Trent Walliser is back in wrestling, and so is Lookout Valley.
Walliser, who wrestled for Chattanooga Christian as an eighth-grader, is now at Lookout Valley as a freshman.
Because of financial concerns and two elder siblings in college, the family decided to forgo tuition at CCS, and his arrival prompted Lookout Valley to return to the sport after a three-year absence. It probably didn't hurt that his father, Troy Walliser, volunteered to coach.
Following an accident last year -- a car hit him while he was riding his bike -- doctors told the family that Trent's wrestling days were over. He was sliced open from mid-thigh to mid-shin last fall in that accident that kept him hospitalized for nine days and required a skin graft.
"We got the 'all clear' last December (2012), and he was able to wrestle in January," said Troy, the pastor at Lookout Valley Baptist and the chaplain for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team.
Now a 120-pounder, Trent had a 13-1 record and was destined for a high seed at the region tournament, but an infection ended his season.
He's back now and joins Michael Minnick (145) as one of two who stuck it out at Lookout Valley.
"About a month before the season we had an 'interest' meeting, and there were 22 guys that showed up," said Troy, who started the wrestling program at Silverdale Baptist. "We had six that first day of practice and then added six more once football was over."
The Yellow Jackets have gone from 22 to 12 to two.
"If all a youngster has ever done is football, well, it doesn't have the intensity of wrestling," Troy said.
Baylor will be seeking its 10th straight wrestling win over McCallie when the rival lock horns at 6:30 tonight at McCallie. Baylor leads the series 48-40.
"We lost to [Father] Ryan and we lost to MBA. We're 0-2 in the region, so it would be big for us to get a win, plus it's a big rivalry match," McCallie coach Mike Newman said. "There ought to be some great matchups."
Contact Ward Gossett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.
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 ...