CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- That loss last week to Maryville Heritage obviously didn't sit well with the Bradley Central wrestling team.
The Bears, stung by their first dual-meet loss in nearly a decade to any team outside Bradley and Hamilton counties, reeled in the Tullahoma duals championship over the weekend. They added another victory Tuesday, beating two-time Class A/AA state duals champion Central 45-30.
"They gave us three forfeits and we were without two starters," Bradley coach Ben Smith said. "What matters right now to me is the effort, the heart and the fight. Sometimes, because I expect so much, I am more negative that I really mean to be."
Smith, who has never been one to hold back, wasn't exactly elated with the win because the Bears gave up five pins.
"You can't do that and expect to win in our region," he said. "We have got to get guys to fear being on their back and to find some urgency to fight off their backs."
Winning by pin for the Purple Pounders were Joe Stegall (138 pounds), Michael Frazy (145), Larry Dickerson (160), Cody Evans (220) and Sam Stevenson (285). The sixth victory came by decision from 182-pounder James Hughes.
First-year Pounders coach Johnny Lennon, the ex-Cleveland wrestler most recently Signal Mountain's coach, was especially pleased with the pin from Dickerson.
"It's about senior leadership, and he's doing it on the mat," Lennon said. "I hate losing, we hate losing and we have a lot more hard work to do, but we're coming together."
Bradley's forfeit winners were Toribio Navarro (106), Dyer Rose (113) and Alex Forgey (195). Three wrestlers who are emerging as the heart of the team also added bonus points. Dakota Bromley (120) won on a second-period technical fall, Dakota Ream (126) pinned in 52 seconds and Taylor Kazy (132) took just 10 seconds more than that to get his pin.
Jacob Staton got a major decision at 152 and Robbie Clark, moving up a weight class to 170, put the victory away with the Bears' third pin.
Contact Ward Gossett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-886-4765.
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 ...