Blackman’s senior night proved to be a huge success as the Blaze earned wins over fellow Region 5 teams Cookeville and LaVergne Tuesday night at Blackman High School. The Blaze needed both wins to assure a spot in the Region 5 dual semi-final match which will be held this Thursday at Coffee County. And as added icing on the cake, Blackman’s coach Ronnie Bray celebrated his 300th career win as a head coach!! Congrats to Coach Bray!!
Blackman honored seven senior wrestlers and two senior managers with a short ceremony before the matches began. Wrestlers – Clayton Apland, Andre Bravo, Vincent Cross, Sam Luker, Brandon Pierce, Tracer Spurlock, Tre’von Thomas and Managers – Allie Doris & Christina Kalbaugh.
Congrats to our Seniors!!! We are very proud of all of them!!
The first dual of the evening was Blackman against Cookeville. Things started at 195 and Cookeville forfeited the first match to Bravo. At 220, Sam Luker took Cookeville’s Herrington to the third period while building a 5-0 lead. It was a battle of gas tanks at that point and Luker was the winner coming away with the pinfall at 4:46 in the 3rd. At heavyweight, Jamil Hughes went the distance with Richardson and in a very close match, earned a 2-1 decision. (Blackman up 15-0)
At 106, Cookeville’s James Harcum ran up the score on Liam Elam with 4 sets of near-fall in the first period before securing the pin in the second. Zack Dallas at 113 fell to Justin Rogers in the 2nd. (Blackman 15 – Cookeville 12)
As Cookeville closed the gap, the tension started to rise but Tre’von Thomas had no intention of losing his bout at 120. From the start of the match, TT and Cookeville’s Talbott were in some great scrambles. Both of these guys can move and TT ended the first period down 2-1. Second period was more of the same as many spectators were trying to figure out how can you actually get into some of those positions without breaking something! Second period ended with TT down 5-4. Again, gas tanks were key and TT got an escape and a takedown in the 3rd and ended up winning a nail biter 7-6.
At 126, Senior Clayton Apland earned a tough fought decision over Jacob Cole to push Blackman’s lead to 21-12. Jalen Brown followed with a quick pin at 132 to further build the cushion. Backup Jared Smith saw his name called at 138 in relief of Elijah Cox who is sick. Despite limited varsity wrestling time, Jared got the first takedown on Cookeville’s Derrick Christensen. The lead was short lived however as the Cookeville wrestler stormed back and took the lead 4-2 to end the first period. Jared fought tough on the bottom for the second period and didn’t give up a point. Being on the bottom takes a lot of energy and Jared toughed it out and didn’t get pinned only giving up a major decision. (Blackman 27 – Cookeville 16)
At 145 Dan Felhman barely missed a pin over Saunders and had to settle for a tech fall. Logan Fowler took care of business and pinned Gentry in 1:11. At 160, Cole Tillman got caught in a move and gave up a pin to Bos. Those were the last points scored for the Cavaliers as Matthew Sells and Vincent Cross both pinned to close out the match. Final Score – Blackman 50 – Cookeville 22.
The second match with LaVergne wasn’t as daunting as the Wolverines came in giving up 6 forfeits. In eight matches, Blackman had pins from Dylan Heath (285), Liam Elam (106), Zack Dallas (113) and Landon Fowler (145). Tre’von Thomas has a techfall and Clayton Apland had a major decision. LaVergne wrestled extremely tough however and earned wins at 138 and 152. Final Blackman 69 – LaVergne 9.
Blackman wrestles in the Region 5-AAA dual championship this Thursday night at Coffee County Raider Academy at 6pm. Blackman is expected to face Tullahoma in the first semi-final match. The other semi-final is expected to be Shelbyville vs Siegel or Stewarts Creek. Siegel wrestles Cookeville tonight and the result of that match determines whether or not they advance. The winners of both semi-finals matches will advance to the State Duals which are held in Franklin on Feb 5-6.