The Blue Raiders did double duty against the Tornadoes of Alcoa and Wildcats of Tullahoma, easily winning both matches by scores of 66-6 and 55-21.
In the closing match against Tullahoma, the Blue Raiders earned seven pins and a major decision in a final tune-up before the weekend’s Invitational.
“We saw a lot of good things. We’ve got a couple of guys banged up a little bit and took the match off,” said Cleveland coach Jake Yost. “We had a couple of younger guys in tonight that did a great job. Seth Garcia wrestled the last match against Tullahoma at 182 and found a way to win. He wrestled the first match against Alcoa at 170. He won both his matches tonight in the first varsity matches he had ever had; he’s 2-0 now. There were some young guys doing some good things tonight.”
Cleveland wrestlers pinned seven Wildcats to the mat and got a major decision from Will Haas at 145 pounds.
Ezra Taylor led off the Blue Raiders’ pin parade at 132. After the win by Hass at 145, Eli Isenhower (152) and Aaron Oliver (160) followed with pins to make it 22-0.
Garcia (182) put Cleveland out front 25-3 and Ethan West (220) and John Gaither (285) followed a Tullahoma pin with a pins for the Blue Raiders. Another Wildcats pin preceded a forfeit at 113 to put Cleveland out front 43-15.
Chris DeBien (126) and Austin Stevison (132) closed out the night with pins for the Blue Raiders.
“It’s not a bad way to head into the weekend. This match should give us some confidence headed into the weekend. We will go in with good attitudes, fight hard and see what happens,” said Yost.
“It’s going to be a tough weekend. It’s a really difficult tournament with a lot of good teams from all over the Southeast. It’s not just Chattanooga teams, they bring in teams other very good teams. Every weight class has state champions. It will be a good measuring stick to see where we’re at.”