By Maurice Patton
There’s no easy path to a state duals wrestling championship.
So there was no preferred bracket configuration for Summit coach Pete Miller as he contemplated Saturday’s TSSAA tournament.
The Spartans will open with a 12 noon Class AAA quarterfinal clash against Oakland at Independence. The winner will meet the Cleveland/Dobyns-Bennett quarterfinal winner at 2 p.m.
The other half of the eight-team bracket — Science Hill/Collierville and Bradley Central/Wilson Central — will take place at Centennial, with the championship set for 5:30 p.m. at Independence.
“It’s the state duals. There’s no easy draw,” Miller said. “We’re just happy we’re there and ready to wrestle anybody.”
Summit sealed a berth with a dominant 49-15 sectional win Saturday over visiting Arlington, while Oakland defeated Beech 44-36.
Coincidentally, as Miller pointed out, both schools won state football championships just a few weeks ago.
“Josh Harris is a great coach. He’s got some great athletes and he’s converted them to wrestlers,” Miller said. “It’s cool to see the football programs carrying over to wrestling. He’s got a huge team, and I’m sure most of them are football guys.”
The Spartan lineup features 195-pounder Maddox Reed, 220-pound Ty Garber and 285-pound Ryan Smith — all ‘football guys’, along with Austin Grooters (145), Finley Jameson (152), John Sloan and John Hill.
Six of the eight quarterfinalists are listed in this week’s Tennessee High School Wrestling Poll. Cleveland is second, behind Baylor, followed by No. 3 Wilson Central and No. 5 Bradley Central. Summit and Oakland are tied for the seventh spot, with Science Hill 12th.
“You’ve got to beat somebody good to make it to where you want to be,” Miller said. “You’ve got to beat Cleveland or Wilson Central to win it.”
The four-team Class A/AA state duals will begin at 1 p.m. at Nolensville, with Pigeon Forge facing Signal Mountain and Hixson taking on Fairview in the semifinals. The third-place and championship matches are set for 3:30 p.m.
In Division II at Mill Creek Middle School, Baylor/Father Ryan and Montgomery Bell Academy/Christian Brothers are the 3:30 p.m. semifinal matchups. The third-place match and finals are scheduled for 6 p.m.
Each of the tournament fields were reduced by half once the events were relocated from the Williamson County Ag Expo. The facility, which has long hosted both the state dual and individual championships, is unavailable because of pandemic-relalted circumstances.
Science Hill vs. Collierville, 12 noon at Centennial
Bradley Central vs. Wilson Central, 12 noon at Centennial
Cleveland vs. Dobyns Bennett, 12 noon at Independence
Summit vs. Oakland, 12 noon at Independence
Science Hill/Collierville loser vs. Bradley Central/Wilson Central loser, 2 p.m. at Centennial
Cleveland/Dobyns Bennett loser vs. Summit/Oakland loser, 2 p.m. at Independence
Science Hill/Collierville winner vs. Bradley Central/Wilson Central winner, 2 p.m. at Centennial
Cleveland/Dobyns Bennett winner vs. Summit/Oakland winner, 2 p.m. at Independence
Semifinal losers, 5:30 p.m. at Independence
Championship, 5:30 p.m. at Independence