Charlie Dalton Gym transformed into a Roman Coliseum Thursday night. The court was covered in mats, as local grapplers took center stage in a trimatch that featured every level of wrestling in Warren County.
WCHS coach Matt Turner turned his lone home match into a showcase Thursday, tying in the WCMS and local AAU teams to pack the gym with wrestlers.
His plan worked to perfection. The gym was buzzing from the start as parents and fans alike watched as region wrestlers all worked to get pins.
Perhaps the match of the night occurred when Xander Lee took the center mat for the WCHS team against Tullahoma. Lee and his opponent each had the upper hand at different points, with Lee entering the third and final round with a points lead thanks to a late reversal in the second period.
Lee looked locked into a win late in the third, but was corralled and brought down in the waning moments. The capacity crowd rose to its feet, while members of both teams swarmed the perimeter of the mat to see the ending. Lee was ultimately pinned, but not before collaborating in the performance of the night.
AAU coach David Holcomb believes more nights like Thursday will only help the programs going forward.
"The atmosphere was incredible," said Holcomb, who saw many of his young wrestlers get big wins. "We were extremely pleased with the effort and competiveness in the way the kids wrestled.
"We have people who are supportive of what we're doing and our direction. As long as that continues, I see great things happening in Warren County wrestling."