Forrest marches on to state
The Forrest Rockets had another successful outcome in the Region 3A/AA Tournament at Page last weekend with two first place finishes, three seconds and a third with all six wrestlers qualifying for the 2017 TSSAA Class A/AA Wrestling State Championships at the Williamson County Expo Center in Franklin this weekend.
“I think it is a testament to what the coaches before have done,” first-year Forrest head coach Chris Slaughter said.
Dylan Pendley and Jeffery Gross captured back-to-back region titles, while Billy Clanton, Wesley McCoy and Austin Geeting finished in second place and Forrest newcomer Drew Carlisle battled back to finish in third place.
“Both are in very tough weight classes and really showed a lot of determination and performed very well,” Slaughter said about Pendley and Gross. “We just have to remain healthy and keep our focus and if we can do that, I think we could have two state champions.”
The six qualifiers for the state tournament ties the school record for Forrest.
“This means our team is getting better and there are only good things to come,” Pendley said. “We are getting good wrestlers and maybe next year we can take the whole team to state.”
Pendley (120-pounds) came up with a first round pin and had to outlast Harpeth’s JR Lucio in the second round before pinning Sevaughn Orr (MLK) in the semifinals.
Pendley faced Greenbrier’s Nathan Ford in a rematch of last year’ fiery title bout, but this time there was no controversy as Pendley pinned Ford at the 1:13 mark of the first period.
“I just remembered last year’s match and all the adversity that was there and everything that happened in that match,” Pendley said. “I knew he was going to come out gunning for me and wanted to get a win and get redemption from last year, so I knew I had to wrestle a hard match and I ended up coming out on top pretty quick with a pin, so hard work pays off.”
It will be the fourth consecutive trip to the state tournament for Pendley, who was runner-up to Red Bank’s William Reichel in the 113-pound weight class last season and also medaled in 2015.
“An absolutely wonderful accomplishment and with this he is well on his way of becoming our first five-time state qualifier,” Slaughter said.
Pendley (24-2) is a number one seed and will face fellow junior and returning state medalist Tanner Thornton (45-6) from Knoxville Grace in the first round Friday morning.
“I’m hoping this is my year,” Pendley said. “I’m going to get back in the wrestling room and work with my guys and see what I can do.”
Sophomore Jeffery Gross (28-1) continued his stellar season in the 113-pound weight class as the returning state medalist had two bye rounds before pinning Page’s Cole Winer in the semifinals and outlasting eighth-grader Wyatt McLemore from Eagleville in a three-round 7-1 title bout decision.
It was the third win this year for Gross over his friend from Eagleville.
“That was my third time wrestling him this year, but I have been wrestling him all my life,” Gross said. “I like the mindset I had, the last time it was by one point, so I felt real good and just came in and attacked him.”
Gross is also a number one seed this weekend and has a bye before he will face the winner of a first round match between Nathaniel Harris (CAK) and returning medalist Isaac Tate from Signal Mountain.
Gross, who beat Tate 14-5 in the first round last year said about his return to the state tournament, “I came close last year, but fell short by a couple points. I just have to stay in the match and make better moves, no mistakes and keep attacking.”
Clanton is Forrest’s lone senior to qualify and is making his third consecutive trip to the state tournament where he wrestled in the 195-pound bracket before moving to 220 this season.
“That in itself is a tremendous testament to his work ethic,” Slaughter stated. “Being that this is his last trip, we are going to work on staying focused on one match at a time and I believe at the end of the day he will stand on the podium.”
Clanton dominated his first three opponents at the region tournament with three pins before falling to Greenbrier’s Toby Lynch, who is also a returning state medalist in a well-fought three-round 5-1 decision.
The five-seeded Clanton (28-7) faces twelve-seeded David Ward (6-3) from Kingston in the first round Friday morning.
Sophomore Wesley McCoy (160) also had three consecutive pins at the region before losing a spirited 8-6 decision to returning state medalist Daelyn Rose (34-2) from Harpeth.
McCoy (26-5) received a first-round bye on Friday and will face the winner of Jerrold Higginbotham (Hixon) and Jacob Keita (Pigeon Forge).
The two surprise state qualifiers are a pair of juniors in Geeting and Carlisle, who will be making their first state tournament appearances.
Geeting (14-8) garnered a first-round pin, a second round injury forfeit and a 12-2 major decision win over Michael Williams from Stratford before being pinned in the first round by Page senior and returning state medalist John Noe (43-6) in the 170-pound title bout.
“I don’t think he (Geeting) is a surprise at all,” Slaughter said. “I am really proud of this kid, he showed such determination and great work ethic throughout the season and his work has really paid off, so we are excited to see what he can accomplish at state.”
Geeting drew a bye for Friday and will face the winner of Jade Dillard (Cheatham County) and Nic Barnes from Knoxville Grace in the second round.
Carlisle, a transfer from McGavock High School in Nashville only became eligible after Christmas this season and mad a huge impression at the region tournament with his third-place finish in the 182-pound bracket.
“We thought he might qualify,” Slaughter said. “I think he has really helped change the intensity in the wrestling room for us. He comes to practice every day and works and there is nothing more I could ask of him. Just a great kid with a great work ethic.”
Two consecutive wins by falls set up a huge championship semifinal match versus the tough three-time state qualifier Joshua Ortiz-Derrick from Fairview.
The bout went the distance as Ortiz-Derrick eked out a tough 3-2 win, sending Carlisle to the consolation semifinals where the Rocket grappler won by a pin over LaDarius Moore from MLK.
Carlisle had his work cut out for him in the third place match, facing Greenbrier’s Anthony Collins and two grapplers were tied after three rounds before Carlisle pinned Collins after knocking the wind out of him on a legal throw in overtime.
“That match was definitely a nail biter,” Slaughter said. “The fans were really into it, which made for a great atmosphere for this matchup and I believe the kid from Greenbrier is ranked in states and to get that victory really says a lot about this young man.”
Carlisle talked about the third-place match and how it finished, saying, “It was really intense because I was fighting for third place and it was a really close match. That last throw was amazing and it did knock the wind out of him and it gave me just enough time to keep him on his back and pin him.”
Carlisle (5-1) faces Union County senior Robert Charrette (28-4) in the first round at the state tournament.
“It feels great to qualify for state and I am just glad I get to go, so I am going to go all out and hope for the best,” said Carlisle, who has wrestled since sixth grade. “It just feels great to be a Forrest Rocket, they have helped me with a lot.”
TSSAA Region 3A/AA Individual Wrestling Tournament
113-Pounds: Jeffrey Gross (Forrest) (28-1) 1st Place
Championship Round 1 - Jeffrey Gross, (Bye)
Round 2 - Jeffrey Gross, (Bye)
Quarterfinal - Jeffrey Gross won by fall over Paul Hyman (Lipscomb Acad.) 12-9 (Fall 0:17)
Semifinal - Jeffrey Gross won by decision over Cole Winer (Page) 43-6 (Dec 7-1)
1st Place Match - Jeffrey Gross won by decision over Wyatt McLemore (Eagleville) 29-7 (Dec 7-1)
120: Dylan Pendley (Forrest) (24-2) 1st Place
Championship Round 1 - Dylan Pendley, (Bye)
Round 2 - Dylan Pendley won by fall over Kolby Levrets (Cheatham Co.) 11-10 (Fall 3:09)
Quarterfinal - Dylan Pendley won by decision over Jr Lucio (Harpeth) 19-11 (Dec 11-8)
Semifinal - Dylan Pendley won by fall over Sevaughn Orr (Martin Luther King) 23-3 (Fall 3:34)
1st Place Match - Dylan Pendley won by fall over Nathan Ford (Greenbrier) 35-7 (Fall 1:19)
126 - Hunter Pendley (14-11)
Championship Round 1 - Hunter Pendley (Forrest), (Bye)
Round 2 - Ty Martin (Nolensville) 20-21 won by fall over Hunter Pendley (Fall 5:02)
Consolation Round 2 - Hunter Pendley, (Bye)
Consolation Round 3 - Matthew Beavers (Cheatham Co.) 16-8 won by fall over Hunter Pendley (Fall 1:49)
132 - Parker Stuard (7-16)
Championship Round 1 - Parker Stuard (Forrest), (Bye)
Round 2 - Parker Stuard, (Bye)
Quarterfinal - James Jones (Fairview) 17-4 won by fall over Parker Stuard (Fall 2:48)
Consolation Round 4 - Michael Jadwin (Nolensville) 14-10 won by fall over Parker Stuard (Fall 0:54)
152 - Cole Geeting (17-13)
Championship Round 1 - Cole Geeting (Forrest), (Bye)
Round 2 - Darian Jones (Pearl Cohn) 14-7 won by major decision over Cole Geeting (MD 15-6)
Consolation Round 2 - Cole Geeting, (Bye)
Consolation Round 3 - Cole Geeting (Forrest) won by fall over Bradley Stiles (Eagleville) 8-25 (Fall 1:51)
Consolation Round 4 - Jesse Burnette (Nolensville) 31-12 won by fall over Cole Geeting (Fall 1:39)
160 - Wesley McCoy (26-5) 2nd Place
Championship Round 1 - Wesley McCoy (Forrest), (Bye)
Round 2 - Wesley McCoy won by fall over Kavid Johnson (Pearl Cohn) 5-7 (Fall 0:34)
Quarterfinal - Wesley McCoy won by fall over Jeremiah Creary (Goodpasture) 24-11 (Fall 2:34)
Semifinal - Wesley McCoy won by fall over Austin Harshaw (Page) 23-6 (Fall 3:32)
1st Place Match - Daelyn Rose (Harpeth) 34-2 won by decision over Wesley McCoy (Dec 8-6)
170 - Austin Geeting (14-8) 2nd Place
Championship Round 1 - Austin Geeting (Forrest), (Bye)
Round 2 - Austin Geeting won by fall over Jackson Metts (Fairview) 13-21 (Fall 1:24)
Quarterfinal - Austin Geeting won by forfeit over Austin Hoffey (Harpeth) 1-2
Semifinal - Austin Geeting won by major decision over Michael Williams (Stratford) 20-12 (MD 12-2)
1st Place Match - John Noe (Page) 43-6 won by fall over Austin Geeting (Fall 0:29)
182 - Drew Carlisle (5-1) 3rd Place
Championship Round 1 - Drew Carlisle (Forrest), (Bye)
Round 2 - Drew Carlisle won by fall over Shane Ramsey (Watertown) 14-5 (Fall 2:48)
Quarterfinal - Drew Carlisle won by tech fall over Jeremiah Hall (Stratford) 19-9 (TF-1.5 4:53 (19-4))
Semifinal - Joshua Ortiz-Derrick (Fairview) 21-3 won by decision over Drew Carlisle (Dec 3-2)
Consolation Semifinal - Drew Carlisle won by fall over LaDarius Moore (Martin Luther King) 22-8 (Fall 2:59)
3rd Place Match - Drew Carlisle won by fall over Anthony Collins (Greenbrier) 31-12 (Fall 6:43)
195 - William Eddins (11-9)
Championship Round 1 - William Eddins (Forrest), (Bye)
Round 2 - William Eddins, (Bye)
Quarterfinal - Ethan Rainey (White House) 38-4 won by fall over William Eddins (Fall 2:52)
Consolation Round 4 - William Eddins 11-9 won by fall over Trace Elliott (Fairview) 20-21 (Fall 1:57)
Consolation Round 5 - Chibnzur Okoweha (Martin Luther King) 13-11 won by fall over William Eddins (Fall 2:06)
220 - Billy Clanton (28-7) 2nd Place
Championship Round 1 - Billy Clanton (Forrest) won by fall over Chase Logan (Creek Wood) 1-2 (Fall 1:36)
Round 2 - Billy Clanton won by fall over Elliot Grinder (Hume Fogg) 8-13 (Fall 0:45)
Quarterfinal - Billy Clanton won by fall over Jaymian Tubbs (Watertown) 18-6 (Fall 1:49)
Semifinal - Billy Clanton won by fall over Joshua Dailey (White House) 35-10 (Fall 1:03)
1st Place Match - Toby Lynch (Greenbrier) 42-2 won by decision over Billy Clanton (Dec 5-1)
285 - Cody Donnelly (13-13)
Championship Round 1 - Cody Donnelly (Forrest), (Bye)
Round 2 - Cody Donnelly won by fall over Criss Crosby (Pearl Cohn) 7-5 (Fall 5:59)
Quarterfinal - Devin Spence (Harpeth) 27-7 won by fall over Cody Donnelly (Fall 1:30)
Consolation Round 4 - Cody Donnelly won by fall over Preston Dowell (Cheatham Co.) 8-16 (Fall 2:12)
Consolation Round 5 - Mayson Harris (Martin Luther King) 20-12 won by fall over Cody Donnelly (Fall 2:59)