Rocket grapplers sweep home meet, prepare for postseason

Tuesday, January 22, 2019
The Forrest seniors from left holding on to fellow senior Wes McCoy are, Dylan Walls, Macy Brown, Jeff Gross, Justin Leonard, Austin Connell, Ivy Ramirez, and Avery Allen.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Forrest wrestling team was as about as healthy as they have been all season coming into Thursday’s senior night dual meet with Cheatham County and Cascade and it paid off as the Rockets took the sweep.

“Things kind of worked out for us tonight, we had a couple of double forfeits, but it didn’t hurt us too bad,” Forrest coach Chris Slaughter said. “We should be stronger for next week’s region duals.”

“I’ve been in their ear the last couple of weeks, everybody knows their role, and if everyone steps up over the next couple of weeks, you could see a state berth as a team and that’s something we have all been working for.”

The Forrest senior wrestling cheerleaders from left are Anna King and Katelyn Justice.

Cheatham County beat Cascade 59-15 in the first dual before the Rockets took on the Cubs in the second match.

The Rockets blasted off the launch pad as Carson Blackwell took on William Hendrix in the 145-pound weight class and the two grapplers battled with Blackwell holding a 4-2 lead after round two.

The Forrest junior turned it on in the third round, increasing his lead to 7-2 before pinning Hendrix with 17 seconds remaining in the bout.

Senior Justin Leonard took to the mat next versus Camrin Miller in the 152-pound division and led 5-1 after the first round and 7-1 in the second when he got the fall with 1:08 left in the stanza.

Forrest took a 17-0 lead when Cole Geeting took a 16-1 major decision win over Timmy Kern in the 160-pound bout that Geeting dominated from the start.

Senior Wesley McCoy made short work of Dawson Vanderford at 170 when McCoy pinned the Cub grappler with 1:08 remaining in the first period and junior Nick McClendon followed with another first period pin over Morgan Kirk at 182 to cap off the back-to-back-to-back dominating performances as Forrest took a commanding 29-0 lead.

Noah Hill gets a face full from Cheatham County’s Jay Hires, but it didn’t matter as the Forrest sophomore got the second round fall.

Cheatham County broke the shutout when Chris Biggs pinned Forrest senior Austin Connell in the 195 division before the Rockets increased their lead to 35-6 on a second round pin by Noah Hill over Jay Hires in the 220-pound bout.

The Cubs got six points on a pin at 285, but Braiden Vanderploeg dominated Landon Johnson in a 14-3, three-round major decision win at 106 to secure the win for Forrest.

The Rockets were not done as Forest Ozburn (113), Asa Nance (120), and two-time defending state champion Jeff Gross (132) all came up with falls over the Cubs.

Connell got pinned to start off the match with Cascade, but Hill picked him up when he recorded his second pin of the night at 220 in the first round over Kaden Melton.

Cascade’s Dylan Estes got the fall over Michael Stoddard at 285 and that was the final points the Champions earned for the rest of the night as the Rockets swept the next seven matches that were held.

There were double forfeits at 123 and 132 and Cascade forfeited the 138-pound bout.

Forrest freshman Braiden Vanderploeg (top) has come back strong from an injury to earn some points in the 106-pound weight division for the Rockets, including a pair of wins Thursday night at Chapel Hill.

Vanderploeg led 12-7 over Drake Hodge in the second round when the Forrest freshman came up with a pin with 30 seconds remaining in the period.

Forrest freshman Forest Ozburn gets the pin over Cascade’s Ethan Estes in the 120-pound weight class.

Ozburn followed with a gutty three-round match that ended with a Forrest pin at the 23 second mark over Ethan Estes.

Nance made it 2-0 for the night when he went the distance with Isaiah Smith and earned a tough 3-1 win to put the Rockets up 21-12.

After a double forfeit at 132, Gross picked up six points with a forfeit.

Blackwell continued his hot streak with second round pin over Elijah Arnold at 145 and Leonard pinned Ezra Smith with a 5-2 second period lead.

Geeting dominated Noah Smith from the outset of the 160-pound bout, taking a 14-4 lead to the third period before executing the pin.

“He’s (Geeting) been making a (weight) cut these last couple of weeks and sometimes kids don’t make the best choices,” Slaughter said. “So, he has been struggling with that and now I think he has got his diet under control and makes good choices and I think we will see him with better energy in his matches.”

Forrest junior Nick McClendon dominated the 182-pound weight class Thursday night with two pins, including this smothering one over Cheatham County’s Morgan Kirk.

In the final match of the night, McClendon outmuscled and out-wrestled Ty Wiggins before finishing him off with 1:05 remaining in the first period to take win over the Champion sophomore, who was also flagged for an unsportsmanlike, one-point penalty.

“Nick is a tough kid, he’s a good wrestler,” Slaughter said. “He seems focused since he came back from that injury and his weight is under control, so we just have to get him some more mat time and get him in a little better shape to get him ready for the individuals.”

On Saturday, Forrest travelled to Red Bank High School at Chattanooga to compete in the Region Super Duals that pitted Region 5A-AA versus Region 6 A-AA and the Rockets split, winning 54-22 over Sequatchie County and losing 50-27 to Signal Mountain.

The event was used as a tool for the seeding in the region dual tournament on Thursday at Nolensville at 5 p.m.

“We are trying to get that seeding criteria done, they made it difficult last year during our seeding meeting, so this year as a region, we decided we wanted to make sure that we got together,” Slaughter said.

Thursday, January 17 at Forrest

Forrest 57, Cheatham County 24

145-Carson Blackwell over William Hendrix (Cheatham Co. Central), (Fall 5:43).

152-Justin Leonard over Camrin Miller (Cheatham Co. Central), (Fall 2:53).

160-Cole Geeting over Timmy Kern (Cheatham Co. Central), (TF 16-1 4:41).

170-Wesley McCoy over Dawson Vanderford (Cheatham Co. Central), (Fall 1:13).

182-Nick McClendon over Morgan Kirk (Cheatham Co. Central), (Fall 1:25).

195-Chris Biggs (Cheatham Co. Central) over Austin Connell, (Fall 1:23).

220-Noah Hill over Jay Hires (Cheatham Co. Central), (Fall 2:34).

285-James Cothran (Cheatham Co. Central) over Michael Stoddard, (Fall 0:51).

106-Braiden Vanderploeg over Landon Johnson (Cheatham Co. Central), (MD 16-3).

113-Forest Ozburn over Dalton Eaton (Cheatham Co. Central), (Fall 2:38).

120-Asa Nance over Caleb Randolph (Cheatham Co. Central), (Fall 2:28).

126-Damien Pera (Cheatham Co. Central), (Forfeit).

132-Matthew Beavers (Cheatham Co. Central), (Forfeit).

138-Jeffrey Gross over Michael Porter (Cheatham Co. Central), (Fall 4:36).

Forrest 51, Cascade 11

182-Sanders Lovvorn (Cascade) over Austin Connell, (Fall 4:19).

195-Double Forfeit.

220-Noah Hill over Kaden Melton (Cascade), (Fall 1:21).

285-Dylan Estes (Cascade) over Michael Stoddard, (Fall 1:17).

106-Braiden Vanderploeg over Drake Hodge (Cascade), (Fall 3:48).

113-Double Forfeit.

120-Forest Ozburn over Ethan Estes (Cascade), (Fall 5:37).

126-Asa Nance over Isaiah Smith (Cascade, (Dec 3-1).

132-Double Forfeit.

138-Jeffrey Gross, (Forfeit).

145-Carson Blackwell over Elijah Arnold (Cascade), (Fall 2:31).

152-Justin Leonard over Ezra Smith (Cascade), (Fall 2:42).

160-Cole Geeting over Noah Smith (Cascade), (Fall 2:39).

170-Nick McClendon over Ty Wiggins (Cascade), (Fall 0:55).

Wiggins (unsportsmanlike conduct, -1 point).

Saturday, January 19 at Red Bank High School

Region Super Duals

Signal Mt. 50, Forrest 27

113-Daniel Uhorchuk (Signal Mountain) over Forest Ozburn, (Fall 1:35).

120-Kale Albritton (Signal Mountain) over Asa Nance, (Fall 0:14).

126-Sam Wickizer (Signal Mountain), (Forfeit).

132-Richard Shipley (Signal Mountain), (Forfeit).

138-Jeffrey Gross over Kevin Muschel (Signal Mountain), (Dec 7-2).

145-Clay Gallant (Signal Mountain) over Carson Blackwell, (MD 12-0).

152-Jake Woodlief (Signal Mountain) over Justin Leonard, (Inj.).

160-Wesley McCoy over Preston Worley (Signal Mountain), (Fall 1:42).

170-Cole Geeting over Cade Beasley (Signal Mountain) (Inj.).

182-Austin Connell, (Forfeit).

195-Noah Hill over Turner Eades (Signal Mountain), (Fall 1:48).

220-Mason Hilke (Signal Mountain), (Forfeit).

285-Pearson Lindsay (Signal Mountain) over Michael Stoddard, (Fall 2:33).

106-Caleb Uhorchuk (Signal Mountain) over Braiden Vanderploeg, (MD 13-2).

Forrest 54, Sequatchie County 22

106-Braiden Vanderploeg (Forrest), (Forfeit).

113-Hunter Nolan (Sequatchie) over Forest Ozburn, (Fall 4:00).

120-Asa Nance, (Forfeit).

126-Paxton Albright (Sequatchie), (Forfeit).

132-Jagger Edwards (Sequatchie), (Forfeit).

138-Jeffrey Gross over Ammon Scott Edwards (Sequatchie), (Fall 0:53).

145-Will Keener (Sequatchie) over Carson Blackwell, (MD 10-0).

152-Justin Leonard over Mathew Dean (Sequatchie), (Fall 1:26).

160-Cole Geeting over Spencer Blevins (Sequatchie), (Fall 0:57).

170-Dylan Walls over Braden Doren (Sequatchie), (Fall 0:55).

182-Austin Connell over Gabe Gibbons (Sequatchie), (Fall 2:42).

195-Noah Hill over Jeffery Pennick (Sequatchie), (Fall 0:33).

220-Double Forfeit.

285-Michael Stoddard, (Forfeit).