published Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Raiders claim Region 3 title

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- As he handed the tournament draw sheet to Chris DeBien, Cleveland High School wrestling coach Eric Phillips took a moment to savor the occasion. A few minutes later, as his team was being handed the Region 3 championship trophy, the Blue Raiders briefly were able to cherish the day.

The Raiders won their first region traditional championship since 1988 with 255 points Saturday, 53.5 better than tournament host Bradley Central. The Raiders will be sending 12 wrestlers to the state traditional meet this Thursday in Franklin, with Bradley sending 10.

Maryville matched the Bears with 10 qualifying and was fourth with 129.5 team points. Walker Valley was third with 136 and Heritage fifth with 125.

DeBien, Phillips' son, was named the outstanding freshman of the meet after winning the 106-pound championship. The outstanding wrestler of the lower weight classes was Bradley's Jericho Crutcher; in the upper classes the award went to Heritage's Keegan Matlock.

"It's special for all of the wrestlers, but I guess you could say it's more special because I'm with Chris every night when he's trying to cut weight," Phillips said. "It's been great that I've been able to watch him grow as a person. I had no idea if he was going to wrestle. This is the first time I've coached him."

The 120-pound final between Cleveland's Austin Oliver and Stone Memorial's Zach Heavilon was named the best match. Oliver won a 7-6 decision.

"I'm proud of the guys. I was proud of them last year and I was proud of them each of the six seasons I've been here," Phillips said. "Coach [Al] Miller built a powerhouse at the region and state levels.

"The journey these guys have been on makes them worthy of being champions. They believed and this is a reward of their hard work. Now we just have to stay healthy and troubleshoot a few areas where I feel we were exposed this week, then get up and battle for every point possible next week."

The tournament went pretty much as seeded. Only three non-No. 1 seeds -- Bradley's Crutcher, Walker Valley's Caleb Langford and William Blount's T.J. Satterfield -- won region titles.

Cleveland had six champions: DeBien, Austin Stevison (113), Oliver (120), Brandon Strickland (138), Josh Hamilton (145) and Jesse Jones (182). Bradley champs were Crutcher, Jacob Bailey (160) and Patrick Benson (285), while Walker Valley had two titlists and Heritage, Maryville and William Blount took one title apiece.

"I was pretty pleased," Bradley coach Ben Smith said. "Sending 13 or 14 would be perfect, but I'm happy for the three that won. We had some guys that fought to get third, so that shows that the team character is coming along.

"We're in shape, so I think if we stay healthy in the next week and have three good days of practice, we'll be in good shape."

REGION 3 RESULTS

Team scores: 1. Cleveland (Cle) 255, 2. Bradley Central (BC) 201.5, 3. Walker Valley (WV) 136, 4. Maryville (Mary) 129, 5. Maryville Heritage (Her) 125, 6. Stone Memorial (SM) 84, 7. Alcoa (Al) 44.5, 8. William Blount (WB) 42, 9. Rhea County 26, 10. Greenback 24, 11. Kingston (King) 18, 12. McMinn County 11, 13. Cumberland County 0.

Medal Rounds

106 pounds

For 1st: Chris DeBien (Cle) pinned Toribio Navarro (BC), 5:37. For 3rd: Nick Crawford (Her) pinned Cody McCarl (SM), 2:24.

113 pounds

For 1st: Austin Stevison (Cle) dec. Dakota Ream (BC), 4-1. For 3rd: Walker Murphy (Al) pinned Pedro Rivera (Mary), 2:32.

120 pounds

For 1st: Austin Oliver (Cle) dec. Zach Heavilon (SM), 7-6. For 3rd: Dakota Bromley (BC) dec. Tyrus Hamrick (WV), 8-1.

126 pounds

For 1st: Jericho Crutcher (BC) dec. Ezra Taylor (Cle), 7-4. For 3rd: Alan Frisco (Mary) dec. Dakota Ray (Alcoa), 5-4.

132 pounds

For 1st: Caleb Langford (WV) dec. Hayden Hamilton (Cle), 3-1. For 3rd: Anthony Giattino (SM) major dec. Tres Markham (Mary), 13-2.

138 pounds

For 1st: Brandon Strickland (Cle) dec. Skyler Boring (Her), 8-2. For 3rd: Gene Lewis (Mary) dec. Cody Caruthers (SM), 1-0.

145 pounds

For 1st: Josh Hamilton (Cle) pinned Robbie Clark (BC), 5:09. For 3rd: Nathan Wilson (Mary) dec. Lawrence Cotton (WV), 9-3.

152 pounds

For 1st: Keegan Matlock (Her) dec. Tyler Schuch (BC), 4-2. For 3rd: Micah Langford (WV) pinned Cory Glover (Mary), 4:46.

160 pounds

For 1st: Jacob Bailey (BC) dec. Chad Solomon (Mary), 4-3. For 3rd: Travis Reed (WV) pinned Christain Bain (King), 3:57.

170 pounds

For 1st: Jaron Brock (Mary) major dec. J.C. Bobe (Cle), 15-4. For 3rd: Tait Rakestraw (BC) pinned Joel Payne (Her), 5:19.

182 pounds

For 1st: Jesse Jones (Cle) major dec. Skylar LaRue (Her), 12-4. For 3rd: John Adams (SM) dec. Clay Strawn (Mary), 13-6.

195 pounds

For 1st: Billy Raulston (WV) dec. Oleg Stukanov (Cle), 3-2, OT. For 3rd: Devin Carroll (BC) dec. Joshua Bain (King), 3-1.

220 pounds

For 1st: T.J. Satterfield (WB) dec. Seth Snyder (Cle), 3-2. For 3rd: Zack Miller (WV) pinned Jeb Davis (Her), 5:01.

285 pounds

For 1st: Patrick Benson (BC) pinned Jordan Hines (Cle), 3:30. For 3rd: Joey Evans (Her) dec. Robert Wright (Mary), 6-2.

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