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WCHS wrestlers impress
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Photos courtesy of Painted Barn Media De'Arkquarious Lewis drives his opponent to the mat during Tuesday's home opener against Rockvale and Blackman. Lewis, a junior, has made an instant impact on the WCHS wrestling team.

Pioneer wrestlers are starting to turn heads on the mat.

The Warren County High School wrestling team had an impressive showing at this weekend’s Soddy Daisy Showdown, then followed it up by splitting with Rockvale and Blackman at Tuesday’s home opener. 

The Pioneers beat Rockvale 69-12, though they fell 64-9 against Blackman in a match coach Matt Turner thought was closer than the final result.

“We’ve been wrestling really well. The score against Blackman is no reflection to our team’s performance – they are No. 5 in the state and we competed in every class,” said Turner. “We’ve had some guys who have great weeks. We’re doing some good things and guys are developing. It’s going to be a good season.”

Caleb Mackie was the star for the Pioneers during their busy four days, beating both of his opponents at home Tuesday after winning the 106-pound division at Saturday’s Showdown. Just a sophomore, Mackie is already establishing himself as one of the state’s best.

“Caleb is having a great week. He beat Blackman’s 106-pounder and he’s ranked No. 6 in the state,” said Turner.

Mackie never went past the first round Saturday in Soddy Daisy. His final two matches were the most challenging, but he still was able to pin Adeiso Perez (East Ridge) before the first period and followed by taking down Baylor’s Peyton Smith at the 1:57 mark in the finals.

Mackie’s week of wins moved his record to 22-1.

Ike Gillentine also made it to the finals Saturday, though he fell in a battle with Soddy Daisy’s Hayden Maynor. He bounced back with a win against Rockvale – a dose of revenge from a loss earlier this season.

“It was a huge overtime win for Ike. He had lost to the same guy earlier this year,” said Turner.

Roberto Dodton (fourth - 113 pounds), Alec Smith (third – 138 pounds), Zack Parson (second – 195 pounds) and Austin McBride (fourth – 285 pounds) also brought home medals from Soddy Daisy.

The Pioneers were back in action at home Thursday night against Cookeville. Results were unavailable at press time. Check Sunday’s Standard for more information.