By Rick Sheek
BLUFF CITY — Following two days of battling on the mat, Elizabethton has qualified five wrestlers for this week’s state tournament in Franklin.
Photo by Bart Nave/www.bart.ifp3.com - The Cyclones’ Dalton Callahan works for a third-place victory over Seymour’s Willie Stooksbury.
Advancing are Nick Malyar, Dalton Callahan, Brandon Taylor, Logan Buck and Tank Williams from Saturday night’s Region 1 tournament at the Patriot Palace.
Photo by Bart Nave/www.bart.ifp3.com - Elizabethton’s Brandon Taylor vs. Dobyns-Bennett’s Clint Caldwell (10-1 decision for Taylor).
“That’s pretty good,” Elizabethton coach Curt Malyar said. “They’re all medalists, and that’s what counts.”
Winning their third-place matches were Malyar at 138 pounds, Callahan (145), Taylor (152) and Buck (160). Williams (220) settled for a fourth-place finish.
“There’s some tough competition here, so then everybody’s working hard,” Coach Malyar said. “If you come out on top and you can place, that says a lot. Region 1 is a pretty tough region.”
Happy Valley didn’t have the same success. The Warriors’ Landon Baker lost in the consolation semifinals to Taylor and Timmy Morris (113) was eliminated even earlier.
“Tough day,” Happy Valley coach Randy Wood said. “(Baker) he did the best he could. Timmy’s been sick.
“He’s been taking breathing treatments every night. He’s all congested.”
Malyar (33-2) won four matches and lost one. He prevailed 12-3 by decision over Chuckey-Doak’s Deaton Myers for third.
Callahan (27-9) also went 4-1. For third, he decisioned Seymour’s Willie Stooksbury 13-5.
Taylor (25-10) posted a 4-1 slate in the tournament. For third, he decisioned Dobyns-Bennett’s Clint Caldwell 10-1.
Buck (30-8) went 4-1 and disposed of Greeneville’s Jared Bond 5-0 for third.
Williams (25-9) went 3-2 and was pinned in 25 seconds for third by Morristown East’s George Rogers. Williams had defeated Rogers twice in earlier meetings this season.
“I felt like we had four, potentially five,” Coach Malyar said. “Brandon Taylor, I was real happy for him.”
Baker (27-7) defeated Taylor in their previous two matches. Morris (30-8) bowed out at 113 pounds after reaching the state a year ago.
“The competition is tough,” Wood said. “Region 1 is the toughest region, besides Chattanooga.”
The Cyclones’ Aaron Somers (13-12) lost in the consolation semifinals. His teammates who didn’t advance that far were Dustin Darling (7-12) at 132, Marvin Areas (15-14) at 170 and Stephen Frazier (14-13) at 182.
“Pretty good for little Elizabethton,” Malyer said. “I’m real proud of my guys.”
Happy Valley’s Anthony Schwartz (16-9) had an early exit at 145. The Warriors’ Arron Akers (160), Carson Whitehead (138), Nick Jaynes (120), Matt Reynolds (132) and Bradley Wishon (285) had the same fate.
Five Lady Warriors are headed to Franklin. They are Katlin Campbell (105), Valerie Bradshaw (112), Amanda Hennessee (125), Lexi Oliver (148) and Kiara Coffey (135) after their showings in Knoxville a week earlier.
Representing Elizabethton’s girls will be Clarissa Ceffalo (185).
The state runs Thursday through Saturday at the Williamson County Agricultural Exposition Arena.
“We just want to win some matches,” Malyar said. “The fact that we were able to place as many people as we did, for a small school like Elizabethton, is pretty impressive I think. The kids worked really hard. I’m real proud of them.”