By TOMMY BRYAN, sports editor
Eighteen local wrestlers have earned berths in the TSSAA Championships this weekend beginning Thursday in Franklin.
Mt. Juliet High will carry seven grapplers, including Region 5 champions Tanner Bates (119) and Scott Seaman (130) -- both seniors. Junior Alex Charest (160 lbs), and senior Blake Biggs (189 lbs) placed second. Sophomore Austin Cook (112 lbs), and seniors Randy Grimsley (135 lbs) and Jon Kossa (140 lbs) placed third at their respective weights.
Bates won an award for best wrestling match in the lower weight classes in his match against Legrand Sommers from Blackman. Biggs won an award for best wrestling match in the heavier weight classes in his match against Scott Boykin from Riverdale. Mt. Juliet Coach Brad Mattingly was voted Coach of the Year.
Lebanon High School will sending four wrestlers to Franklin, including two region champs -- both females. Senior Ali Trull (6-0 at 120 lbs.) and freshman Aletha Grisham (6-2 at 148 lbs.) will each compete in eight person brackets. Trull is a No. 1 seed and has received a first round bye. Grisham also received a bye to the semifinal round.
LHS senior Cain Sloan was the regional runner-up at 215 lbs while Austin Holtgraeve finished fourth at 171 pounds. Sloan enters the state tournament with a record of 27-6 while Holtgraewe comes in at 22-12.
Wilson Central will also be sending seven wrestlers to Franklin, including region champion Jacob Belcher at 135 lbs. Belcher, 48-4 on the season, will be making his fourth conseutive trip to the state. Joining him are second place regional finalists Nick Insalaco (112 lbs), who went 44-5 as a sophomore and ninth grader Austin Richard at 125 lbs, 47-8 on the season. Insalaco qualified for the state last season and finished eighth.
Soph Bryson Hutchison qualified with a fourth place finish at 140 lbs. He has a season record of 21-13. Freshman Christian Cerrito qualified with a fourth place finish at 103 lbs. He brings a record of 34-12 on the season. Sophomore Jacob Meyers earned a berth in the state with a fourth place finish at the 152 lbs division. He has a seasonal record of 35-10. Amber Hayes will bring a season record of 6-4 to the female side of the tournament. The sophomore advanced by placing fourth in the region at 125 lb.
Admission is $10 per day at the Williamson County Agricultural Exposition Arena