2017 Region 5-AAA State Tournament Recap

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Riverdale's Nick Boykin Wrestler Michael Kramer from Wilson Central

It’s hard to believe that wrestling season is over!!!  As we put the 2017 TSSAA State Wrestling Tournament behind us, we want to take a look again this year and see how Region 5-AAA fared compared to other areas of the state.

In wrestling, Region 5 consists of 14 high schools in the southern Middle Tennessee area.  They are listed below.



District 9 District 10
Coffee Co. Blackman
Franklin Co. Cookeville
Lawrence Co. LaVergne
Shelbyville Oakland
Tullahoma Riverdale
Warren County Siegel
Stewarts Creek


This season, an impressive thirteen out of the fourteen Region 5 schools had at least one state qualifier.  That is an improvement over last year and a clear sign that wrestling interest is expanding in our region.  A couple of teams in the region made some significant progress this season in the numbers of wrestlers they were able to qualify for state.  Most notably, Oakland went from three state qualifiers in 2016 to seven this year. They led District 10 in greatest improvement.  In District 9, Tullahoma led the way on improvement from six state qualifiers in 2016 to nine this season.  See the final numbers below.



2016 2017 Gain
Blackman 11 9 -2
Stewarts Creek 10 9 -1
Tullahoma 6 9 +3
Oakland 3 7 +4
Cookeville 6 5 -1
Riverdale 2 4 +2
Smyrna 6 3 -3
Siegel 8 2 -6
Franklin Co. 1 2 +1
Lawrence Co. 1 2 +1
Shelbyville 1 2 +1
LaVergne 0 1 +1
Warren County 0 1 +1
Coffee Co. 1 0 -1


Siegel's Christian Salter Look for a Mat Return vs Halls

So how did Region 5 do at state?  Better!!  This season, Region 5 produced ELEVEN state medalists!!  That is a nearly 40% increase over last season.  In addition, we had FOUR state finalists!!  That meant that one out of every 4 state finals matches had a wrestler from Region 5!  There were TWO Region 5 State Champs as well!  Both Matthew Sells (Blackman) and Nick Boykin (Riverdale) brought home state titles.  This was the second title for Sells and the third for Boykin!  I am sure there’s a lot of guys who are glad that those two are seniors!  Check out the list of Region 5 state medalists below.



Matthew Sells (160) Blackman 1st
Nick Boykin (285) Riverdale 1st
Landon Fowler (152) Blackman 2nd
Christian Salter (182) Siegel 2nd
Daniel Bradford (132) Blackman 3rd
Cameron Henderson (126) Smyrna 5th
Luke Champion (285) Tullahoma 5th
Jake Harrington (220) Cookeville 6th
Jaylen James (120) Stewarts Creek 6th
Gabe Rogers (132) Stewarts Creek 6th
Jason Chambers (145) Stewarts Creek 6th


Compared with other regions in the state, Region 5 stepped has up their game.  In 2016, Region 5 was 6th on the list of who had the most medalists.  This year, we have moved up to 4th.  Only three other regions had more state medalists than Region 5.  Traditionally, Chattanooga area Region 4 has always been the number one region.  This year, they were again number one but they were down from year’s past.  After Region 4, it was all Middle Tennessee.  (Regions 5, 6, 7)  Check out the numbers below.  (If you want to see which schools belong to which region, click HERE.)



2016 2017
Region 4 23 20 -3
Region 7 12 15 +3
Region 6 11 14 +3
Region 5 8 11 +3
Region 1 11 9 -2
Region 2 10 6 -4
Region 8 3 5 +2
Region 3 6 4 -2


Smyrna's Cameron Henderson Controls his Opponent

Middle Tennessee also stepped up in a big way and ended up with HALF of all the AAA State Champions!  Regions 5, 6, and 7 combined for seven state titles.  Last year, Region 4 had seven on their own.



2016 2017
Region 4 7 4 -3
Region 7 3 3 0
Region 2 0 2 +2
Region 5 2 2 0
Region 6 0 2 +2
Region 3 1 1 0
Region 1 1 0 -1
Region 8 0 0 0




The pie charts above show a very graphic representation of the parity that we are beginning to see at the state level.  This is a great sign that Tennessee is getting better and better and that quality wrestling is not just limited any longer to a couple of small areas of the state.

It takes a lion’s effort to become a state champion and Tennessee kids and coaches need to continue to strive to get better!!  Olympic style wrestling season is firing up now and we can’t think of many better ways for a wrestler to build skill.  Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling has a huge positive impact on wrestlers of all ages but particularly high school age wrestlers.  If you or your athletes are uncomfortable with the Olympic styles, you shouldn’t waste time…..…get it figured out.  Changing styles provides a much needed break from the rigors of Folkstyle wrestling.  Most kids have fun wrestling FS/GR because they do not have the same pressure to perform.  After all, they are learning something new.  The mental discipline of FS/GR is also probably the major benefit.  Wrestlers who learn FS/GR are forced to think differently about wrestling and they must employ different mat strategies on the fly that are unconventional to the traditional folkstyle rules.  For example, pushing out their opponent to score.  Once these techniques are learned, most notice a vast improvement in folkstyle technique and mat awareness.  Look at the top wrestlers on podiums across the state and in the nation and you will see a ton of Freestyle and Greco Roman experience.

Another way to get ahead of the competition is off-season fight nights.  Blackman will be hosting Fight Nights every Tuesday in the off-season beginning March 14th.  The fight nights are a great opportunity for wrestlers to see different competition that they ordinarily wouldn’t see.  In addition, wrestlers are free to work on whatever technique they wish so they can hone that one particular move they have been working on with someone other than their normal practice partner.  If you are not getting out to something like this once in a while, you’re making a mistake.

Lastly, try to get out and continue to compete!!  There are many national tournaments available and although many wrestlers feel intimidated heading out to Virginia Beach or to Iowa, the experience is well worth it!!  Make it a fun trip and seek out new competition!!

Congrats again to all the guys in Region 5!!  It was truly a great season!!  Although I wasn’t able to get everybody, there are some pics of Region 5 guys in the finals of the TSSAA State Tournament HERE.  Enjoy!!

Total Medal Count by School

Bradley Central 9
Cleveland 6
Tennessee 5
Arlington 4
Beech 4
Independence 4
Mt. Juliet 4
Science Hill 4
Blackman 3
Franklin 3
Knoxville Halls 3
Stewarts Creek 3
Summit 3
Wilson Central 3
Bearden 2
Clarksville 2
Heritage 2
McGavock 2
Soddy Daisy 2
William Blount 2
Bartlett 1
Brentwood 1
Cookeville 1
East Hamilton 1
Gibbs 1
Hunters Lane 1
Kenwood 1
Northwest 1
Rhea Co. 1
Riverdale 1
Siegel 1
Smyrna 1
Tullahoma 1
Walker Valley 1