KINGSPORT — Dobyns-Bennett’s Palmer Begley and Sullivan South’s Andrew Armstrong narrowly missed winning their respective weight classes at the Hayworth Tire Indian Classic on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean the duo walked away empty-handed.
The experience of going toe to toe with some of the most talented prep wrestlers in the Southeast isn’t a bad consolation prize, especially with postseason tournaments getting closer by the day.
“We have a chance to see a lot of kids we don’t get to see,” D-B coach Buzzy Mann said of the tournament, which featured 33 varsity teams.
“It’s just a really good day with a lot of good, hard competition. It will get us ready for our tournaments in February.”
Begley, a freshman, advanced to the finals in the 138-pound class before dropping a 21-6 decision to Noah Searls of Point Pleasant High School in West Virginia.
Armstrong, a junior who scored South’s first regional title last season, lost a hard-fought 7-3 decision to Zach Young of Bremen High School, which is located in Georgia.
Bremen edged out Point Pleasant 231-216 to claim the team title. The Tribe finished 12th, two points ahead of the Rebels.
For coach Matt Swayne’s South squad, this weekend’s performance marked another step forward for a program that started up just four years ago.
Including Armstrong’s runner-up finish, three Rebels placed in the event. Kyle Bond finished seventh in the 182-p ound class and Lucas McReynolds came home fourth at 145 pounds.
“The program’s doing really well,” Swayne said. “The program is growing and the AAU program is helping. We’ve just got to keep plugging away and working real hard.”
Dobyns-Bennett landed four wrestlers on the podium. Bryson Begley finished third in the 182-pound class, Jake Stidham placed fourth at 195 pounds and Chris Stout captured seventh place in the 170-pound division.
But a freshman stole the show by advancing to the finals, leaving Mann with high expectations for Palmer Begley.
“He’s been wrestling for a long time in the AAU program and he definitely has a lot of upside,” Mann said. “We expect to see a lot of great things out of him.”
As for the tournament itself, Mann couldn’t be more pleased with the strong response the event continues to receive.
“We added a JV component this year, so we had about 220 JV kids as well,” he said. “It just continues to grow every year.
“We’re about to the point that we’re going to have to limit the teams because we’re about at capacity.”comments powered by Disqus