By PATRICK MacCOON
In an area rich with some of the state’s top wrestling talent, Walker Valley may still be working toward being a hard-to-beat duals team but has a handful of stout wrestlers.Joey Vecchione, …
In an area rich with some of the state’s top wrestling talent, Walker Valley may still be working toward being a hard-to-beat duals team but has a handful of stout wrestlers.
Joey Vecchione, a 152-pound junior, displayed a move not many high school wrestlers are able to showcase as he picked up the Mustangs' lone first period pin during a 46-21 loss to seventh-ranked Soddy-Daisy on Thursday night.
“Joey can be a highlight reel and he needs to believe it more,” sixth-year WVHS assistant coach Adam Raines said. “He had a beautiful inside-out trip to put the guy on his back.
“That’s a move you see high-level college wrestlers doing, but he is out here trying it in practice and matches. He watches some of the top college wrestlers and tries to emulate what they do here on the mat for our team.”
Vecchione was behind state medalist Michael Gregory last season.
Meanwhile, the tough-to-beat duo senior duo of Chandler Davis and James Jur came through with a pair of hard-earned victories as well.
With a 3-2 lead after the first period, Davis displayed strong defense on his way to a 6-2 decision after six minutes of ring time. On the season the No. 1 ranked wrestler at the 113-pound class is now 18-1.
“Chandler has been dominant for us this year at 113,” Raines said. “He has established himself as a state contender and he shows that every time he’s out there. He may not pin or tech fall everybody, but he usually wins comfortably. He really keeps himself in good position.”
Following his look-a-like, Jur flipped the script to avoid a letdown.
Walker Valley’s scrappy 120 found a way out of a trap to land a last second reversal for two points at the final horn to win a 7-6 decision.
“I really sensed a good urgency in myself because I knew the clock was winding down,” said Jur, who is 15-3 this season. “My arm started getting tired when he had the cradle, but I knew I could get out of it. After I got his arm out, I started running toward his head to get him on his back.”
For a wrestler fighting all six minutes, it is important to have energy left in the tank for the final two minutes. Jur proved to himself not only mental toughness, but physical as well.
“I could tell he was tired,” he said of his opponent. “I knew if I pushed I would be able to get a reversal. It means a lot to get the win and shows I am able to push through even when my back is against the wall.”
Soddy’s first-ranked wrestler Ty Boeck (220) also came through in the last few seconds, in fact, with 0.1 seconds remaining he pinned his opponent to give the Trojans an early 12-3 lead.
Others landing victories for the Mustangs, who are now 8-2 overall with a pair of tournament championships this season, were Tyler King at 132 and Cody Duggan at 195.
King cut WV’s deficit to 27-15 after he was able to fight his way to a second period pin after already amassing an impressive 12-3 lead in the 132 bout.
“Tyler has worked his tail off,” Raines said. “From a guy who could not score any points in practice last year to making a big impact in our varsity lineup, he has come a long way. His technique has improved, but now he believes he should be taking guys down and knows how to head hunt.
“If something happened today and it was all over, he has been a big success for us.”
Duggan also toughed out a linebacker-like match, as he bashed his way to an 11-7 decision in the second match of the night.
Zeth Haynie in the 145 match against second-ranked Tony Wilson (SD) was dead-even at 4-4 after the first period before falling in a major 14-5.
While losing to a Trojans squad, whose only loss came to first-ranked Cleveland as they gave them their closest match of the year in-state, the Mustangs will look to keep the fight as postseason competition nears.
“We have some tough teams around here,” said WVHS head coach Allan Morris, who had a birthday Thursday. “I love this wrestling team and they are working hard to get better. I feel like we have several guys who can make noise when we get to the tournaments.”
Raines added: “Coach Morris is someone I wrestled for at the Bradley kids club and I wrestled with his sons at Bradley. Getting to work with him has taught me so much about wrestling and coaching. He has been a great role model for me.”
Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE
Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE
We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.
If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.
Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE