Landon Fowler has waited a whole year to get back to the state finals. Last season his quest to become a state champ ended with a 6-3 loss in the final match. Tomorrow night, Fowler will find himself on familiar ground. This time, he hopes to get his hand raised.
Landon will face Max Grayson; a senior from Bearden. Grayson is a familiar opponent and earlier this season Fowler beat him 9-3 in the semi-finals of the Bradley tournament. Getting a second win over Grayson will be a challenge. As every experienced wrestler will tell you, beating a good guy twice is tough to do. With that said, Fowler has been mentally and physically tough and we love his chances!
All in all, it was a very tough day for the Blaze. Friday is the hardest day of the tournament. If you don’t make it through Frday, you will not medal.
In the morning quarter-final matches, Blackman went 1-4. Daniel Bradford lost a close match 6-4 to Pergande from Wilson Central. Jalen Brown lost by decision to Cleveland’s Austin Sweeney. Ryan Heath lost a very tight match to Gibson from Bradley. Jamil Hughes lost a 3-1 decision to Salyers from Dobyns Bennett. In the midst of those losses, Fowler majored Parker Bennett from Wilson Central.
Three of the four quarter-final losses were close matches. If something had went our way, we could have easily won all three.
From there, one by one, the dominoes began to fall and nothing seemed to go our way. Anthony Gomez and Spencer Layne were both put out in the third round of consolations, Ryan Heath, Bowdy Boyce, and Jamil Hughes all lost in consolation round four. And finally, Daniel Bradford and Jalen Brown lost in the fifth round of consolations (the blood round). If Bradford or Brown had won their final match, they would have placed. As it ended up, Fowler will be the only Blackman medalist this season.
Unfortunately, most of our guys got a reminder that placing at the TSSAA state tournament is not easy. For our seniors, today marked the end of their high school wrestling careers. The losses today will not define them or their wrestling careers however. Every wound leaves a scar, and those scars help remind us where we came from and how hard it was to get where we are now.
It’s time to put the full weight of our program behind Landon Fowler as he presses towards his goal of becoming a state champion! We want to see all Blackman fans and alumni tomorrow night at the Ag Center!! The Blackman faithful will be there hoping to crown Fowler as the 4th state champ in the last 4 years!