Consider it a wake-up call – one that couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time for Greeneville.
Nevertheless, the Greene Devils secured their spot in the big dance.
For the ninth time in 10 years and 23rd time in program history, the Greene Devils clinched a berth in the TSSAA state duals wrestling tournament with a 42-36 Class A Sectional win over Knoxville Halls on Thursday night.
Greeneville now has a week to prepare for the Class A state championships, an all-day event in Franklin beginning with the quarterfinal round.
“We made that way more difficult than we should have,” a relieved Greeneville coach Randy Shelton said. “There’s a lot of tradition going back between Greeneville and Halls … they came ready to wrestle, and we came out flat, maybe thinking we had it and didn’t wrestle up to our potential.”
Five matches into the sectional round, Greeneville trailed 18-16 with Colin Dupill (31-4) on deck to face one of the Red Devils’ top wrestlers at 160 pounds. Dupill scored four takedowns in the first period before a reversal and near fall in the second. His sixth takedown secured a tech fall, as Dupill’s 20-4 win put Greeneville ahead 21-18.
“Colin had a great match. That kid will be a state medalist in a few weeks,” Shelton said.
Two matches later, the Greene Devils had built a 33-18 lead. At 170, Paul Anderson (10-8) scored the fall against Jesse Burns in 1:25, before a 182-pound forfeit win by Kodiak Cannedy (22-2).
Zac Chrisman (13-3) made it 37-24 after winning his 195-pound bout by major decision, 11-2, over Hayden Goodman.
The clincher came at 106 pounds, courtesy of Carson Dupill (35-7). Against one of the state’s top contenders, Dupill scored two reversals and four near falls and took the match by tech fall in three minutes, 18-2. With only the 113-pound match remaining, Dupill’s win sealed the outcome.
“Carson proved he’s one of the best 106 pounders in the state of Tennessee right there,” Shelton said. “(Halls’) strong points were at 106, 132 and 160, so we knew going into this our goal was to take out two of their really good kids and let our other kids pick up the slack.”
Speaking of state contenders, two-time state finalist LeAndre Dabney (7-0) got Greeneville off to the right start. In 4:52, he scored the fall against David Cook for a 6-0 lead.
Fellow senior Malik Harris (14-8) cut Halls’ lead to 12-10 after the 138-pound bout. With three near falls and two takedowns, Harris took a 12-3 major decision over Gabe Freeman.
And in less than a minute, Hunter Mason (15-1) took the 145-pound match by fall over William Sexton. It marked Mason’s 11th pin of the season, third most on the team. Cannedy leads the Greene Devils in pins with 15, while Noah Murray and Morgan Cornelius each have 12.
“The way our lineup is set up, we always know no team can get a run on us,” Shelton said.
Shelton re-emphasized the importance of keeping a healthy lineup.
Greeneville City Schools closed Thursday and Friday due to staff shortages.
“We know there are some issues here in Greene County … now it’s about staying healthy and keeping the kids mentally focused,” Shelton said.
The Greene Devils wrestle in the TSSAA Class A state duals at the Williamson County Expo Center on Feb. 5. The quarterfinals begin at 9 a.m. Eastern.
GREENEVILLE 42 HALLS 36
120 — LeAndre Dabney (GHS) won by fall over David Cook, 4:52
126 — Jordan Sexton (Halls) won by fall over Cooper Johnson, 3:04
132 — Samuel Hutchinson (Halls) won by fall over Elijah Dabney, 1:00
138 — Malik Harris (GHS) won by major decision over Gabe Freeman, 12-3
145 — Hunter Mason (GHS) won by fall over William Sexton, 0:59
152 — Harlen Hunley (Halls) won by fall over Noah Murray, 2:46
160 — Colin Dupill (GHS) won by tech fall over Benjamin Whaley, 5:47 (20-4)
170 — Paul Anderson (GHS) won by fall over Jesse Burns, 1:25
182 — Kodiak Cannedy (GHS) won by forfeit
195 — Matthew Cook (Halls) won by fall over Ross Cornelius, 5:04
220 — Zac Chrisman (GHS) won by major decision over Hayden Goodman, 11-2
285 — Caleb Turner (Halls) won by fall over John Chapman
106 — Carson Dupill (GHS) won by tech fall over Aiden Wright, 3:00 (18-2)
113 — Domonic Noe (Halls) won by fall over Ronan Johnson, 1:26