17 ranked wrestlers fill local rosters
by By RICHARD ROBERTS Banner Sports Editor
Jan 08, 2013 | 1514 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
THE CLEVELAND BLUE RAIDERS currently have six wrestlers ranked No. 1 in the Tennessee Wrestling Federation’s latest poll. The Walker Valley Mustangs have one wrestler in the top spot. The Raiders are ranked second as a team behind Soddy-Daisy. The Bradley Central Bears are 10th and the Mustangs are 11th. Banner photo, LYNNAE ROBERTS
THE CLEVELAND BLUE RAIDERS currently have six wrestlers ranked No. 1 in the Tennessee Wrestling Federation’s latest poll. The Walker Valley Mustangs have one wrestler in the top spot. The Raiders are ranked second as a team behind Soddy-Daisy. The Bradley Central Bears are 10th and the Mustangs are 11th. Banner photo, LYNNAE ROBERTS
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As the wrestling season barrels toward tournament time, the Cleveland Blue Raiders sit at the top of the heap locally with the largest number of wrestlers ranked at No. 1.

In all, the three teams at Bradley Central, Cleveland and Walker Valley boast a total of 17 state-ranked wrestlers. The Bears, Blue Raiders and Mustangs each have ranked representatives in all but three weight classes.

Cleveland, currently ranked No. 2 in the state behind Soddy-Daisy, has the most ranked wrestlers with 10. No. 5-ranked Bradley has four and No. 8 Walker Valley, three.

Five Raiders hold the top spot as ranked by Tennessee Wrestling Federation. Walker Valley has one Mustang on top of the current heap.

“I don’t know that it (having six No. 1-ranked wrestlers) gives us any more advantage than we already have being from they type of program we have,” said Cleveland coach Jake Yost. “It does, I think give us an advantage to wear a Cleveland singlet because we have a strong history. We have a strong program and walking out on the mat wearing a Cleveland singlet, they know where you are from. They know you are going to be good. But, I don’t know that being ranked No. 1 really gives you an advantage more than our kids already have being from our school.”

Bradley Central has state-ranked Bears in spots No. 2 through No. 5 while Mustangs wrestlers are also ranked at Nos. 3 and 5.

Cleveland sophomore Chris DeBien holds the No. 1 ranking at 113 pounds. Junior Austin Stevison is currently tops at 120. Teammates Austin Oliver (Jr.) and Haden Hamilton (Sr.) are out front at 126 and 132. Walker Valley senior Caleb Langford paces the field at 138 pounds.

At 160, another Blue Raider, senior Aaron Lopez in No. 1 at 160 and mat mate Ethan West (Jr.) holds the first position at 182.

Bears’ sophomore Toribio Novarro, wrestling for Bradley at 106 pounds is ranked No. 2 in the state and Cleveland junior Josh Hamilton hold the second spot at 152.

“People know the Bradley Central wrestling program,” said Yost. “They get the same respect we get. They have more than 20 championships and they get the same respect we get because they put on that Bradley singlet. I don’t think we have any more of an advantage than Bradley has, they have a strong program just like ours.”

Ranked at No. 3 at 113 pounds is Cleveland’s Dyer Rose (Jr.) while Walker Valley junior Billy Raulston is No. 3 at 195.

Three wrestlers are ranked at No. 4 in the state. At 126 pounds, Bradley’s Dakota Ream (Sr.) is No. 1 along with Raiders senior Oleg Stukanov (Sr., 195) and Cleveland sophomore Koran Kennedy (So., 285).

A Mustang and a Bear are ranked No. 5. Junior Tyrus Hamrick holds the position at 132 pounds for Walker Valley and senior Robbie Clark is fifth at 160.

At 160 pounds, Cleveland’s Ezra Taylor is currently listed at No. 6 at 138 pounds.

“They (Bradley) have the same advantage we have just like Soddy-Daisy does and Walker Valley is getting there. They are doing the right things over there and that’s why they have a kid ranked No. 1 in the state,” Yost said of the youngest program in the county. “A lot of times it takes a school a long time to get that first state champion, but it’s possible they will get their first this year and they haven’t been around that long.”