Blackman hosted 37 teams from across the state and 544 wrestlers this past Saturday in what ended up being the largest Blaze preseason tournament in school history.
In addition to turning out for wrestling, Blackman is also a permanent site for mass hydration testing, so an hour before the tournament began, there were wrestlers as far as the eye can see. The Blackman tournament marks the last day for free hydration testing in the state. Wrestlers have one last chance to certify before most teams begin their in-season schedules.
One reason for the large numbers this season is the huge amount of growth and hype behind girls wrestling in Tennessee. This year, 110 girls competed at Blackman’s tournament. That is up 189% from only 38 the year before. Boys accounted for a 15% increase from last season as well. Its great to see such a healthy sign of how wrestling is doing in Middle Tennessee.
Another reason for the large numbers….great competition. Five of the top ten schools in the state were on hand to knock off the rust. (#1 Cleveland, #3 Wilson Central, #6 Rossview, #7 Blackman, & #9 Oakland) Getting a good look at what you have this early is an essential way for coaches to evaluate their team and make plans for improvement. Whatever the reasons, it’s obvious that wrestling is growing…and that’s always good.
Once again this week, the Blaze came to wrestle. Continuing on the momentum from last week at Tullahoma, the Blaze boys were 61-15 in their matches while the girls were 11-3. Overall the Blaze won 80% of the matches wrestled.
“We put up sixty wins in seventy-five matches” said Blackman Assistant Coach Eric Sacharczyk. “That probably excites the fans, but we are not a by-chance program. We need more competition in the room driving guys to the next level. That’s where we grow”.
Great performances again by our seniors, Brooks Sacharczyk, Jaylan Hughes & Gabe Gomez who were undefeated. Austin Marlatt looked tough as nails and lost a close 2-1 decision to Cleveland in his only blemish of the day.
Sophomore Justin Bradford came out with three wins on the day including a hard fought 2-1 win over Cleveland’s Arlo Laxton. A few others stood out as well. Adin Heathcott once again looked sharp and was undefeated and same for freshman Miles Workman. Workman went 4-0 and showed some of what he is capable of. Shawn Wolford looked tough while scoring three pins. Another guy to watch was Junior Gabe Scruby. Scruby was another undefeated guy and had two pins and a major. He is going to win a lot of matches this season.
Blackman girls had an awesome day as well. Nena Brown, Sidney Silva and Jakaiya Hughes were all undefeated (all pins). Morgan Sacharczyk lost one and Alyson Colson lost two…all to very tough competition.
“It was great seeing the large numbers of girl wrestlers represented there today” said Blackman women’s head coach Andi Jones. “It shows how the sport is really growing in Tennessee. We will use the lessons learned and experience gained to motivate us to work even harder moving into the season.”
Blackman’s regular season begins tomorrow night at home in the Fire Pit. The Blaze host Lawrence County and Warren County. Wrestling starts at 6pm. Blackman’s middle school team will host a dual in the auxiliary gym as well.
A few pics from Blackman Preseason HERE.
Get on out to Blackman to support the Blaze!!