Forrest wrestlers handed early exit

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Forrest tenth-grader Cage Hargrove and junior Spencer McGuiggan had a taste of the big time Thursday in the TSSAA Division I State Wrestling Tournament at the Williamson County Expo Center in Franklin, but their thirst was not satisfied as they both were eliminated after losing their first two bouts.

In round one, both Rocket grapplers were pinned by higher seeded opponents, but in the consolation round, Hargrove and McGuiggan turned in valiant efforts, going the three-round distance.

"It feels a little better that they both went the distance in their second matches," said Forrest head coach Josh Roberson. "I still wish we could have done a little better, but it was good experience for next year to get those first round jitters out, so next year they can hit it hard and go a lot further."

Rocket sophomore grappler Cage Hargrove makes a nice move on Michael Cooper from Fulton in the second round of the TSSAA Division I State Tournament in Franklin on Thursday. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

Hargrove (113 pound weight class) drew last year's 3rd place medalist at 103 pounds Austin Stevison from Cleveland in the first round, and it was over early when Stevison pinned Hargrove at the 1:07 mark of the first period.

"You have to get them going good and started right," said Roberson. "Unfortunately, we got the short end of the stick on the draws. I have been here for a while and it fell wrong in the bracket for us."

Michael Cooper from Fulton High School was next for Hargrove in the consolation round and it was a close match all the way with Hargrove down 2-0 after the one-minute, first round.

Hargrove came back to tie the match at 2-2 early in the second round, but Cooper responded with two late points to lead 4-2, entering the final two minutes.

Hargrove gained one point to mount a comeback, but Cooper held on for the 4-3 victory, eliminating the Rocket sophomore.

McGuiggan's day went much the same as he was pinned at the 1:28 mark in round two of his first match versus Tyler Allen from Sevier County, falling to the loser's bracket consolation round.

After a grueling three-hour wait, McGuiggan took on sophomore Rex Shotts from Ravenwood.

Forrest's Spencer McGuiggan gets the upper hand on Ravenwood's Rex Shotts in his consolation bout of the 220 pound weight class.

McGuiggan (220 pound weight class) started strong and trailed by a lone point at 2-1 after the first round before falling behind by three-points at 6-3 with one round remaining.

Shotts turned up the pressure and defeated McGuiggan by a 10-4 score.

"We are improving every year," said Roberson. "And I hope we can come back and improve next year like we have been the last couple of years."

Shotts lost in the consolation round; while Stevison went on to win the state title at 113 and Billy Swanson (Soddy-Daisy), who pinned Allen in round two went undefeated to claim the state crown at 222 pounds.