Beech wrestling program advances to state duals for fifth consecutive season
HENDERSONVILLE The Beech High wrestling program has been making the state tournament a yearly stop in its schedule.
The host Buccaneers clinched a berth in the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) State Dual Tournament for the fifth consecutive season with a 49-24 victory over Rossview on Thursday evening in the Region 7-AAA Tournament.
Beech’s effort fell a bit short in the championship match as Wilson Central won its fourth consecutive regional championship, handing the Buccaneers a 40-27 loss.
“By the time we got (to the championship round), I think we were trying to look too far ahead, and we didn’t focus on the matches,” Buccaneer senior Kaleb Rippy said. “The matches that we thought that we could win, we didn’t win.”
Beech pulled away from Rossview in the semifinals with pinfall victories (worth six points each) from sophomore Kyle Smith in the 170-pound weight class and Kaleb Rippy in the 182-pound division, giving the Buccaneers a 28-12 lead.
Senior Peyton Reinart (285-pound division), junior Jacob Kinman (106) and senior Wyatt Sipe (113) closed the match with pinfall victories of their own.
“It feels pretty good,” Kaleb Rippy said. “I just think we need to work for the next week, work harder in practice and get ready. We need to focus on things we did wrong tonight.”
Sophomore Trevor Rippy earned Beech’s first points against Wilson Central with a pinfall victory in the 145-pound class, but Beech never led the match as the Wildcats slowly pulled away.
“I think I wrestled pretty well tonight, but as a team, I think we could have done better,” Trevor Rippy said. “We had a couple of matches that could have went either way, and we lost them when we shouldn’t have.”
Kaleb Rippy added, “I think Wilson Central works a lot harder, and we just didn’t wrestle Wilson Central as hard as we did Rossview. We were looking at Wilson Central, but we were making sure that we wanted to win against Rossview.”
Smith, Kaleb Rippy (195) and freshman Brayden Palmer (106) provided Beech’s other pinfall triumphs, while freshman Jeremiah Herron had the other Buccaneer victory by a decision (worth three points).
“It’s our fifth straight year getting to go (to state), so that’s a big thing,” Beech head coach Jeff Roberts said. “We had our shots (against Wilson Central), but we didn’t capitalize on them when we needed to. Wilson Central’s tough. There’s a reason they’re three-time state runner-ups.”