Four Red Raider Wrestlers Qualify for State Tournament

Four CHS wrestlers who have qualified for state plus their coaches pose on Saturday at Warren County. Left to right – coach Roger Barlow, Brett Francis, Rey Reyes, coach Mike Sullivan, Chris Speagle, Jesse Hay-Smith and coach Randall Jennings[Photo provided]

The Coffee County Red Raider wrestling team continued to enjoy their best season ever after a superb region tournament performance on Saturday.  Four Red Raiders punched their ticket to this week’s state tournament as they join Lady Raider Mary Anne Walker to compose the largest ever Coffee County contingent.  Chris Speagle, Jesse Hay-Smith, Rey Reyes and Brett Francis all tallied Top 4 finishes on Saturday in the Region 5 Tournament at Warren County.

At 120 pounds, junior Brett Francis had to fight through the consolation bracket to capture 3rd place in the weight class.  After a getting a pin on Friday night in the first round, Francis suffered a 2nd round loss on Saturday to Samuel Hadlock of Cookeville.  Francis came back on Saturday to get a pair of decision wins heading into the consolation finals and a rematch with Hadlock.  Francis, a junior, fought his way to a 5 to 4 decision to upset the higher seeded senior and capture the 3rd place medal.

At 145 pounds, senior Jesse Hay-Smith used 3 decision wins to grab a 3rd place finish in the tough weight class.  After a first round bye, Hay-Smith got a 7 to 2 decision win over Blackman wrestler Aaron Fisher in the 2nd round.  On Saturday morning, Hay-Smith was pinned by 2nd seeded Michael Williams of Shelbyville to fall into the consolation bracket.  Hay-Smith fought his way to 2 straight 4 to 3 decision wins to capture the 3rd place medal.

At 182 pounds, senior Reynaldo Reyes entered the tournament as the 6th seeded wrestler and fought his way to a 4th place finish.  Reyes opened tournament action on Friday with a pinfall win before falling in and pinfall loss in the 2nd round to Nolan Cook of Oakland.  Coming back on Saturday, Reyes got a pair of pinfall wins, including an upset win over Brian Nelms, to advance to the consolation finals.  In the finals, Reyes fell once again to Cook to end the tournament with a 4th place finish.

At 220 pounds, junior Chris Speagle entered the tournament as the 9th seeded wrestler before rolling to a 4th place finish.  Speagle got a quick pinfall win in the opening round before falling to top seeded Bowdy Boyce in a 3rd round pin in his second match.  On Saturday, Speagle got a bye, a decision win and a pin to advance to the consolation finals.  In the 3rd place match, Speagle fought to a decision loss to Jimmy Pearson of Tullahoma.

At 138 pounds, freshman Gavin Prater finished the day with a record of 2 and 2 with a pair of pinfall wins.  At 132 pounds, freshman Hunter Waring finished the tournament with a 1 and 2 record.  At 160 pounds, freshman Zack Bush finished the tournament with a 1 and 2 record.  At 170 pounds, sophomore Jacob Phillips finished the tournament with a 1 and 2 record.  At 195 pounds, sophomore Zach Galy finished the tournament with a 1 and 2 record.  At 285 pounds, sophomore Cardin Stump finished with a record of 2 and 2.

The state tournament will begin on Thursday at the Williamson County Agricultural Exposition Park in Franklin.  The boys weigh-in will take place at 1 PM on Thursday with wrestling getting underway at 3 PM in the first 2 rounds. Wrestling continues on Friday at 10 AM with the championships on Saturday.  Lady Raider wrestler Mary Anne Walker will weigh-in at 8:30 on Friday and her first round match will be at 10 AM on Friday morning.  The girls’ championship will also be held on Saturday beginning at 10 AM.  Tickets for the event are $10 daily with a parking charge of $5 per car.