (Green Hill) 4. Cooper Edwards (Harpeth) 5. Marco Pukl (Fairview) 6. Cadan Avans (Tullahoma) 182 1. Kendrick Curtis (Fairview) 2. Herbert Little (Pigeon Forge) 3. Kobe Smith (Red Bank) 4. Jordyn Davis (Munford) 5. Nathan Downey (Green Hill) 6. Brett Smith (Tullahoma) 195 1. Rob Atwood (Trousdale County) 2. Aiden Howard (Pigeon Forge) 3. Gabe Ferrell (David Crockett) 4. Elijah Hubbs (Gibbs) 5. Landon Morris (Cheatham County) 6. Tex Lewis (East Hamilton) 220 1. Jacob Clevenger (Fairview) 2. Caleb Wolfe (Pigeon Forge) 3. Zac Crisman (Greeneville) 4. Mason Keel (Marion County) 5. Sam Weddington (Tennessee) 6. Sam Bradley (Lawrence County) Have Wolfe and Clevenger wrestled each other before? I’m excited to see these two go at it! 285 1. Lance Williams (Alcoa) 2. Kaymon Overton (East Nashville) 3. Landon Moore (Hixson) 4. Dylan Jackson (Pigeon Forge) 5. Matthew King (Watertown) 6. Ronan O’Connell (Page) Williams is every bit as dominant as Mason is at 145lb (in Tennessee, oceansize and cbg!) TEAM 1. Pigeon Forge—1st (2) 2nd (3) 3rd (1) 4th (2) —8 placers 2. Greeneville—1st (3) 2nd (1) 3rd (2) 6th (1)—6 placers 3. Signal Mountain—1st (3) 2nd (1) 3rd 6th (2)—6 placers 4. Fairview—1st (2) 3rd (1) 5th (1)—4 placers
  9. CBG is always the man of reason supporting his stance with FACTS! I know everyone has their own strong opinion and there are definitely valid stances to both sides of this, but personally, I have loved the 3 division split. Let's be real, if we had one division, Cleveland and Baylor would win the state almost every year with someone like a Father Ryan stealing one once every 10 years or so. The split gives you a reason to get excited for a matchup like Pigeon Forge v. Greeneville. Otherwise, that match means nothing to anyone outside of G'ville and PF if it's all just one big division. That said, I don't think anyone in Single A would argue that it's as hard to win a small school title as it is in AA or DII, but some of the studs like the G'ville big 4, Lance Williams, the Uhorchuk brothers, Caleb Wolfe, and a healthy Foreman would all have a chance to win the other divs. Single A just isn't as deep. Many of those guys won't even wrestle a 6 min. match in the state tournament. You can also argue many of the Single A multi-time champs may not even win a title in the other divs., but I am still a proponent of it being a good thing for TN wrestling. How cool would it be to see a All-Star tri meet though between the A, AA, and DII champs a week after the season?!
  10. These predictions seem very realistic to me. Great job with these, Oceansize. I'm going to cheat and wait until after we have the sectional results to post mine.
  11. TNUSAWrestling, please don't take wristbar's comment to heart. As a fan of the sport, I am very appreciate for the time and effort you put into these rankings. Rankings like these add to the fun. You can't always make everyone happy LOL.
  12. Thanks oceansize. What a great match. I'm excited to see these two go at it again in a few weeks. Who do you like in the rematch? While I was right on the Jojo v. Carson match, I and many others could not have been more wrong on Signal Mountain. After watching the dual, I don't think it's any knock on G'ville, SM is just that good. I did not expect their guys not named Uhorchuk to be that good. To lose the senior studs SM had last year, this was one of the best coaching jobs I've seen in a while from a program. One side note, PF was definitely underrated based off their early season struggles this year. They likely would have won yesterday if Garrett Foreman was healthy. Does anyone know how many guys SM, G'ville, and PF lose to graduation after this year? Page and Gibbs seem to be teams to keep an eye on next year. I was very impressed by some of their guys.
  13. Oceansize, thanks for looking into this! So many great wrestlers and matches to look forward to this year. I suspect this is the most talent there has ever been in Single A.
  14. A few things... 1. I have been told that Jojo and Carson wrestled a few years ago with Uhorchuk winning. Don't know if that is true? Regardless, I know that was a few years ago. 2. I should have clarified that I believe there isn't a clear advantage for either from the neutral position. I've only seen each wrestle a few matches this year though. It sounds like cbg and oceansize have seen both guys wrestle more than I have so you two might have a better idea than I do. 3. Carson has earned his national ranking as G'ville has traveled the country and he has had spectacular results at all of these big named tournaments. 4. I would still consider Jojo elite. I remember that he won VA Beach last year. Jojo's lack of a national ranking is simply due to SM not attending any tournaments outside of TN. 5. My post was simply a prediction in response to Mitch. I did not mean to offend anyone. Carson can easily win this match and I won't be surprised one bit if he does. I'm just excited to see two guys of this caliber go at it! Thank you for adding your thoughts oceansize and cbj. I always value your opinions!
  15. I usually agree with most all of your posts, but no way, oceansize! Carson is elite and Jojo is elite. This will be a close match. True toss up.
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