Wrestler of the year
Tennessee’s second five-time state champion is headed on a wrestling scholarship to the University of Virginia, where fellow former Baylor standout Jordan Leen is an assistant coach.
Watson, selected as Tennessee’s Division II outstanding wrestler, finished his Baylor career with a record of 200-4.
“He is such a refreshing youngster,” said Steve Henry, the coach of the year from Soddy-Daisy. “He shakes your hand like a man and always has something nice to say. He is the epitome of what every man should want his son to be. I can’t help but love that kid.”
Coach of the year
He directed Soddy-Daisy to the state duals and traditional championships, a feat the Trojans had not accomplished since 2007. It was the program’s third traditional and fourth duals crown in his tenure.
“This was a really hard-working bunch,” Henry said. “We didn’t put a whole lot of focus on winning everything, but being there at the end when it counted. It was stressful as we tried to get all the pieces to come together. We had never been bold enough to say we ought to win both, but we did this year and it came to fruition.”
Henry said the Trojans were not at their peak for the state duals but came together well at the traditional state, and he praised assistants Jim Higgins, Ashley Brooks, Eddie Richmond and Rabbit Turner.
“Each added something to the program from loyalty to commitment and, of course, hard work,” Henry said.
He wrestled at 170 and 160 and went 42-12, and he won the Division II state title at 160.
He went 52-4 and was the first member of his noted wrestling family to win a state title.
He won a state championship and just missed a perfect season, finishing with a 53-1 record.
He put together a 39-7 record on his way to his first state championship.
He won his first region and state titles and went 44-2 for the state team runners-up.
He won 56 matches in a season that included Georgia area, sectional and state titles.
The Trojans’ first four-time state champ was the tourney’s outstanding wrestler and went 44-4.
Winning a region championship and his first state title, he wound up 54-3 in his final season.
Now a two-time state medalist, the Region 3 champion finished with a record of 43-4.
He went 47-3, reached his second state final and won his first state championship.
He won a Division II state title while putting together a 45-4 record.
He went 60-6 with individual titles in Georgia area, sectional and state tournaments.
He was a state-tournament surprise and rallied from six points down in the title match to win.
In a loaded weight class, he won 40 of his 43 matches and the TSSAA Division II state title.
Johnny Ragsdale Gordon Lee 106 Freshman
Alex Elsea McCallie 113 Junior
Jacob Stevens Soddy-Daisy 120 Junior
Madison Martin Heritage 126 Senior
Landon Reed Heritage 132 Senior
Donnell Anthony Calhoun 138 Junior
Bryson Popp Baylor 145 Sophomore
Brandon Stiffles Chattooga 152 Senior
Houston Clements Baylor 160 Junior
Andy Bratton Heritage 170 Senior
Brett Ervin Soddy-Daisy 182 Senior
Michael Moore Heritage 195 Senior
Carlos Fraire SE Whitfield 220 Junior
Patrick Benson Bradley Central 285 Senior
Caleb Mariakis LaFayette 106 Freshman
DeAngelo James Tyner 113 Senior
Sam Shepard Ringgold 120 Sophomore
Jericho Crutcher Bradley Central 126 Senior
Brandon Brunner Baylor 132 Junior
Gage Richmond Soddy-Daisy 138 Sophomore
Logan Perkins Heritage 145 Senior
Brady Hart LaFayette 152 Senior
Jacob Bailey Bradley Central 160 Senior
Blaike Henry Soddy-Daisy 170 Junior
Matt Bodine Baylor 182 Senior
Jesse Jones Cleveland 195 Senior
Josh Mackey Silverdale Baptist 285 Senior
Teams of the year
*Soddy-Daisy: The Trojans went 29-2 in dual meets and won the state duals and traditional championships. Their only in-state loss came in a two-meet split with Christian Brothers.
*Heritage: The Generals went 39-4 in dual meets with all four losses to teams that became state champions. They won Georgia’s traditional title and were runners-up in the Class AAA duals.
*Cleveland: The Blue Raiders made strong runs at Soddy-Daisy and were runners-up in both TSSAA state tournaments.