Six Rockets bound for state

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
The Forrest Rockets won the individual title 173 to 172 over Page Saturday at the Region 3A/AA Tournament at Montgomery Central High School and sent a record six wrestlers to the TSSAA State Tournament on Friday. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest wrestling team made history on Saturday at the Region 3A/AA Individual Tournament at Montgomery Central High School in Cunningham as the Rockets won the team score by one point over Page due to a school record six Chapel Hill grapplers qualifying for the 2016 Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association State Wrestling Tournament.

Jeffery Gross (106-pounds), Dylan Pendley (113), Wesley McCoy (160) and Nicholas McGuiggan (220) all won region titles, while Billy Clanton (195) finished in second place and Clay Watson (152) came up with a fourth place finish.

'Fun season'

"This is just a fun season, I can't wait until state," McGuiggan said. "We have a good mix with our experience and then we have our younger guys wrestling really good and helping the team."

The state tournament begins Friday at the Williamson County Ag Center in Franklin with a morning (10 a.m.) and evening (6 p.m.) session on Friday before Saturday's final rounds.

Dylan Pendley signals No. 1 after the Forrest sophomore won by major decision over Nathan Ford to clinch his third consecutive trip to the state tournament.


Pendley (42-4), who will be making his third consecutive trip to the state tournament placed fifth last season, but will marching into this year's event as the Region 3A/AA champion after posting a dominating 17-7 major decision win over Nathan Ford from Greenbrier in the title bout.

"I've been working hard all week to get down to 113 and give myself the best shot, it was tough, but I made it," Pendley said. "I wrestled every match this week the best I could and now I want to go win a state championship."

Pendley led early in the first period when Ford was injured during a takedown, but the Bobcat grappler returned to action, only to see Pendley dominate the remainder of the match.

The sophomore earned a third seed and will face Knoxville Grace's Tanner Thornton (45-11) in the first round Friday morning.

"We have six people going to state, we won the region and know we have to go back to work to get better," Pendley said.

Rocket freshman Jeffery Gross finished the season with a 40-3 record and captured the 106-pound Region 3A/AA title Saturday over Creekwood's Tanner Corlew in the championship bout.

Great first year

Gross (40-3), a transfer student from New Jersey capped off an incredible freshman season at Forrest with all three of wins at the region coming on pins, including a second round fall over Tanner Corlew from Creek Wood in the title tilt.

"This has been exciting since it's my freshman year and just getting started in my high school career," Gross said. "It's good to have great teammates and win."

After a 2-2 first period tie, Gross took over in the third period, pinning Corlew with 12 seconds left in the second period.

Good feeling

"It feels really good, just being able to go in and get that pin," Gross said. "It was my same game plan as usual to just go out there and attack."

Gross also earned a three-seed, but garnered a first-round bye in the TSSAA State Tournament and will face the winner of a first round matchup that pits 16-13 Rylie Hart (Hixson) versus 2-1 Vincent Perry (Greenback).

"I was nervous going into the match, so I just used it as adrenaline," Gross said. "I want to go to state and do my best and win it."

Freshman Wesley McCoy (blue) took the 160-pound Region 3A/AA title with an 8-2 win over Sean Srock (white).

McCoy wins

Wesley McCoy (43-4) joined his freshman counterpart atop the podium at Cunningham, capping off an undefeated run at the region with an 8-2 decision over Sean Srock (Millington) in the title match.

McCoy pitched a 4-0 shutout first period, but Srock cut the lead in half at 4-2 after the second period before the Rocket freshman pulled away for the six-point win.

Clay Watson (top) fought his way out of the consolation bracket to earn a spot in the TSSAA State Tournament this weekend at the Williamson Ag Center in Franklin.

"This feels good," McCoy said. "I told myself I was not going to lose, I was going to go out there and beat him and I did."

Freshman Jackson Hart (7-6) from Red Bank will be McCoy's first round opponent on Friday.

Forrest senior Nikolas McGuiggan (top) earned a state tournament spot with a 10-4 decision win over Greenbrier's Toby Lynch.


Nikolas McGuiggan's (27-3) hard work over the past year paid off as the senior earned his first trip to the state tournament with three wins at the region tourney, beginning with a tough 4-1 win over Jerron Waters (Stratford).

"To me, it's all the coaches who want to be there for us and to enjoy the sport and just be there for us," McGuiggan said.

In the semifinals, McGuiggan pinned Wan Rucker (East Nashville) before bringing home the title with a huge 10-4 decision win over Greenbrier's Toby Lynch.

The first period ended up with McGuiggan leading 2-0 and the senior went up 5-2 in the second before putting Rucker away in the final period.

"Once I got the two points in the first period, it just set it up good and then all I had to do was wrestle my match and I knew I would win," McGuiggan said.


Clanton (35-6) was sailing along, pinning his first two opponents at Montgomery Central before Gregory Williams from Nashville Christian beat the Forest junior in a 9-4 decision in the finals.

Clanton earned a first-round bye at state and will face the winner of Noah Evans (Alcoa) and Kell Scott (Boyd Buchanan) in the second round on Friday.


Watson (33-15) had the toughest road to hoe on his way to his first individual state tournament berth, fighting his way out of consolation bracket via a nail-biting 3-1 decision over Sycamore's Devin Kimble.

"That was a tough match," Watson said. "I knew he was strong wrestler, so I had to use my technique over his strength and play more defense than offense and I did that and I pulled it out,"

Watson would fall by major decision to Dallas Prater (Cheatham County) in the third place match.

"There was a lot of pressure, it is my last year wrestling and I wanted to go to state and I pulled it out," Watson said.

The Rocket senior will have to wait one round before taking on the winner of the number one-seeded Josh Vance 33-3 (Greenville) and nine-seeded Chayson Patrick (23-4) from Tyner bout.

TSSAA Region 3A/AA Results for Forrest


Jeffrey Gross (40-3) placed 1st and scored 28.00 team points.

Championship Round 1-Bye.

Championship Round 2-Bye.

Quarterfinal-Jeffrey Gross 38-3 won by fall over Evan Smith (White House) (12-6), fall 0:16.

Semifinal-Jeffrey Gross 39-3 won by fall over Andrew Phillips (Pearl Cohn) 18-8, fall 1:32.

1st Place Match-Jeffrey Gross 40-3 won by fall over Tanner Corlew (Creek Wood) 16-5, fall 3:49.

113-Dylan Pendley (42-4) placed 1st and scored 26.50 team points.

Championship Round 1-Bye.

Championship Round 2-Bye.

Quarterfinal-Dylan Pendley 40-4 won by fall over Victor Gingrich (Millington) 11-9, fall 1:06.

Semifinal-Dylan Pendley 41-4 won by tech fall over Sevaughn Orr (Martin Luther King) 27-8, Technical fall 17-0.

1st Place Match-Dylan Pendley 42-4 won by major decision over Nathan Ford (Greenbrier) 41-7, Major Decision 17-7.

126-Justin Leonard (17-15) scored 6.00 team points.

Championship Round 1-Justin Leonard 16-13 received a bye.

Championship Round 2-Justin Leonard 17-13 won by fall over Joseph Friedman (Martin Luther King), 12-5 fall 4:50.

Quarterfinal-Noah Walton (Greenbrier) 39-9 won by fall over Justin Leonard 17-14, fall 1:35.

Consolation Round 4-Jacob Key (Montgomery Central) 14-8 won by decision over Justin Leonard, 17-15 Decision 8-5.

132-Payton Sisk (29-12) place is unknown and scored 6.00 team points.

Championship Round 1-Payton Sisk Bye.

Championship Round 2-Payton Sisk (Forrest) 30-10 won by decision over William Magoon (Eagleville), 12-8 Decision 6-3.

Quarterfinal-Payton Sisk 31-10 won by decision over Danny Jeffrey (White House), 35-17 Decision 9-5.

Semifinal-Michael Coley (Nashville Christian) 30-7 won by fall over Payton Sisk, 29-11 fall 5:50.

Cons. Semi-Chase Myatt (Fairview) 35-15 won by decision over Payton Sisk, 29-12 Decision 8-7.

145-Bryton Spitzley (17-15) scored 8.00 team points.

Championship Round 1-Bryton Spitzley Bye.

Championship Round 2-Bryton Spitzley 16-13 won by fall over Kavid Johnson (Pearl Cohn) 10-8, fall 5:40.

Quarterfinal-Bryton Spitzley 17-13 won by decision over Trever Caudill (Page) 19-16 Decision 5-4.

Semifinal-Mario Pukl (Fairview) 27-11 won by decision over Bryton Spitzley 17-14, Decision 14-10.

Consolation Semifinal-Mitchell Camper (Sycamore) 33-5 won by fall over Bryton Spitzley 17-15, fall 2:37.

152-Clay Watson (33-15) placed 4th and scored 15.00 team points.

Championship Round 1-Clay Watson Bye.

Championship Round 2-Clay Watson 31-12 won by fall over Ryan Herndon (Greenbrier) 13-16, fall 0:48.

Quarterfinal-Clay Watson 32-12 won by fall over Sam Sigmon (Page) 30-18, fall 2:46.

Semifinal-Daelyn Rose (Harpeth) 32-13 won by decision over Clay Watson 32-13, Decision 7-6.

Consolation Semifinal-Clay Watson 33-14 won by decision over Devin Kimble (Sycamore) 13-6, Decision 3-1.

3rd Place Match-Dallas Prater (Cheatham Co.) 26-4 won by major decision over Clay Watson 33-15, Major Decision 13-5.

160-Wesley McCoy (43-4) placed 1st and scored 26.00 team points.

Championship Round 1-Wesley McCoy Bye.

Championship Round 2-Wesley McCoy 40-4 won by fall over Andrew Quarles (Watertown) 1-2, fall 0:50.

Quarterfinal-Wesley McCoy 41-4 won by decision over Jade Dillard (Cheatham Co.) 10-3, Decision 8-1.

Semifinal-Wesley McCoy 42-4 won by fall over Chris Koshar (Page) 34-16, fall 0:53.

1st Place Match-Wesley McCoy 43-4 won by decision over Sean Srock (Millington) 16-3, Decision 8-2.

170-Tanner Kerr (15-15) scored 4.00 team points.

Championship Round 1-Tanner Kerr Bye.

Championship Round 2-Dominic Kennedy (Hume Fogg) 15-10 won by fall over Tanner Kerr 14-14, fall 3:42.

Consolation Round 2-Tanner Kerr Bye.

Consolation Round 3-Tanner Kerr 15-14 won by medical forfeit over Rodney Turner (Eagleville) 6-7.

Cons. Round 4-Brett Beamer (Cheatham Co.) 22-6 won by fall over Tanner Kerr 15-15 fall 1:23.

182-Hank Eddins (20-25)

Championship Round 1-Hank Eddins Bye.

Championship Round 2-Ethan Rainey (White House) 45-11 won by fall over Hank Eddins 20-24, fall 3:36.

Consolation Round 2-Hank Eddins Bye.

Consolation Round 3-LaDarius Moore (Martin Luther King) 13-11 won by decision over Hank Eddins 20-25, Decision 9-3.

195-Billy Clanton (35-6) placed 2nd and scored 22.00 team points.

Championship Round 1-Billy Clanton Bye.

Championship Round 2-Billy Clanton Bye.

Quarterfinal-Billy Clanton 34-5 won by fall over Oliver Hunter (Grace Christian Academy (Franklin)) 16-6, fall 0:51.

Semifinal-Billy Clanton 35-5 won by fall over Tanner Lynch (Greenbrier) 34-9, fall 1:17.

1st Place Match-Gregory Williams (Nashville Christian) 18-0 won by decision over Billy Clanton 35-6, Decision 9-4.

220-Nikolas McGuiggan (27-3) placed 1st and scored 24.00 team points.

Championship Round 1-Nikolas McGuiggan Bye.

Championship Round 2-Nikolas McGuiggan Bye.

Quarterfinal-Nikolas McGuiggan 25-3 won by decision over Jerron Waters (Stratford) 26-11, Decision 4-1.

Semifinal-Nikolas McGuiggan 26-3 won by fall over Wan Rucker (East Nashville) 16-1, fall 4:12.

1st Place Match-Nikolas McGuiggan 27-3 won by decision over Toby Lynch (Greenbrier) 37-9 Decision 10-4.

285-Josh Hill (5-7) scored 9.00 team points.

Championship Round 1-Josh Hill Bye.

Championship Round 2-Josh Hill 6-7 won by fall over William Crosby (Pearl Cohn) 2-5, fall 2:36.

Quarterfinal-Eric Lee (East Nashville) 37-1 won by fall over Josh Hill 6-8, fall 0:32.

Consolation Round 4 - Josh Hill 7-8 won by fall over Everitt Delano (Fairview) 15-14, fall 4:24.

Consolation Round 5-Nathan Leichner (Page) 27-11 won by decision over Josh Hill, 7-9 Decision 4-0.