STATE WRESTLING PREVIEW: ‘Mastermind’ Headlines Valley Qualifiers

Around the Chattanooga wrestling circuits, there is one school known, more than anything, for its heavyweights.

And of all the programs in the State, Whitwell is probably the last team one would think a 120-pound state qualifier spawned from.  Yet, that’s just what Jaren Thames did Saturday as he picked up a 2-seed in the 2-A/AA Region Tournament.

Otherwise known as the ‘Mastermind,’  Thames is often several moves ahead of his opponent, commanding the mat like a high-level chess master.   As the highest-seeded qualifier from the Valley, Thames has an easier road to the finals with only two matches separating him from a championship bout.

And although he’s breaking the TigerTown wrestling stereotypes, Thames is only one of five Whitwell wrestlers heading to Cow Palace for a shot at the title along with the lone Indians from Sequatchie County.


120-LB CLASS: The Tale of Two Seeds

Valley Qualifiers in Bracket:  Jaren Thames (Whitwell) and Logan Silvers (Sequatchie County)

Seniors in Bracket:  4 out of 12

Freshmen in Bracket:  1 out of 12

Former Medalists in Bracket:  3 out of 12

Strength of Bracket*:  .740

Wrestler to Beat:  Dylan Pendley (24-2)–Junior from Forrest High School

Tale of the Tape:  
[Jaren Thames] His only mission is to win two matches for a shot at a Saturday Night showdown in the finals.  As a 4-seed in the 120-pound class, he’ll have to face Dylan Pendley in the semifinals if he wishes to be in the 1st place match.  He does sit on the opposite side of the bracket from the Region 2-A/AA winner Jacob Newman (Hixson), which could result in a finals rematch if Thames can win his first two matches.  The consolation side of the bracket where he would venture with a loss is also very winnable, meaning that Thames has a high chance of at least medaling.  
[Logan Silvers]  He edged into the top four of Region 2-A/AA, but fell in in the 3rd Place match.  Silvers is one of several Sequatchie County wrestlers who were within one game of qualifying for a trip to Franklin.  He sits as a 11-seed, but in his side of the consolation bracket, he has the chance, if he falls at first, to fight back and medal in his weight class.


170-LB CLASS:  Ashworth a Legit Contender

Valley Qualifiers in Bracket:  Warner Ashworth (Whitwell)

Seniors in Bracket:  4 out of 12

Freshmen in Bracket:  1 out of 12

Former Medalists in Bracket:  2 out of 12

Strength of Bracket*:  .890

Wrestler to Beat:  Alex Hendley–Senior from Chattanooga Christian School

Tale of the Tape:  
Warner Ashworth is a force to be reckoned with the 170-pound bracket.  As a 5-seed, Ashworth is only one of five underclassmen in the bracket and is seeded only below Greeneville’s Trent Night.  Ashworth, though, is probably in one of the harder slots in the bracket because he will have to potentially go through two former medalists on his way to the finals.  The consolation side of the bracket would be very senior-ladened if the seeding goes as planned, so losing later would be beneficial to Ashworth.


182-LB CLASS:  Tough Road Ahead for Mikel

Valley Qualifiers in Bracket:  Daniel Mikel (Whitwell)

Seniors in Bracket:  6 out of 12

Freshmen in Bracket:  None

Former Medalists in Bracket:  4 out of 12

Strength of Bracket*:  .940

Wrestler to Beat:  Chris Taylor (46-12)–Sophomore from Elizabethton

Tale of the Tape:  
Daniel Mikel won’t get any cupcakes in this bracket as he initially matches up with Fairview’s Joshua Ortiz-Derrick, a senior, former medalist, and 3-time state qualifier, in the first round.  Mikel, if he does suffer a loss, will likely face-off with Chris Taylor (mentioned above) or Boyd-Buchanan’s Kell Stott, who happens to be a 5-seed.  This bracket is not a nightmare, but Mikel will have a challenge on his hands from the get-go.


195-LB CLASS:  Carter in the Midst of State Pack

Valley Qualifiers in Bracket:  Will Carter (Whitwell)

Seniors in Bracket:  3 out of 12

Freshmen in Bracket:  None

Former Medalists in Bracket:  4 out of 12

Strength of Bracket*:  .790

Wrestler to Beat:  Anthony Baiamonte (26-1)–Senior from Pigeon Forge

Tale of the Tape:  
Will Carter has a favorable bracket in the first round against White House’s Will Rainey, but he’ll step right into the wolf’s den if he advances to the 2nd Round.  He’ll be forced to face-off with Pigeon Forge’s top-seeded Anthony Baiamonte.  If he can rise above the 1-seed, then his chances at a title improve tremendously, but if he falls, there’s still a reasonable shot to medal.  Depending on the status of Pedro Bautista, who was injured in his regional 3rd place matchup against Carter, he could potentially end up in the consolation quarterfinals with a loss to Baiamonte.  If we’ve learned one thing, though, it’s that the Chattanooga wrestlers often hold the upper hand against the rest of the state.


220-LB CLASS:  Tough Road Ahead for Mikel

Valley Qualifiers in Bracket:  T.D. Argo (Whitwell)

Seniors in Bracket:  7 out of 12

Freshmen in Bracket:  None

Former Medalists in Bracket:  4 out of 12

Strength of Bracket*:  .960

Wrestler to Beat:  Truman Ross (31-3)–Senior from Hixson

Tale of the Tape:  
T.D. Argo sits in a good position to upset his seeding as his position is nearly identical from Will Carter as both sit in position knock of the top-seeded wrestler in the second round.  The higher in weight you go, the more unpredictable things can get as one or two big moves can turn a match on its head, especially when  you venture into the 220 and 285 classes.  Argo is seeded 9th in the bracket after pulling out 3rd in the Region 2-A/AA Tourney on Saturday.


TRADITIONAL TEAM:  Valley Far From Team Title Bliss

Valley Qualifiers in Field:  Whitwell and Sequatchie County

Chattanooga Programs in Field:  10 out of 40

Strength of Field*:  .980

Team to Beat:  Pigeon Forge High School (21-11, Dual Record)


*  Strength Number Based off of percentage with 1.000 being the strongest imaginable field and/or bracket.  


Contact Chandler Morrison at TheSpearSportsBlog@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter@RCS_Chandler!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s