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WCHS wrestling rolling
Matt Turner.jpg
Wrestling coach Matt Turner is always intense on the sidelines. Turner guided his young grapplers to a big win over Coffee County on Tuesday. - photo by Jeffery Simmons

The Pioneer wrestling team has stopped looking to the future. Their young guys are ready to compete now.

Warren County took a step toward a district championship on Tuesday in Manchester, beating Coffee County 45-33 in a highly anticipated matchup.

“We had a great night against Coffee County. That win kept up in the running for the district championship with Tullahoma,” said coach Matt Turner. “Our seniors produced some big pins and our young wrestlers are performing very well.”

Seniors Ethan Cowan, James Ramsey and Garrett Vallem each picked up six points for their team with pinfall victories. Cowan took down Dakota Chalker in 2:55 in his 160-pound matchup, while Ramsey was also a second-period winner. Ramsey pinned 220-pound competitor Christopher Speagle in 2:28.

Vallem was the quickest winner, taking Zachary Galy to the mat in 1:21.

Caleb Mack, Noah O’Shields and Issac Gillentine also had pinfall victories, while Hunter Pezzimenti won his 138-pound match with Gavin Prater by a 10-3 decision.

The big win came just three days after the Pioneers had four grapplers medal at the Redhawk Rampage. Gillentine, Vallum, Ramsey and Caleb Mackie all were all standouts in the individual meet.

It’s been a welcome sight for Turner, who knew his young team could become a force.

“We’re getting stronger as a team each practice and match,” said Turner. “Many teams have already peaked. We plan to peak right before the individual region tournament. Our wrestlers are working very hard and are planning on doing some great things before the season is over.”

More help could be on the way soon too. Turner noted Tony Curtis and Alec Smith are closing in on returns following injuries while Austin McBride and Caleb McCormick are battling to replace Braden Bottoms, who left the team over break, in the heavyweight division.

The Pioneers hope to put on a show in front of their home crowd Tuesday when Siegel comes to town. The home match will also be homecoming as Turner hopes former wrestlers come out to see their former school compete.

Warren County also has one more home match coming Tuesday, Jan. 22 against Stewarts Creek. It will double as senior night.