BLUFF CITY - Over the last decade Greeneville has become the dominant wrestling program on Region 1-A, and while David Crockett pushed the Devils to the limit on Tuesday night they managed to capture their 11th consecutive region duals championship.
In a back-and-forth battle at Sullivan East the Greene Devils topped David Crockett 47-33 to claim the region crown.
“We have battled this year, and it’s been a tough year,” Greeneville coach Randy Shelton said. “These kids have persevered. I told them before the match, win or lose, I don’t care. I just wanted them to wrestle like warriors and fight for every point. These guys scrapped and clawed and found ways to win. Sometimes I feel like all I do is stand around and yell at kids. They are the ones that put the work in. But we challenged them this week and they rose to the occasion.”
Shelton also credited the work his assistant coaches, Sid Mason and Atlas Fagundes, have put in game planning and getting the squad prepared for a postseason push.
Greeneville will now try to advance to the Class A State Tournament for the 10th time in 11 years when it hosts Region 2-A runner up Gibbs in the state sectionals.
“We have to start studying film and see what we did right and what we did wrong,” Shelton said. “We have a couple of days to regroup. There is always stuff to clean up, but tonight we are going to sit back and enjoy this.”
The Devils got Tuesday night’s action started the right way when Carson Dupil (120) pinned James Mink in 1:10.
Josue Castillo (126) got into a battle with Crockett’s Graham Carriger. Through the first period neither wrestler could figure out how to score, then late in the second period Castillo slipped from underneath Carriger and flipped him over his shoulder for a reversal and a narrow 2-0 lead.
With the lead Castillo found new life and took control in the third period, pinning the Pioneer with 30 seconds left to give the Devils 12-0 lead.
“We challenged Josue, he’s been battling weight all year,” Shelton said. “We know he is a good wrestler and we asked him to go wrestle like a senior. We feel like if we wrestle hard kids can’t go six minutes with us. What you saw with Josue’s match is that kid had a lot of fight for two minutes, a little bit of fight for four minutes, but in the final period it was all Josue.”
That lead did not last long as a forfeit and Garrett Clark’s (138) pin of Griffin Garicunas tied things at 12-12.
The Devils regained the lead when Hunter Mason (145) made quick work of Nick Greer with a pin in less than a minute.
Colin Dupil (152) followed with a pin in 45 seconds and Greeneville led 24-12.
Crockett got going again when Dezsel Bambond (160) pinned Elijah Dabney. Angus Herrell (170) battled deep into third period but could not hold off a pin by Colton Ferrell as David Crockett tied the match again at 24-24.
Crockett took the lead at 30-24 when David Ingle (182) earned a third-period pin of Paul Anderson.
Morgan Lowery (195) got the Devils going again with a dominating performance against Gabe Ferrell. Lowery took the 2022 state tournament qualifier to mat early in the first period and went on to earn a 16-1 technical fall. With the win the Devils were within one point at 30-29.
Greeneville regained the lead when Zac Chrisman (220) pinned John Laws. Christian Feltner (285) then pinned Cameron Bailey to get the Devils within one point of mathematically clinching the match at 41-30.
Gabe Oakley (106) had the opportunity to secure the title by not getting pinned. He wrestled in front for much of match but gave up two late near-fall points to drop a 9-8 decision. Ultimately, though, the match clinched the championship for Greeneville as it led 41-33 with one match left.
“The last time they wrestled that kid pinned Gabe, but he spent a week studying film and getting ready. Then he went out there and executed. For a freshman that was a great job,” Shelton said.
Hunter Shelton (113) then ended the night with a quick pin to give Greeneville the 47-33 victory.
Greeneville started Tuesday with a 53-30 win over Sullivan East in the tournament’s semifinals.
Carson Dupil (120) pinned Josh Turpin and Castillo (126) earned a 16-0 technical fall over Owen Griffeth for a quick 17-0 lead.
Lowery (195) pinned Marshall Jones and Anderson (182) pinned Jeremiah Turpin.
East’s Lucas Roberts (152) pinned Dabney, and Dawson Jones (170) pinned Angus Herrell.