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Hitting the mat
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Over 200 wrestlers from 11 Middle Tennessee schools were at Charlie Dalton Gym last Saturday for the Pioneer Invitational wrestling tournament.
Warren County fared very well in its own tournament as the Pioneers placed second behind LaVergne for the overall tournament and eight Pioneers won individual medals.
Leading the way for Warren County was Eli Moulton. Moulton won the 106-pound bracket by going 3-0 during the day.
Moulton began by defeating Kainan Rogers from Smyrna by decision, 10-7. Moulton then won in the semifinals over Payton Sisk from Forrest, the bracket’s No. 1 seed. Moulton pinned Sisk in the second round.
In the championship, Moulton made quick work of Harleigh Reed from Franklin County. Moulton claimed the title by pinfall 35 seconds into the match.
Moulton was the only champion, but four other Pioneers made it to the championship match.
Harlyi Turner, Christian Lopez, Tucker Slatton and Nick Sangi each had outstanding days before falling in the final round.
Turner and Lopez are part of a talented freshman class coach Matt Turner knew would make big impacts this season.
Turner, wrestling at 113 pounds, was the No. 2 seed in his weight class and received a bye all the way into the semifinals.
In the semis, Turner defeated Cooper McNair from Forrest by pinning his opponent in 55 seconds. Turner lost to another Forrest wrestler in the finals. Cage Hargrove pinned Turner in the second round as the young Pioneer kept working until the very end.
Lopez was able to advance to the finals in one of the most loaded brackets at the invitational. In the 15-person, 120-pound bracket, Lopez won his first three matches before falling the finals.
Lopez defeated Jacob Kimbrough from Blackman 4-2 in a three-round match to begin the day. Lopez then earned a 18-6 majority decision over Collin Daughendauth of Riverdale in the quarterfinals. Lopez pinned Blackman’s Tria Xiong in 1:40 to earn a berth to the finals.
In the finals, Lopez wouldn’t allow himself to be pinned, but lost to LaVergne’s Devon Quinares 7-0.
Slatton faced some tough sledding in the 152-pound weight class, but the talented sophomore navigated the 16-person bracket all the way to the finals.
Slatton defeated Riverdale’s Cole Franks and Lawson Quick from Lincoln County by pinfall in the first rounds, then out-pointed Joseph Boakye 15-12 to make it to the finals.
In the finals, Slatton was pinned by Kieffer Hummeldorf to finish in second place. Hummeldorf, who was a state medalist at 152 pounds last year, was named the most outstanding performer in the event.
Sangi has made a big impact on the wrestling team after joining for his senior season. In the invitational, Sangi earned two of the quickest wins in the competition. Sangi won his first match in eight seconds over Jeremiah Lewis of Franklin County. His second match was almost twice as long as Sangi pinned Garret Adamson from Eagleville in 15 seconds.
In the finals, Sangi faced Scottie Boykin, a state medalist from Riverdale. Sangi battled Boykin into the second round, but lost by pinfall to earn second place and valuable points for Warren County’s team total.
Joe Carroll and Briar Reedy each finished third in their respective weight classes as the duo lost early but battled back in the consolation bracket.
Carroll won four straight matches to finish third. Carroll lost to Ryan Megular, the eventual champion, in his first match, but bounced back to pin four straight opponents in the consolation bracket. Reedy had to defeat teammates Jason Turner and Spencer Pryor to finish third in the 145-pound weight class. The win over Pryor came in the consolation finals as Warren County claimed third and fourth place in the weight class.
Warren County will take the rest of December off from competition before returning with three competitions the first week of January.