Blackman traveled to the Jim Smiddy Arena at Bradley Central High School in Cleveland, TN for the always tough, 2-day Bradley Invitational tournament. Blackman took 13 wrestlers hoping to get some great experience and instill some confidence in our young group. The great experience part was no problem….easy. The confidence part? That may have been a different story.
In the 1st round of the championship bracket on Friday night, we had a couple of disappointing losses but 9 guys advanced to round 2. Because the competition level at Bradley is always high, we expect to be challened, but only 4 guys ended up coming out round two and advancing into the quarters-finals. Tre’von Thomas(120), Jaylen Brown(132), Landon Fowler(145), and Matthew Sells(160) all wrestled late Friday night hoping to make it to the semi-finals.
Tre’von lost to eventual runner-up Eason from Father Ryan and Jalen lost to 4th place finisher Preece from Gilmer, GA. Despite the tournament running late, both Fowler and Sells won their Friday night matches and both advanced to the semi-finals. Saturday morning, Fowler lost a hard fought 6-2 decision to eventual Champion and GA state champ Owen Brown from Commerce. Sells advanced to the finals with a 5-2 decision over Chase Forrester – also from Commerce.
In the consolation rounds, we took a beating. Cross and Thomas got put out one match before the blood round and Brown lost a close match in the blood round.
The Bradley finals started around 5pm or so and there is always some great wrestling to see. At 145, Landon Fowler downed Jordan Massengill from Ootlewah 7-2 to take the third place medal. At 160, Matthew Sells defeated a very tough Colton McMahan from Knoxville Halls 4-2 to win the Bradley Championship!
Overall, Blackman finished 13th in the team score and enters Christmas break with plenty to think about and a week or so to heal bodies and pride before returning for a home quad on Jan 5th.
Congrats to our medalists!! A few pictures from the tournament can be found HERE.