BY TATE RUSSELL
SUN SPORTS WRITER
GREENEVILLE - Three local wrestlers advanced to the finals of their respective weight classes and Greeneville finished second in team points at the Strong Heritage Greeneville Invitational Tournament Saturday at Hal Henard Gym.
Jon Boatman (113) and Marshall Brown (170) of Greeneville won their classes. Deaton Myers (145) of Chuckey-Doak advanced to the championship match of his, but had to settle for second.
Brown also earned the Outstanding Wrestler Award for the upper weight classes after his impressive afternoon.
"Marshall came to us as a freshman from a school that didn't have wrestling so he's only been doing this for four years," Greeneville coach Randy Shelton said. "For him to come out and win his weight class at our home tournament and take home Most Outstanding Wrestler, I never would have imagined it, and I couldn't be more proud him."
Brown won his first two matches of the afternoon by pin before dominating the final match from the onset. He put Hixon's Chris Nicholson on the mat quickly and tried his best to overpower him for the pin but could not quite get him turned. By the time Nicholson escaped the initial entanglement Brown had a 5-1 lead and finished the first period up 7-2.
Brown went on to win by major decision, 14-3, in the finals. Brown is coming off a state tournament appearance in 2012 and has his mind set on winning the region and advancing to the state meet one more time.
"That was exciting. That was one of the most intense matches I've been in," Brown said. "I always try to analyze them and pick apart their mistakes. Early on he made one and I took advantage of it"
Boatman is the Greene Devils' most accomplished returning wrestler this year. The junior is coming off a runner-up finish at last year's state tournament and cruised to the finals on Saturday. Boatman won his first match by technical fall, 18-3, and then pinned his semi-final opponent in just over a minute.
Boatman jumped out in front of Grayson Lane of Hixon 8-0 in the first period of the championship match and finished with a 10-2 win. The decision marked his 100th career victory and continued an almost perfect 25-1 season.
Myers finished runner-up in his weight class and was the highlight of a very accomplished afternoon for the Black Knights. Chuckey-Doak only brought four wrestlers to the tournament and all four placed in their weight class.
Myers started fast, pinning his first opponent in 27 seconds. He then pinned his quarter-final opponent before he won a close decision over Houston Dickens of Tuscola(NC) 5-2 in the semi-finals.
In the championship match, Myers got behind quickly but did his best to mount a comeback. He was trailing 7-1 early in the match but rallied to 9-5 in the third period before the clock became his enemy. He was forced to go for the pin but fell 10-5 to Nick Pack of Hixon.
Chuckey-Doak coach Woody Kahley said, "Deaton wrestled well the whole day. He's a good wrestler, a strong wrestler and he's little bit unconventional. Had he started better, the finals match might have gone differently, but he finished strong and had good day."
Dustin Jaynes(138) finished fifth, Micheal Sandstrom(120) finished 6th and Robert Williams(106) finished 8th in their weight classes for Chuckey-Doak.
For Greeneville, Jimmy Bowman (152), Justin Carlson (138) and Atlas Fagundes (120) earned third place finishes. Jared Bond (160) and Josh Vance(126) came in fourth. Reese Valk (220) and Rob Shelton (132) earned sixth place finishes. Zach Reaves(195) finished seventh.
Joe Colby(132) was West Greene's best finisher, earning fourth place. Zach Scruggs(126),Cody Burnham(285) and Johnathan Padgett(145) finished in seventh place for the Buffaloes. Josh Raper(160) ended up in eighth place.
South Greene had four wrestlers place, in the program's second year of existence. Brandon Kelly(182) won his fifth-place match. Ritchie Lowery(195), Cody Brobeck(170) and Wyatt Cole(160) each finished in sixth place for the Rebels.
Hixon, which finished third in the Class A-AA State Duals Championships a year ago, finished on top of the team standings with 264 points. Greeneville was second with 164.5 points and Seymour was third with 161.50.
"Hixon is a team that has been competitive state wide for several years and for us to be able to come in and compete in several weight classes with a team that's so established is a very good thing for us," Shelton said, "We're a young team and we saw some things that we liked. We learned we have some growing to do and some learning to do to be able to compete with the top teams in A/AA."
The Chuckey-Doak girls had a strong performance on Saturday as well. They traveled to the Bristol Brawl and came away with two second and one third place finish. Crystal Pridmore(107) and Allison Gefellers(112) earned runner-up finishes. Kori Smith(125) took home a third place ranking.