Category Archives: Uncategorized

WHO WILL BE THE 2015 #1 Freshman/Sophomore Team in the Nation

Well we are going to find out because Higher Calling kids club is going to send a team to the AAU Freshman/Sophomore National Duals in Indianola, IA on April 4th and 5th. All of our Cleveland High School Freshman and Sophomores wrestlers are expected to go on this trip. Higher Calling is going to be able to make this financially available for all of our kids. Tournament info is attached below.


Raiders, Mustangs defeat Cavs and Catamounts in 4-way meet

Raiders, Mustangs defeat Cavs and Catamounts in 4-way meet
by Staff Reports

The Cleveland and Walker Valley High School wrestling teams shared mat time for the second time in a week Friday night, only this time not against each other. The Blue Raiders hosted the Mustangs, Dalton, Ga., Catamounts and Cookeville Cavaliers in a four-way meet at the Jones Wrestling Center on the CHS campus.

The night turned out well for both the Raiders and Mustangs teams, which each walked away with a pair of victories. Cleveland easily defeated Dalton 66-6 and finished with a 59-11 win over Cookeville. Walker Valley won over the Cavaliers 50-21 before closing out with a 45-35 defeat of the Catamounts.

The Raiders won 13 of 14 and picked up a half dozen pins in their first match against Dalton. Tristan Blansit (120 pounds), Colton Landers (126), Aaron Oliver (160), Jonathan Martin (170), John Gaither (220) and John Simpson (285) all put six points on the scoreboard for Cleveland.

At 145 pounds, Ezra Taylor wrestled to a technical fall win for Cleveland, as did Samuel Garcia at 182. Cody Mathews (106) and Joseph Bowers (138) won major decisions for the Raiders. Jayce Mullin (113) and Robert Hicks (152) both won decisions. Cleveland 132-pounder Chris DeBien walked away with a forfeit. The Blue Raiders gave up six points after a Dalton pin at 195.

Against Cookeville, Blansit, DeBein, Taylor, Hicks and Oliver pinned their opponents. Mathews wrestled to a tech fall win, while Gaither and Simpson picked up decisions. Cookeville earned a major decision at 138 and 195 and a decision at 170.

In their first match of the meet against Cookeville, the Mustangs got pins from Joseph Munoz at 132, Mikel Gregory at 145 and Dionte Richardson at 152. Zane Smith earned a tech fall victory at 120, and Austin Gregory (138), Ric Kennett (220) and C.J. Schwark wrestled to decisions. Walker Valley got forfeit points at 126, 160 and 182 and gave up points with a tech fall at 106, a pin at 160 and a forfeit at 170.

Against Dalton, Ed Johnson picked up the first pin for the Mustangs at 126. Munoz, Austin Gregory, Mikel Gregory, Kennett and Schwark picked up pins. Smith and Matt Pankey both earned decisions. The Catamounts got pins at 106, 113, 152, 160 and 195 and walked off the mat with a forfeit at 170.


(Match started at 145)

106 — Cody Mathews (C) major dec. Matthew Tankersly (D), 17-4; 113 — Jayce Mullin (C) dec. Jerardo Garcia (D), 7-6; 120 — Tristian Blansit (C) pinned Agustin Adame (D), 3:43; 126 — Colton Landers (C) pinned Sergio Alvarez (D), 1:09; 132 — Christopher Debien (C) win by forfeit; 138 — Joseph Bowers (C) major dec. Samuel Reeves (D), 14-3; 145 — Ezra Taylor (C) tech fall Rogelio Quintero (D), 17-2; 152 — Robert Hicks (C) dec. Cesar Santos (D), 5-3; 160 — Aaron Oliver (C) pinned Brian Nunez (D), 2:45; 170 — Jonathan Martin (C) pinned Joseph Reese (D), 1:00; 182 — Samuel Garcia (C) tech. fall Kevin Diaz (D), 18-2; 195 — William Braun (D) pinned Riley Stevison (C), 0:55; 220 — John Gaither (C) pinned Charles Sumner (D), 5:00; 285 — John Simpson (C) pinned Daniel Hurtado (D), 1:47.


(Match started at 152)

106 — Cody Mathews (C) tech. fall James Harcum (Cook), 23-8; 113 — Jayce Mullin (C) win by forfeit; 120 — Tristian Blansit (C) pinned Bradley Houmard (Cook), 0:48; 126 — Colton Landers (C) win by forfeit; 132 — Christopher Debien (C) pinned Austin Hall (Cook), 0:30; 138 — Derrick Christensen (Cook) major dec. joseph Bowers (C), 11-2; 145 — Ezra Taylor (C) pinned David Pierce (Cook), 3:22; 152 — Robert Hicks (C) pinned Cole Gentry (Cook), 1:27; 160 — Aaron Oliver (C) pinned Dylan Peters (Cook), 4:46; 170 — Austin Hammons (Cook) dec. Jonathan Martin (C), 5-1; 182 — Samuel Garcia (C) win by forfeit; 195 — Trent Cumby (Cook) major dec. Riley Stevison (C), 13-3; 220 — John Gaither (C) dec. Darren Houston (Cook), 4-2; 285 — John Simpson (C) dec. Charles Partain (Cook), 3-1.

Read more: Cleveland Daily Banner – Raiders Mustangs defeat Cavs and Catamounts in 4 way meet 


Raiders repeat, 4 locals claim state titles
by RICHARD ROBERTS Banner Sports Editor
ethan at state 2014
Banner photo, LYNNAE ROBERTS
CLEVELAND WRESTLING COACH Jake Yost, left, shouts instructions to Blue Raiders wrestler Ethan West in the 195-pound championship match at the state wrestling tournament Saturday in Franklin. West defeated Kiel Russell of Clarksville to win the championship.

FRANKLIN — Although Cleveland wrestling coach Jake Yost would never admit it, all that was left for the Blue Raiders to do to claim their second consecutive state wrestling championship was showing up in the parking lot Saturday evening.

The Raiders walked into the Williamson County Agricultural Expo Center with a 47-point lead over second place Wilson Central and five wrestlers in the championship finals. Wilson Central sent three Wildcats into the circle looking for the gold medal.

“It’s nice to be able to go into these finals matches and know the kids don’t have any added pressure on them trying to score team points or get pins to seal the deal. It’s nice to not have to do that,” said a finally relaxed Yost.”

“Friday was a huge day for us. We won seven of eight in the quarterfinals and five of seven in the semis. We only lost four matches all day Friday. Every time we turned around our kids were going out there, competing and doing what they needed to do find a way to make it one more round,” said Yost.

Chris DeBien (126 pound), Austin Stevison (132), Ezra Taylor (138), Josh Hamilton (170) and Ethan West (195) carried the Blue Raiders banner into the championship finals.

Nine wrestlers from Bradley Central, Cleveland and Walker Valley were all vying for state championships. Bradley’s Toribio Navarro and Knox Fuller, Cleveland’s Chris DeBien and Ethan West earned state titles.

Stevison, Taylor and Hamilton all earned second-place medals for the Blue Raiders and Walker Valley’s Billy Raulston took second place for the Mustangs.

Cleveland wrestler Aaron Oliver (152) ended the tournament in fourth place, Koran Kennedy (220) took fifth, Bradley’s Nathan Adams (170) and Cleveland’s William Haas (145), and John Gaither (220) finished in sixth.

For most at the state tournament, a forgone conclusion was a second consecutive state championship medal for Cleveland junior DeBien. The 126-pound Blue Raider did not disappoint with a first-period pin against Wilson Central’s Lane Dickeson.

In the 195-pound championship battle, West took a 4-1 lead after the first period. West’s lead increased to 6-2 after the second before Clarksville’s Kiel Russell tied it 7-7 in the third. West earned the second state championship of the night for Cleveland with a takedown as the clock ran out.

“Those five guys have worked hard all year and they deserve to be here. That’s kind of where our concentration was focused tonight, it wasn’t on the team title until all was said and done. We needed to make sure we were concentrated on those those because they have been working hard to reach those goals all year long,” Yost said of his finaists. “It’s a good day to be a Raider.”


After a rough start to the tournament, the Bradley Central Bears responded during the championship and consolation Friday setting the Ben Smith led team up for a third-place finish.

“I saw some ups and downs (in the tournament). I felt really dejected after Thursday night. We dropped six matches out of the first seven and had to really step back and put it in re-evaluation mode and just see it for what it was. Maybe we weren’t quite where we thought we were, but we rebounded well Friday, especially Friday night,” said Smith.

“Our three guys in the semis came through for us and we still had four guys alive in the top bracket. They all ended up scoring points for us in consolation rounds three and four. That put us in position to still be sitting in third for the finals.”

Bradley Central opened the finals with a trio of Bears looking for state victories. Freshman Ryan McElhaney (106), junior Toribio Navarro (113) and freshman Knox Fuller (120) capped the Bears 2014 appearance in Franklin.

Bradley Central 106-pounder took a 0-0 score into the third period before falling to eventual champion Dillan Friesner in overtime.

Navarro, who won the 106-pound state title last year, stepped into the circle in the 113-pound final against Nick Crawford and took a 2-0 lead into the second period. Holding a 6-2 lead in the third, Navarro held off Friesner in the final minute to walk off the mat as the 113-pound champion.

Fuller, looking to take the state title at 120, built a comfortable 5-0 lead after the first period before winning the second championship of the night for the Bears with a second period pin.

Smith said he felt the effort was there during the three days of all day wrestling. He feels the Bears are continuing to move forward and will be a wrestling force in Tennessee for years to come.

“Other than one person everyone scored points. It’s been a total team effort. We distanced ourselves from the other local programs in our region and that feels good,” observed Smith.

“We somewhat saw some guys grow up. We still have three or four guys in my opinion sitting in the stands that still should have been wrestling today. We are still looking to get those over the hump. But I saw some seniors who came into their own at this tournament. They finally had some hard work pay off. They finally got to see that they get out of it what you put into it. I was really proud of those guys because they are what kept us in the race.”

The good news for Smith and the Bears outside of three championship finalists will be the return of four more Bears who placed in the state tournament.

Bear Brett Brown, who will be returning next season, finished with a sixth-place medal.

“My four medalists are all back next year. The only thing better than having four state place winners is having four state place winners who are coming back and three state finalists coming back. That feels good,” he said.


Head coach Al Morris Walker Valley saw some pretty tough times during the three day tournament. Senior and two-time finalist Billy Raulston (182) came through as the lone survivor for the Mustangs on the final day of the grueling three day tournament.

Walker Valley finished in 11th place with 84 points.

“That aspect is disappointing, but we had Billy Raulston who is a two-time state finalist and that says something,” said Morris about the low points total and having only one Mustang in the championships.

“We concentrated on Billy in the finals and were looking for him to pull off the upset against the defending state champion who is undefeated. We were looking for a David and Goliath type thing hoping Billy would be able to slay him.”

Unfortunately for Raulston and the Mustangs Goliath, in the form of Maryville’s Chad Solomon, won the state title with a decision.

Morris is still optimistic the knowledge gained in Franklin will help the Mustangs continue to become stronger as a team and as individuals.

“We’ve got a lot of seniors on this team and they are all going to be missed. But we saw some stuff that we feel is going to help us in the future. Just getting to the state tournament is an experience. It is a plus for any wrestler who gets here, because now they know what to expect,” said Morris.

“They understand the situation better. They understand the environment and the caliber of wrestling that goes on here. I think it will help them in preparing as the season goes along that we are actually trying to prepare them for when they get here and are not shell shocked.”

As the Walker Valley wrestling program builds more and more momentum, Morris said it is crucial to have more wrestlers in the state championship rounds.

“Of course next year we hope to have way more in the finals,” Morris said. “Drake Haney placed sixth and Zach Miller placed sixth. That is not what we were looking for, obviously they are disappointed but they achieved all-state status by placing in the state tournament. I’m proud of those guys as I’m proud of the other guys. They came here and fell short of their goals but they are great kids.”

The Best Match award went to 135-pound wrestlers Ezra Taylor of Cleveland and Sody-Daisy’s Tucker Russo. Outstanding Wrestler was awarded to the Blue Raiders’ Chris DeBien.

Read more: Cleveland Daily Banner – Raiders repeat 4 locals claim state titles







Thursday, February 13, 2014 
12:00 PM Gates Open
1:00 PM Weigh-Ins (Division I AAA Only)
3:00 PM Division I AAA Round of 32
Division I AAA Round of 16
Division I AAA Consolations (1st and 2nd Round)
Friday, February 14, 2014 
7:00 AM Gates Open
8:00 AM Weigh-Ins (Division I AAA)
10:00 AM Division I AAA Quarterfinals
 Division I AAA Consolations (3rd Round)
 6:00 PM Championship Semifinals (Division I AAA)
 Division I AAA Consolation Bouts (4th & 5th Round)
Saturday, February 15, 2014 
7:00 AM Gates Open
8:00 AM Weigh-Ins (Division I AAA)
10:00 AM Consolation Semifinals, Consolation Finals (Division I AAA),
 Fifth and Sixth (Division I AAA)
4:45 PM “Celebration of Finalists”
5:00 PM Championship Finals (Division I AAA)
Sunday, February 16, 2014 
Leave in the AM and head back to Cleveland.



1738 Carouthers Pkwy Brentwood, TN 37027
(615) 277-8700
Brentwood High School
5304 Murray Lane Brentwood, TN 37027
(615) 472-4220
Williamson County Ag Center
4215 Long Ln, Franklin, TN 37064
(615) 595-1227


Raiders rally for region title

CLEVELAND WRESTLER Aaron Olivar, left, battles Walker Valley's Ryan Hager in the 152-pound championship match at the Region 4 wrestling tournament Saturday, at Walker Valley High School. Banner photo, LYNNAE ROBERTS

CLEVELAND WRESTLER Aaron Oliver, left, battles Walker Valley’s Ryan Hager in the 152-pound championship match at the Region 4 wrestling tournament Saturday, at Walker Valley High School.  Oliver took the win 7-1.   Banner photo, LYNNAE ROBERTS

Bradley wrestling coach Ben Smith knew heading into the finals of the Region 4 wrestling tournament the going would be tough against defending champion Cleveland.

The Bears, looking for their first region crown since 2011 and holding a 166.5-159 lead over defending champion Cleveland, sent five wrestlers into the championship. The Blue Raiders held a three-wrestler advantage with eight. The extra numbers eventually paid off for Cleveland with a 196-178.5 win over the Bears to claim a second consecutive Region 4 title.

“We had to chase Bradley because they scored a bunch of points in the consolation. But our guys figured out a way to finish on top, and I’m proud of them,” said Cleveland Coach Jake Yost. “I thought Bradley did a good job. They qualified 13, everybody they entered in the tournament. I don’t see how you could be upset with that. They should be proud; I think they did a good job. Walker Valley qualified a bunch of guys too. I think our region will do well at the state tournament.”

The champion Blue Raiders will send 11 wrestlers to the state tournament, including nine region champions.

“I thought we had a gutty performance today. Our guys went seven for nine in the finals. We qualified 11 out of 13 wrestlers. We had one fourth place, one third place, two second place and seven champs,” said Yost. “The two guys who didn’t qualify just didn’t have the experience, but the guys who did qualify we feel like every single one of them can score points at the state tournament. I feel good about it.”

The Bears will send all 13 wrestlers Smith brought to Saturday’s tournament to Franklin including a pair of region title holders.

“Thirteen for 13,” he said through a smile. “There are kids I knew if we could just get them to the tournament we are going to win some matches. Now I’ve got 13 chances to win some matches. I love that. I’m extremely happy with 13. After the seeds came out, I thought we might get 10 to 12 in.”

The Mustangs bested last year’s number of state champion participants by three, matching the number the region champion Raiders will have in Franklin with 11.

“This is the most we have ever taken,” said Walker Valley Coach Al Morris, who qualified eight Mustangs in 2013. “This means a lot to the program. It’s just another step in our development although we still have a long way to go to be where we feel we need to be as a program.”

After missing a chance to open some space against the Blue Raiders in the 106-pound final, the Bears closed the gap with a pin by Toribio Navarro at 113 in the first of two head-to-head matches. Knox Fuller did his part with another Bradley pin at 120.

“The fact we had the lead [going into the finals] is just kind of icing on the top for us. We had the lead for a little bit, and that’s nice,” Smith acknowledged. “When you’re in the rebuilding phase, you talk about small victories. I felt like we had a bit of a small victory having the lead. I didn’t even start keeping score until I realized Walker Valley had seven in the finals, and we had five.”

The Blue Raiders made it a seven and a half-point (178.5-171) match when Chris DeBien won with the second Cleveland-Bradley matchup with a pin at 126. The Raiders then took a 181-178.5 lead to virtually lock up the championship with a pin by Austin Stevison at 132 and a decision at 138.

With his win, Stevison became only the second Blue Raiders four-time region champion. Tommy Lennon, who graduated from Cleveland in 1979, was the first.

The Mustangs, who finished in third place with 171 points, lost a chance to gain ground with a loss at 145. Walker Valley’s Ryan Hager battled Cleveland’s Aaron Oliver in the 152-pound championship match with Oliver winning the decision. Lawrence Cotton helped the Mustangs out with a major decision at 160.

Soddy-Daisy (137.5) and Ooltewah (44) rounded out the top five with 137.5. East Hamilton finished fifth (42), Rhea County seventh (21) and McMinn County eighth (0).

In the 170-pound championship match, Cleveland’s Josh Hamilton added to the Raiders’ points total with a pin at 170.

In a head-to-head matchup between the Mustangs and Bears at 182, Walker Valley senior Billy Raulston earned a 7-2 decision against Brett Brown. At 195, Cleveland’s Ethan West won the first head-to-head bout between the Mustangs and Raiders with a major decision over Ric Kennett.

“The teams at the top of our region have been at the top of the state rankings all year long, and to be in that mix is a good thing for our team. To come out with four region champs is a good thing as well,” Morris said of Walker Valley’s performance. “Lawrence Cotton was a No. 2-seed and came in and beat the No. 1-seed. I always love those kinds of wins. Drake Haney, Billy Raulston, Zach Miller, all those guys have been working hard and this is what they are working for.

“The good thing is we’ve got 11 guys that are going to get to wrestle next week in Franklin. We’re going to keep getting them ready. We’ve got some good guys [going to the tournament]. We actually have some guys I feel like can make some noise at the state tournament, so we will just have to see. Anything can happen there.”

Walker Valley’s 285-pounder Zach Miller closed out the tournament for the Mustangs with a 3-1 decision over John Gaither.

“This performance proves our 11 guys can score points, just as many as their [Bradley’s] 13. We’re going to have to wrestle hard, but our kids did a good job today. We’re real proud of them. They went seven for nine in the finals and won some matches where by seeding criteria we maybe weren’t the favorite. We were even in the other two matches to win it,” said Yost. “I feel like we did a really good job today.”

Smith credited an eight for eight run in the consolation semifinals that put the Bears in a position to finish second in the finals where he said he got what he was looking for from his wrestlers.

“McElhaney wrestled in our eyes a legitimate No. 1 in Drake Haney. I felt like if we went down big early, we’d have a hard time coming back. We put him on his back a little too late,” he said. “But the beautiful thing about that is we’ve still got another week. This matters, but it’s not what we’re after, and I know it’s not what Ryan is after.”

by RICHARD ROBERTS Banner Sports Editor

Read more: Cleveland Daily Banner – Raiders rally for region title

%d bloggers like this: