In a tuneup for Friday's battle with second-ranked Christian Brothers, top-ranked Soddy-Daisy began tightening the screws Tuesday and made it hurt in a 69-6 wrestling victory over Walker Valley.
The Trojans won 13 of the 14 matches with nine pins, a technical fall, a forfeit, a technical fall and a major decision.
"There's no tuning up. The train's on the track and already running hard," Walker Valley coach Alan Morris said. "That is a dadgum good team. Whoever sees Soddy-Daisy in the future is going to see a very solid lineup."
The loss put a decided end with an exclamation point to the Mustangs' unbeaten streak. They're now 3-1.
"We'll go back and look at the tape and learn from this, even as bad as it was on the scoreboard," said Morris, who continues to build a still-young program.
"They've got to be doing something right. The guy's already got 100 wins in just five years, but I know he's assembled a solid staff and I know that's a young team over there," Soddy-Daisy coach Steve Henry said. "I know what it's like to have a young team. I remember in my first or second year I scheduled Bradley [Central] when Turner Jackson was coaching and I made it a match in front of our student body. I think we won one match."
Henry was pressed to find much to complain about Tuesday, especially considering that Austin Gregory (113), Turbo Smith (145) and Alex Seeley (285) pinned their opponents in the first minute and Campbell Lewis (138) and Billy Swanson added first-period pins. Josh Deckelman (126) contributed a second-period technical fall and Brett Ervin (195) notched a major decision.
"I don't like to beat anybody like that, but they're young and we're not," said Henry, who may have assembled the best team in his 30-year career. "We're still making some mistakes."
Though there is still some lineup shifting in the works, there's no keeping a low profile, not with Christian Brothers arriving a day early for Saturday's Cleveland Duals in order to wrestle the Trojans.
"I'm not comfortable with that No. 1 ranking. You know I prefer to lay low until February," Henry said.
In the night's most anticipated match, Lewis, a three-time state champion, pinned Caleb Langford, who's ranked third in the state in 1:26.
The Mustangs' lone winner was 160-pound Micah Langford with a pin in 2:28.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...