Category Archives: high school wrestling

Senior Night Slam: 7 Summit pins in dominant Indy win

By Maurice Patton

SPRING HILL – Senior Night couldn’t have gone much better for Summit.

The Spartans won six straight individual matches to open Thursday’s Border Battle wrestling clash with visiting Independence, taking advantage of an additional two forfeits for 44 unanswered points, and posted a 65-7 victory.

“Everything went perfect for us,” Summit coach Pete Miller said following his team’s second duals win of the week. “Our guys were ready. We told them this was going to be a battle.

“I’ve been waiting for this. This is the team I’ve been waiting for. I think they can step up to the challenge.”

With the match starting at the 220-pound weight class, Independence had no wrestler either there or at 106, and Spartan junior 285-pounder Ryan Smith turned in a second-period pin of Bradley Vaughn. Summit followed with pins at 113 (Jarvis Little), 120 (Jackson Masters) and 126 (Justin Noll) to break the match open early.

“Pins can be contagious,” Miller said, after his team recorded seven. “It showed tonight.

“There’s a lot of parts to it – where you start, how you line up, the coin flip. Everybody had a part to play, even the ones that didn’t wrestle.”

By the time Independence earned a decision, with Chris Witt edging Austin Grooters 9-5 at 145, the match was well in hand for the hosts. The Eagles’ only other win came at 170, where Tanner Willett downed Luke Justice by major decision, 16-8.

“All the matches we thought could go either way, they won,” Indy coach Bryan Youngsma said. “They wrestled tough. We’ll learn from it and move on. We didn’t get it done … As long as we can learn from it, we can get ready for the next one.”

The visitors, impacted to a degree by the pandemic, continue to have an unsettled lineup.

“There’s a lot of folks we didn’t have,” Youngsma said. “We have yet to put out our full lineup, and even the ones we did have in, some hadn’t wrestled in two weeks. That’s something everybody’s dealing with.

“I don’t think we wrestled badly. They were just ready for it. We’ll focus on the positive. There was a lot of positive. We’ll build on that.”

Though the score didn’t show it, Miller was pleased with the state of the Border Battle rivalry.

“I know it’s not Bradley Central/Cleveland or McCallie/Baylor, but I think the rivalry we’ve created here is special, and that takes two great teams,” he said. “We’re trying to make it an event, create an atmosphere. This atmosphere is special.”

Both teams will be in action Saturday at the Franklin Invitational, then resume duals competition Tuesday as Summit visits Spring Hill and Independence hosts Page.

Summit 65, Independence 7: 220 – Ty Garber (S) by forfeit; 285 – Ryan Smith (S) p. Bradley Vaughn, 2:54; 106 – Grayson Miller (S) by forfeit; 113 – Jarvis Little (S) p. Nicholas Sebastian, 0:42; 120 – Jackson Masters (S) p. Philip Shand, 3:48; 126 – Justin Noll (S) p. Brandon Lee, 1:44; 132 – Landon Desselle (S) tf. Timothy Ford 19-2; 138 – Austin Noll (S) d. Spencer Kon 7-6; 145 – Chris Witt (I) d. Austin Grooters 9-5; 152 – Finley Jameson (S) p. Grant Campanali, 3:39; 160 – Graham Harvey (S) p. Isaac Dotson, 3:22; 170 – Tanner Willett (I) md. Luke Justice 16-8; 182 – Jensen Schreiber (S) d. Cannon Roberts 7-3; 195 – Maddox Reed (S) p. Gabriel Hall, 3:25

Photos by Vanessa Beach / SM-Tn Sports

Spartans edged for second place at Yellow Jacket Invite

SM-Tn Sports

Summit placed third – by a half-point — and Independence seventh in the eight-team Yellow Jacket Invitational wrestling tournament Saturday at Fairview.

The tourney filled a scheduling vacancy created when Friday’s Johnny Drennan Memorial Invitational at Father Ryan was canceled.

Wilson Central took team honors, with Cleveland finishing second.

Summit 285-pounder Ryan Smith won his weight class, pinning Wilson Central’s Jesse Richardson in 1:13 to improve to 14-0 on the year. Luke Justice and Maddox Reed finished second at 170 and 195, respectively, with Jarvis Little (113), Jackson Masters (120), Justin Noll (126), Landon Desselle (132) and Finley Jameson (152) all placing third.

Independence’s Tanner Willett was runner-up at 160, with Chris Witt (145) and Gabriel Hall (182) finishing third.

Team scores: Wilson Central 226; Cleveland 149.5; Summit 149; Blackman 141.5; Fairview 127.5; Centennial 91.5; Independence 72.5; Brentwood Acad. 66

Championship results: 106 – Logan Fowler (Clv) p. Paul Johnson (WC), 1:42; 113 – Justin Bradford (Blk) d. Nick Mercante (WC) 9-4; 120 – Hunter Borders (WC) p. Arlo Laxton (Clv), 4:51; 126 – Charles Randall (Clv) d. Connor Warnock (WC) 6-3; 132 – Jackson Bradford (Clv) d. Mason Sells (Blk) 6-1; 138 – Trae McDaniel (Clv) md. Riley Bennett (Frv) 16-8; 145 – Cole Fort (WC) md. Alex Rose (Blk) 10-2; 152 – Alex Ables (Cent) d. Steven Fisak (WC) 6-3; 160 – Justin Brown (Blk) d. Tanner Willett (Ind) 11-10; 170 – Brady Jarvis (WC) p. Luke Justice (Sum); 2:54; 182 – Kendrick Curtis (Frv) md. Matthew Hills (WC) 12-2; 195 – Patrick Styblo (Cent) p. Maddox Reed (Sum), 2:59; 220 – Ashton Davis (Clv) d. Noah Todd (WC) 1-0; 285 – Ryan Smith (Sum) p. Jesse Richardson (WC), 1:13

Lions open season with loss as Raiders celebrate Senior Night

By Maurice Patton

SPRING HILL – Senior Night festivities aren’t common occurrences in December, but Beau Moss wasn’t taking any chances.

“We were worried,” the Spring Hill wrestling coach admitted, regarding the possibility of the Raiders’ season ending abruptly as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “We wanted to get it in early. I’m glad we did.”

Isaiah Brooks, Kemonta Fry, Jeffrey Jessup and Isaac Juarez were recognized along with their parents prior to the Tuesday tri-match between Columbia Central, Eagleville and the hosts. Eagleville somewhat spoiled the merriment, defeating the Raiders 53-27 after downing Central 66-11, but Spring Hill ended the night on a high note with a 54-18 win over the Lions.

“We wrestled Eagleville Saturday (at the Brentwood Duals). I think we’re in better shape,” Moss said. “We wrestled them better than we did Saturday. We’re still giving up four (weight) spots, but we’re getting into our weights. We’re still settling in.”

Spring Hill’s Scott Carter (right) controls Eagleville 152-pounder Justin Dennis during Tuesday’s wrestling match. Carter recorded a 6-2 decision. (Photo by Maurice Patton / SM-Tn Sports)

In just over a week, Spring Hill has managed to wrestle 11 dual matches – dropping a pair on Dec. 1 against Summit and host Franklin, facing Watertown and host Cascade two days later and getting in five matches Saturday at Brentwood.

Brooks looked sharp in his only match of the night, pinning Eagleville’s Zach Lewis in 1:08 at 120 pounds, while Brady Morrison won twice by pin – in 52 seconds against Eagleville’s Kaleb Snitzer and in 1:56 against Central’s Jovontris Sharp at 132.

The Lions, making their season debut, got a pair of victories from Tay Cofer, who defeated Eagleville’s 152-pounder Justin Dennis by technical fall (17-2) and Jessup on a third-period pin at 160. Central 285-pounder Keimauri Smith also picked up two pins, against Eagleville’s Joseph Williamson and Juarez.

“We’re just happy we’re wrestling and getting to compete,” second-year Central coach Dane Peoples said. “This was our first competition, we had some success and won some matches. We just need to get in the (wrestling) room.

“Three months ago, we didn’t think we were going to wrestle.”

Columbia Central’s Jovontris Sharp gets the explanation of a call from Matt Stoltz during Tuesday’s wrestling tri-match at Spring Hill. (Photo by Maurice Patton / SM-Tn Sports)

In girls matches, Central’s Brianna Gaytan pinned Spring Hill’s Rose Dawson and Central’s Savannah Honea decisioned Spring Hill’s Natalie Turpin 8-4.

Columbia Central resumes action Thursday against visiting Marshall County. Spring Hill will be in the duals tournament Saturday at Independence.

Eagleville 66, Columbia Central 11: 106 – Tanner Hatchell (E) by forfeit; 113 – Jacob Pennington (E) by forfeit; 120 – Zach Lewis (E) by forfeit; 126 – double forfeit; 132 – Kaleb Snitzer (E) p. Jovontris Sharp, 2:17; 138 – Gabriel Pennington (E) by forfeit; 145 – Erik Johnson (E) by forfeit; 152 – Tay Cofer (C) tf. Justin Dennis 17-2; 160 — Donevin Darnell (E) p. Nathan Neely, 3:41; 170 – Dax VanEkelenburg (E) p. Jeremy Bendermon, 2:20; 182 – Elijah Barrett (E) by forfeit; 195 – Matthew Garber (E) by forfeit; 220 – Oscar Guerra (E) p. Jaylan McCoy, 2:43; 285 – Keimauri Smith (C) p. Joseph Williamson, 2:15

Eagleville 53, Spring Hill 24: 113 – Jacob Pennington (E) by forfeit; 120 – Isaiah Brooks (SH) p. Zach Lewis, 1:08; 126 – Johnathan Childs (SH) by forfeit; 132 – Brady Morrison (SH) p. Kaleb Snitzer, 0:52; 138 – Gabriel Pennington (E) p. Landon Bingham, 0:23; 145 – Erik Johnson (E) tf. Josh Duncan 18-3; 152 – Scott Carter (SH) d. Justin Dennis 6-2; 160 – Donevin Darnell (E) p. Kemonta Fry, 1:08; 170 – Jeffrey Jessup (SH) p. Dax VanEkelenburg, 2:38; 182 – Cayden Buchanan (SH) p. Matthew Garber, 2:50; 195 – Elijah Barrett (E) by forfeit; 220 – Oscar Guerra (E) by forfeit; 285 – Joseph Willliamson (E) p. Isaac Juarez, 4:49; 106 – Tanner Hatchell (E) by forfeit

Spring Hill 54, Columbia Central 18: 120 – Isaiah Brooks (SH) by forfeit; 126 – Johnathan Childs (SH) by forfeit; 132 – Brady Morrison (SH) p. Jovontris Sharp, 1:56; 138 – Landon Bingham (SH) by forfeit; 145 – Josh Duncan (SH) by forfeit; 152 – Scott Carter (SH) by forfeit; 160 – Tay Cofer (SH) p. Jeffrey Jessup, 4:30; 170 – Nathan Neely (C) by forfeit; 182 – Cayden Buchanan (SH) p. Jeremy Bendermon, 0:36; 195 – Duccio Bianchi (SH) by forfeit; 220 – Jaylan McCoy (C) by forfeit; 285 – Keimauri Smith (C) p. Isaac Juarez, 0:40; 106 – double forfeit; 113 – double forfeit

Area squads make mat debuts, hope to avoid season stoppage

By Maurice Patton

FRANKLIN – Wrestling coaches from Spring Hill, Summit and host Franklin led their teams into competition Tuesday with one eye on the mat and the other on the schedule, amidst talk that their seasons may be coming to a pause soon.

As positive COVID-19 tests appear to be on the rise across the state, the fear is that the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association will halt activities in the days following this weekend’s BlueCross Bowl state football championships and resume basketball and wrestling after the holidays.

“It’s hard to say anything bad with the situation we’re in,” Franklin coach Andrew Tomlinson said after his Admirals split the tri-match – defeating Spring Hill 75-6 and falling to Summit 43-34.

“Selfishly, you want to stay active, but that decision’s above my pay grade.”

Spring Hill’s Kevin Caraballo sustained an injury on an illegal slam by Summit 138-pounder Austin Noll and received a forfeit by default when he was unable to continue. (Photo by Ric Beu / SM-Tn Sports)

The matches were the first for all three teams, as Summit earned a sweep of the night with a 64-18 win over Spring Hill.

“Our guys have done all the right (pandemic-related) things,” Spartans coach Pete Miller said. “We’re missing zero people. We’re just glad mats are down, officials are here and teams are wrestling. It’s a blessing.”

Pandemic issues have already taken a toll on the Raiders, who were recently quarantined for two weeks and practiced just twice prior to Tuesday’s contests.

“We’re waayyy behind,” Spring Hill coach Beau Moss said. “We’re way out of shape, but it’s out of our control. You ask kids to condition, and they’re forced into quarantine. We’ve got a lot of kids off weight. Our endurance just wasn’t there, against two really good teams.”

On the mat, Isaiah Brooks and Scott Carter came up with the only two Raider victories – Brooks pinning Franklin’s 126-pounder Adam Ethridge in the second period, Carter doing likewise against Summit 152-pounder Justin Arrieta.

Franklin’s Fisher Anderson posted a pair of first-period pins during Tuesday’s tri-match, taking 27 seconds to defeat Summit’s Jordan Nieves. (Video by Maurice Patton / SM-Tn Sports)

The Spartans got two victories each from 126-pounder Justin Noll, 160-pounder Graham Harvey and 170-pounder Luke Justice.

Franklin 285-pound junior Fisher Anderson, one of the state’s top college football prospects in the 2022 recruiting class, recorded a pair of pins in less than 30 seconds – sticking Spring Hill’s Isaac Juarez in 25 seconds and taking just two more to down Summit’s Jordan Nieves.

In the only girls match of the night, Spring Hill 132-pound freshman Natalie Turpin pinned Franklin’s Bella Campbell in just under three minutes.

Dickson County was to have competed Tuesday as well, but the Cougars are in a COVID-related shutdown.

Spring Hill freshman 132-pounder Natalie Turpin recorded a second-period pin during her Tuesday match with Franklin’s Bella Campbell. (Photo by Ric Beu / SM-Tn Sports)

Spring Hill returns to the mat Thursday, facing Watertown and host Cascade. Spring Hill is also scheduled to wrestle in a duals tournament Saturday at Brentwood, while Summit is sending wrestlers to both Centennial for an individual tournament and to Mt. Juliet for a duals event Saturday.

Franklin 75, Spring Hill 6: 138 – J.D. Saulters (F) p. Kevin Caraballo, 2:38; 145 – Audey Fletcher (F) p. Josh Duncan, 3:35; 152 – Josh Samford (F) dec. Scott Carter 13-6; 160 – Gabriel Green (F) p. Jeffrey Jessup, 4:56; 170 – Sawyer Robinson (F) p. Brennan Lara, 1:13; 182 – Dominic Green (F) p. Cayden Buchanan, 3:35; 195 – Max Ponce (F) by forfeit; 220 – Alec Allen (F) by forfeit; 285 – Fisher Anderson (F) p. Isaac Juarez, 0:25; 106 – Nate McCadams (F) by forfeit; 113 – Owen Gobel (F) by forfeit; 120 – Caleb Jay (F) p. Timothy Bilbo, 0:27; 126 – Isaiah Brooks (SH) p. Adam Ethridge, 2:16; 132 – Brock Wittman (F) p. Landon Bingham, 1:09

Summit 64, Spring Hill 18: 145 – Davie Hackert (Su) p. Josh Duncan, 1:14; 152 – Scott Carter (SH) p. Justin Arrieta, 3:43; 160 – Graham Harvey (Su) p. Jeffrey Jessup, 1:30; 170 – Luke Justice (Su) p. Brennan Lara, 3:45; 182 – Cayden Buchanan (SH) by forfeit; 195 – Landon McVay (Su) by forfeit; 220 – Austin Sherman (Su) by forfeit; 285 – Jordan Nieves (Su) p. Isaac Juarez, 3:08; 106 – Grayson Miller (Su) by forfeit; 113 – Jarvis Little (Su) by forfeit; 120 – Wyatt Gellinger (Su) p. Timothy Bilbo, 0:51; 126 – Justin Noll (Su) md. Isaiah Brooks 11-0; 132 – Cael Delahunty (Su) p. Landon Bingham, 1:22; 138 – Kevin Caraballo (SH) by injury default over Austin Noll

Summit 43, Franklin 34: 152 – Gabriel Green (F) md. Davie Hackert 16-6; 160 – Graham Harvey (S) p. Adam Streams, 1:33; 170 – Luke Justice (S) dec. Sawyer Robinson 10-6; 182 – Dominic Green (F) by forfeit; 195 – Landon McVay (S) p. Max Ponce, 3:10; 220 – Alec Allen (F) p. Austin Sherman, 1:44; 285 – Fisher Anderson (F) p. Jordan Nieves, 0:27; 106 – Grayson Miller (S) p. Nate McCadams, 2:45; 113 – Jarvis Little (S) md. Owen Gobel 13-4; 120 – Caleb Jay (F) p. Wyatt Gellinger; 1:34; 126 – Justin Noll (S) p. Adam Ethridge, 0:58; 132 – Landon Desselle (S) p. Brock Wittman, 3:19; 138 – Austin Noll (S) p. J.D. Saulters, 0:19; 145 – Josh Samford (F) p. Justin Arrieta, 1:21

Indy’s Grindstaff steps down as wrestling coach

By Maurice Patton

Jared Grindstaff, who helped establish Independence as one of the Midstate’s more respected wrestling programs, stepped down as head coach earlier this month to accept an assistant principal position at Mill Creek Middle School in Nolensville.

“Five years ago, I pulled the trigger on going back to school to get my endorsement to go into administration,” the 38-year-old said. “I’ve been waiting for the right position to advance my career. I needed to take advantage of this opportunity that was presented to me.”

Independence wrestling coach Jared Grindstaff has left that position after 13 years to become an assistant principal at Mill Creek Middle School. (Charles Pulliam/Williamson Herald)

Grindstaff becomes the second Williamson County high school wrestling coach to step down since the end of the 2019-20 season. Josh Peck, who left Ravenwood to launch the Nolensville program, resigned last month to return to Ravenwood and will strictly teach.

Over 13 years at the Thompson Station school, Grindstaff’s Eagles made nine TSSAA state dual tournament appearances while he coached six individual state champions, including two-time titlist McCoy Newberg – who went on to wrestle collegiately at Nebraska before concluding his career at Tennessee-Chattanooga – and Zanaya Shropshire.

“He’s so passionate, how he’s grown that program, the number of kids involved; it’s awesome to see the alumni come back every year,” Independence principal Niki Patton said. “And what he’s done with the girls’ program, I’m extremely proud of that as well. He was one of the first in the state, certainly in the Middle Tennessee area, to really encourage that.”

Grindstaff, who had also served recently as golf coach and co-athletics director, began his teaching and coaching career at Nashville’s Hunters Lane High School before becoming the third wrestling coach at Indy in the school’s fourth year of existence.

“I’m probably the most tenured coach in (Region 7-AAA, which includes Spring Hill, Dickson County, and Class AAA programs in Williamson County and Metro Nashville),” he said. “It’s going to be a big change, but change is not always bad.

“This will, overall, help my growth in education.”

Given the timing of the move, Patton admitted that identifying a successor to Grindstaff won’t be easy,

“The way it’s unfolded, being so late, we really have only one teaching position to fill, and that’s Jared’s,” she said. “With the pandemic, there’s not a lot of people moving around. But we’ve opened it up, and he’s helped. He’s still very much involved and I’m going to rely on his help and input with that.

“It’s his program; he’s definitely built it from the ground up. He’s still very much invested in that, and I appreciate that I still get to have his help with that.”

Grindstaff does leave an established coaching staff in place that includes Thomas Berry, Aaron Compton, Jason Grandstaff, Orlando Pillow, Drew Sestito and Bryan Youngsma.

“They can continue to handle things while they find the right person, and I think a number of them are candidates (for the top spot),” he said. “I think it’s a very special program, going in a very good direction. You want to make sure it’s put in the right hands.”

Maurice Patton is the editor for Southern Middle Tennessee Sports. He can be reached by e-mail at mopattonsports@gmail.com or on Twitter at @mopatton_sports.