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Happy homecoming
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Garrett Vallem sizes up his Siegel opponent during Tuesday's match. Vallem was one of six Pioneers to score pinfall wins against the Stars. - photo by Jeffery Simmons

It may have started due to a scheduling conflict, but the WCHS wrestling team has made itself right at home in the indoor facility. The Pioneers held their homecoming at the WCHS indoor facility Tuesday and delighted a packed crowd with a 45-30 beatdown of visiting Siegel.

It was just the latest of a string of wins that has coach Matt Turner beaming with pride.

“It’s been an awesome year. We have seen this group of young men develop into a pretty tough and salty team,” said Turner. “Matches likes these are fun and exciting. The guys are excited about the win, but we’re beginning to expect to win as well.”

The wrestling team has traditionally held its home matches inside Charlie Dalton Gym, but one home match earlier in the year had to be moved due to a conflict with an elementary tournament. That night, the Pioneers took over the new indoor facility at WCHS. 

They’ve looked cozy at home ever since.

Caleb Mackie set the tone Tuesday, getting the call to wrestle up against the Stars. Normally a standout at 106 pounds, Mackie went up to 113 pounds with no ill effects. Mackie pinned his opponent, starting a chain effect that ran through the team.

“We asked Caleb to wrestle up and he goes out there and pins a good 113-pound wrestler. That got the momentum going for our bench,” said Turner.

Troy Ray (132 pounds) and Hunter Pezzimenti (138 pounds) followed with pins, as did seniors Ethan Cowan and Garrett Vallem. 

Vallem’s match at 195 pounds was particularly impressive, with the senior slamming his opponent and hooking the leg as he pinned for the win.

Also winning for the Pioneers Tuesday were Ethan Jaco (145 pounds) and Ike Gillentine (182 pounds) by pinfall and Tony Curtis in a 7-2 decision at 152 pounds.

Warren County was back in action Thursday night in Tullahoma. A district championship was on the line as the Pioneers met up with the Wildcats. 

Results were unavailable at press time. Check Sunday’s paper for more details.