By ZACH BIRDSONG
Dominating from the very start, the Tullahoma High School boys wrestling team captured the District 9 Title in the regular-season finale, downing Lawrence County 54-19 at Old West Middle School on Tuesday.
After winning the district, Tullahoma was scheduled to head to the Region 5 Tournament at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro on Thursday, taking on Stewarts Creek. As of press time, the result of that matchup was unavailable. The winner of that match assured itself a spot in the TSSAA State Dual Tournament, scheduled to take place Feb. 3 and 4 at the Williamson County Agriculture Center.
Akil Hicks, Luke Champion, Cal Rogers and Will Moran led off Tuesday’s match with wins for Tullahoma, giving their team a 21-0 lead over Lawrence County.
After leading Jon Gerber 6-2 heading into the third period of the 220-pound bout, Hicks picked up a pin (six points) with 1:20 left on the clock. Hicks scored three points early in the third round after a near fall, before scoring the win over Gerber.
In the 285-pound matchup, Champion and Skyshun Wiley stood toe-to-toe with each other for the majority of the first round. A late takedown by Champion allowed the Tullahoma grappler to score the pin, completing the win with 8.6 seconds remaining in the first period.
With the score locked at 5 after the third round, Rogers and Dominic Williams needed another period to settle a winner in the 106-pound bout. Nineteen seconds into the extra time, Rogers scored a takedown, going on to get the 7-5 decision win (three points).
Moran went unopposed in the 113-pound matchup, winning by forfeit (six points). Luke Dezember also won his matchup by forfeit in the 120-pound division for Lawrence County’s first points, cutting it to a 21-6 matchup.
Luke Price followed with a win in the 126-pound bout to increase Tullahoma’s lead. Taking a narrow 2-1 lead into the second round and leading 4-3 in the period, Price pinned Bailey Murphy with 1:30 left on the clock, to give THS a 27-6 advantage.
Jacob Haney added the second win for Lawrence County on the night, downing Braxton Potts in the 132-pound matchup. Leading 2-0 after the first round and 5-0 after two periods, Haney scored four more points in the third round, going on to win by a 9-0 major decision (four points), making it a 27-10 matchup.
Aaron Kelly, Zack Bonee, Eli Dean and Brenden Adkins secured four-straight wins for Tullahoma, putting their team in front 48-10.
Kelly made quick work of Bailey Dycus in the 138-pound bout, winning by pin in just 35 seconds. Going straight after Dycus, Kelly trapped the Lawrence County wrestler, scoring the win with 1:25 remaining in the first round.
Bonee followed by dominating the 145-pound matchup against Hunter Long. After leading 11-2 after the second round, Bonee couldn’t quite get the pin, adding three more points after a near fall, winning by way of a 14-2 major decision.
Dean won his bout in the 152-pound class by way of a forfeit, before Adkins made quick of Carson Dubberly in the 160-pound matchup. Adkins scored a takedown before five-straight near falls, to go on to win by a 15-0 technical fall (five points) with 11 seconds left in the first round.
Jock Darnell and Jacob Dubberly followed with back-to-back wins for the final points for Lawrence County. Leading 6-3 heading into the second round, Darnell secured a takedown over Brian Nelms in the 170-pound bout, scoring an 8-5 decision. Jacob Dubberly won his matchup by way of a forfeit in the 182-pound division.
In the final matchup of the day, Alex Pursley dominated after scoring a second-round win over Damion Gray, giving THS the 54-19 win. Leading 12-5 after one round, Pursley scored a takedown before pinning Gray with 45 seconds left in the second period.