Rockets split early season dual match

Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Defending Class A-AA state champion Jeff Gross won both his matches at the dual meet Thursday night at Chapel Hill and has started the season at 9-2.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest grapplers passed an important early season test Thursday night at Chapel Hill, splitting a tough dual meet.

The Rockets barely lost to Class AAA Wilson Central 45-33 before taking down longtime rival Eagleville 54-34.

“Wilson Central is one of the top programs in the state and we were very excited to have them here at our place,” Forrest coach Chris Slaughter said. “We were just very excited to have such a quality program travel down from Lebanon and harden our squad.”

Wilson County opened up the dual match with a big 77-21 win over the Eagles before coming up against a tough Forrest squad that jumped out to a 30-12 lead over the Wildcats.

The Rockets actually trailed 12-6 before reeling off four consecutive wins, beginning with a Bryton Spitzley pin over Jamari Quinn in the 152-pound weight class.

Cole Geeting picked up a forfeit at 160 before Noah Hill and Nick McClendon recorded back-to-back pins at 170 and 182.

Drew Carlisle, who finished in third place in the state tournament last season at 182-pounds has moved up to 190-pounds and the Forrest senior had a battle with Wilson Central’s Parker Bennett.

The bout went the distance with Bennett prevailing 7-5 and Carlisle was tagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty when he disagreed with the referees call on the rewarding of some points in his favor that he felt would have changed the match.

“Drew got pretty excited at the end there when he thought the ref missed a call that would have given him the lead,” Slaughter said. “I tend to agree with him, but we have to handle situations like that a little bit better.”

“Drew is going to be challenged this year and I think they are overlooking him again at 195 and I feel he is one of those guys that can sneak in there and get a state title.”

From there, the Wildcats won the next five bouts in a row to take the win.

Jeff Gross has also moved up in weight class as the reigning Class A/AA state champion at 113-pounds is wrestling at 126 this season and is currently 9-2 on the year.

“I wrestled all through the summer wrestling free style and Greco and I felt like I got a lot better before taking a break playing some football,” Gross said. “I do feel some pressure, but I feel confident because I know I’m working harder than a lot of people out there.”

Gross took on Thomas Oakley and dominated the Wildcat wrestler in a 10-1 major decision.

Nick McClendon is off to a great 2017 season, including two wins Thursday night.

Nick McClendon (182) opened up the match versus Eagleville and picked up his second win of the night when Kwon Park suffered an injured finger and could not continue.

“McClendon is just a tough kid, mean at times,” Slaughter said. “We had to have a talk about a few things, but overall you just have to find a way to make things happen and sometimes it’s just not pretty,” Slaughter said.

Carlisle and Braiden Vanderploeg (106) won by forfeits for Forrest and the Rockets forfeited at 220 and 285 pounds to make it 18-12 in favor of Chapel Hill.

Eagleville’s Gabe Pennington pinned Forest Ozburn (113) before Dillon Wade picked up another forfeit win at 120 to make it 24-18.

Gross took on Eagleville’s Blaine Fussell, who qualified for the state tournament last year at 120 pounds and the two grapplers battled for three rounds before Gross eked out a tough 5-1 win.

“Jeff is fighting the bug, I’m fighting the bug, we are all fighting the bug right now, so we are looking forward to getting a good weekend of wrestling in unscathed and then get a long week where we can get healthy and get some rest,” Slaughter said.

Aiden Spitzley took six more points for Forrest with a forfeit at 132 pounds before Wyatt McLemore pinned Forrest’s Hunter Pendley for the Eagles’ final points of the match.

Freshman Noah Hill has been a big surprise so far this year for the Rockets in the 170-pound weight class.

Carson Blackwell (145) started the clinching run with a pin over Rylan Randall and Bryton Spitzley (152) and Cole Geeting (160) recorded forfeit wins before Noah Hill (170) finished the match in style when he came up with a spirited 5-2 decision over Will Magoon.

“I’m very excited about Hill, he is busting his tail every day at practice,” Slaughter said. “He listens to the little things, he focuses on the little things and you can really tell that from going to eighth grade last year to a freshman this year and beating a senior (Magoon) who qualified for the state tournament last year.”

“I’ll take a squad full of guys like that all day long.”

The Rockets continued their fine form over the weekend when they posted a 3-1 mark at the Cheatham County duals.

Forrest recorded wins over Cheatham County (48-33), Springfield (39-30), and White House (52-21) with their only loss coming versus Fairview 42-33.

The Rockets are back in action tomorrow when they host Page and Nolensville in a dual match.

Wilson Central 45, Forrest 33

132-Alan Fort (Wilson Central), (Forfeit), 0-6

138-Hunter Pendley (Forrest), (Forfeit), 6-6

145-Levi Stone (Wilson Central) over Carson Blackwell (Forrest), (Fall 1:38), 6-12

152-Bryton Spitzley (Forrest) over Jamari Quinn (Wilson Central), (Fall 2:36), 12-12

160-Cole Geeting (Forrest), (Forfeit), 18-12

170-Noah Hill (Forrest) over Usvaldo Jaime (Wilson Central), (Fall 1:08), 24-12

182-Nick McClendon (Forrest) over Sinjin Noga (Wilson Central), (Fall 3:16), 30-12

195-Parker Bennett (Wilson Central) over Andrew Carlisle (Forrest), (Dec. 7-5), Unsportsmanlike (Carlisle), (-1), 29-15

220-Aundres’ Trotter (Wilson Central), (Forfeit), 29-21

285-Michael Kramer (Wilson Central), (Forfeit), 29-27

106-James Keith (Wilson Central) over Braiden Vanderploeg (Forrest), (Fall 1:12), 29-33

113-Grant Fetters (Wilson Central) over Forest Ozburn (Forrest), (Fall 0:33), 29-39

120-Thomas Borders (Wilson Central) over Dillon Wade (Forrest), (Fall 1:01), 29-45
126-Jeffrey Gross (Forrest) over Thomas Oakley (Wilson Central), (MD 10-1), 33-45

Exhibition: Alan Fort (Wilson Central) over Aiden Spitzley (Forrest), (Fall 0:21)

Forrest 54, Eagleville 24

182-Nick McClendon (Forrest) over Kwon Park, (Injury time), 6-0

195-Andrew Carlisle (Forrest), (Forfeit), 12-0

220-Henry Martin (Eagleville), (Forfeit), 12-6

285-Nevan Sizemore (Eagleville), (Forfeit), 12-12

106-Braiden Vanderploeg (Forrest), (Forfeit), 18-12

113-Gabe Pennington (Eagleville) over Forest Ozburn, (Fall 3:00), 18-18

120-Dillon Wade (Forrest), (Forfeit), 24-18

126-Jeffrey Gross (Forrest) over Blaine Fussell (Eagleville), (Dec. 5-1), 27-18

132-Aiden Spitzley (Forrest), (Forfeit), 33-18

138-Wyatt McLemore (Eagleville) over Hunter Pendley (Forrest), (Fall 3:15), 33-24

145-Carson Blackwell (Forrest) over Rylan Randall (Eagleville), (Fall 1:32), 39-24

152-Bryton Spitzley (Forrest), (Forfeit), 45-24

160-Cole Geeting (Forrest), (Forfeit), 51-24

170-Noah Hill (Forrest) over Will Magoon (Eagleville), (Dec. 5-2), 54-24