Representing three tournament champions at Viking Hall in Bristol, TN, Cave Spring High School celebrates their “best performance this season”, said head coach, Tim Nininger. Scoring 157 points, the Knights placed second at the tournament and six of ten wrestlers claimed a medal at Tennessee High’s Brawl in the Hall, which hosted 18 high school teams from East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia; a great accomplishment considering five of the fourteen weight classes were unfilled and forfeited. Ravenswood’s robust team of 31 wrestlers took first place. But Cave Spring isn’t intimidated by being outnumbered; just ask the teams who placed 3rd through 7th at the tournament, all of which had more wrestlers and more weight classes satisfied. The Knights are gaining more recognition with each tournament this season. “The guys are getting better every week. With continued training, we expect to peak at the State Championship mid-February. Mentally and physically, they will be ready”, said coach Nininger.
For Knights champions Josh McCray (106) and Lucas Mobley (126), the win is especially rewarding because it’s their first High School tournament win. “It was just a matter of time for McCray and Mobley and this will be the first of many wins for both of them”, said Coach Nininger. This is Chase McDaniel’s (138) second tournament win this season. Freshman Noah Webb was Runner-Up and two on the team placed third: senior, Coty Love and freshman, Cody Amos.
Mobley, a junior, has been wrestling since 6th grade and has advanced dramatically over the course of this year’s spring, summer and pre-season practices. “I felt confident going into it and knew I was going to win the minute I walked through those doors”, said Mobley. His final first place win was by major decision (winning the match by 8-14 points).
McCray, a freshman, has been wrestling since 7th grade and demonstrates intensity at practice and in competition. Coach Nininger chuckled as he told of McCray’s forecast of the tournament. McCray said he was going to use a slide by (Prescott) in the 1st place match and the coach told him ‘”you have to just take whatever’s open”. Sure enough, McCray seized the moment on the mat at Viking Hall and shot over an I-told-you-so glance to his mentor. Priceless.
Championship finals: 106: Josh McCray (Cave Spring) 19-4, over Andrew Long (Ravenwood) 23-8 (Dec 4-2). 113: Chris Rowland (Ravenwood) 13-3, over Noah Webb (Cave Spring) 13-7 (Dec 9-2). 120: Jacob Travis (Ravenwood) 31-5, over Matthew McLean (Rav) (Ravenwood) 4-1 (Dec 5-3). 138: Chase McDaniel (Cave Spring) 8-0, over Robin Klingensmith (Ravenwood) 18-3 (Dec 11-4). 145: Jacob Freeman (Ravenwood) 31-1, over Dalton Callahan (Elizabethton) 14-6 (Pin 3:18). 152: Taylor Warren (Ravenwood) 21-1, over Colby Dean (JI Burton) 22-2 (Dec 4-3). 160: Tanner Reynolds (Ravenwood) 32-5, over Jack Jones (Tennessee High ) 18-6 (Pin 2:27). 182: Jeremy Mullins (Eastside) 24-2, over Stephen Geltch (Rav) (Ravenwood) 4-1 (TB-1 8-7). 220: Rex Shotts (Ravenwood) 15-1, over Rhondell Walker (Rav) (Ravenwood) 4-1 (Dec 8-2). 285: Bowen Reau (Ravenwood) 26-5, over Grayson Jackson (Chilhowie) 15-1 (Dec 7-1).
Submitted by Danielle Apple