The Blackman Blaze wrestling team wrapped up the regular season with an exciting win in the Region Championship match over their cross-town rival, the 6th ranked Oakland Patriots.
The win marks five Region Championships in a row for Coach Ronnie Bray and the Blaze grapplers.
Blackman, ranked 4th in the state, had to win two matches in the mini-tournament to capture the title. The format of the Region tournament is simple. Number one from District 9-AAA wrestles number two from District 10-AAA and vice versa. Blackman and Oakland finished one and two in District 9-AAA while Tullahoma and Warren County finished one and two in District 10-AAA.
In the first match, Blackman defeated Warren County 62-13. The Warren County Pioneers are up and coming and they are well coached. It was a good warm-up for the Blaze. On the other side, Oakland defeated Tullahoma 45-33. Oakland put its strength on display while building a massive 45-3 lead over Tullahoma before forfeiting out the remaining matches.
The atmosphere in the finals match was electric. Both Blackman and Oakland had strong fan support present and at times, things got heated with the wrestlers. Blackman won the first bout as Jaylan Hughes pinned Jacob Crabill from Oakland in a thrilling finish. The Blaze won six of the next eight to open a big 37-9 lead. Oakland won the next three bouts and closed the gap 37-21.
In the most exciting match of the evening, Oakland’s 160 pound state qualifier Dejon Glaster bumped up to wrestle Blackman’s 170 state qualifier Anthony Gomez. Glaster got out front early and the Oakland bench went crazy in their appreciation of his effort. Gomez stormed back in the second period and closed the gap with a huge takedown and near-fall. In the end Gomez’s efforts paid off as he was able to regain the lead and edge Glaster 13-12. Blaze senior Brook Sacharczyk wrapped up the dual with a quick pin in the last bout. Final Score Blackman 46 – Oakland 21.
The region win sends Blackman back to the TSSAA State Duals this weekend in Franklin. It is the eleventh trip to the state duals for the Blaze. Blackman will face Sevier County in the first match on Friday at 3:00pm. If the Blaze win, they will face reigning state champion Cleveland in the second match at 7:00pm.
If you want to see the best of the best in Tennessee wrestling, make arrangements to get to the AG Expo Center in Franklin this weekend!!