Blackman started off 2018 with a solid performance at the first annual Bussey-Dickeson Memorial tournament held at Wilson Central High School. The Blaze finished in 3rd place with 161.5 points behind DII powerhouse Baylor (185) and tournament champs Wilson Central (217.5). Blackman finished ahead of a few solid teams including Knoxville Halls, Beech, and Arlington.
Individially, Blackman had a great day sending eight to the semi-finals and four to the championship matches.
In the finals, Senior Daniel Bradford (138) lost by decision to Wilson Central’s Alex Pergande 6-1. Bradford had some opportunities but looked a little out of sync and simply didn’t get his offense rolling. At 152, sophomore Brooks Sacharczyk lost by decision (5-3) to Baylor’s Alex Atchley. In the first period, Sacharczyk gave up an early takedown and then some near-fall and was forced to work from behind for the rest of the match. He finally got things going in the third with an escape and a takedown but it was too little too late. Junior Anthony Gomez (160) had an impressive day but ended up falling victim to a headlock from Baylor’s 2017 state runner-up Mason Reiniche.
In the 170 pound championship match, Blackman Junior, Landon Fowler defeated Baylor’s returning state champ Connor Duffy to claim the 170 pound title. Duffy is very strong, has great technique, and scored the first takedown in the match. Fowler has proven to be a competitor but it’s tough to be down two early against a returning state champ. He battled back the entire match and while down by three late in the third, he was able to score a reversal and two near-fall to go up 6-5. Duffy mounted a strong effort in the final seconds to take the lead but Fowler was able to hang on for the win.
The Blaze also had solid performances by Junior Dylan Stebbins, Senior Jamil Hughes, Junior Spencer Layne, and Junior Jalen Brown.
Final list of placers:
Landon Fowler – 1st
Daniel Bradford – 2nd
Brooks Sacharczyk – 2nd
Anthony Gomez – 2nd
Spencer Layne -3rd
Jamil Hughes – 3rd
Jalen Brown – 4th
Dylan Stebbins – 4th