CLARKSVILLE, TN (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – Fifty-six Clarksville-area wrestlers competed in the TSSAA State Tournament for individuals this week at the Williamson County Ag Expo Park in Franklin. Twenty-five of these athletes brought home a medal for placing in the top six, with five being crowned state champion.
Most Clarksville boys competed in the Class AA tournament, but those young men from Montgomery Central High School competed in the Class A tournament. The girls division included all schools. Each bracket consisted of 16 contestants with a consolation bracket to determine medalists through 6th place.
CHS Ella-Lina Gonzalez top as Clarksville-area wrestlers competed in the TSSAA State Tournament on Feb. 26, 2022. (Ryan Vinson)
Champion: Undefeated 2022 Best Wrestler, Sammy Shires, RHS Senior, 138 lbs
After placing third for three years at the state tournament, Rossview senior Sammy Shires came in determined to rewrite the script. He looked dominant and confident all year following a successful off-season including a trip to nationals in Fargo. But Shires seemed to have flipped a different switch entirely this week. The intensity was off the charts and those in his path suffered for it.
He described his mindset, saying, “Whoever was in front of me was going down no matter what. Ultimately my mindset throughout the season and through state was to show no mercy and give it everything I got.”
Shires pinned his way straight to the finals, overcoming his first three opponents in a combined total of two minutes and 35 seconds. In the title bout, he faced off against Ethan Lipsey, a junior from Bradley Central.
“(My coaches) knew Lipsey wasn’t going to be a cake walk,” Shires explained. “After long practices and talks … we all believed that I’d get past Lipsey and win a state championship. … I know Lipsey, he’s a great wrestler and competitor. I trust in my abilities to go out there and put on a dog fight and that’s exactly what I did. My confidence has never been higher than it was this season. There was zero doubt inside of me, I wanted it more than he did.”
Lipsey scored first with a takedown, but Shires escaped and scored his own takedown to finish the first period up 3-2. Shires blew the lead open in the second period with a takedown and a nearfall, but Lipsey replied with a takedown in the final period. Before Lipsey could close the gap further, however, time expired and Shires won.
At the conclusion of the tournament, Shires won the Class AA Best Wrestler award as voted on by the coaches. He said of the award, “I showed everyone that I’m legit and ready to take it up a notch.” Shires finished his senior campaign undefeated at 57-0 and now boasts the Rossview record for career wins at 209 with only 9 losses.
Champion: Two-Time Champ Roseanna Vaughn, NWHS Senior, 120 lbs
Northwest Senior Roseanna Vaughn made her third appearance in the state tournament, having taken 1st in 2021 and 5th in 2020. She earned her spot in the finals this year with three victories by pin, including some gritty and impressive reversals into pins.
Vaughn squared off with Scout Holguin from Carter High School in the finals. They traded scores in the first period, with a Holguin takedown and a reversal by Vaughn. The second period was uneventful, but each girl reversed the other in the third period. Vaughn did so second and tacked on a nearfall, claiming a 7-4 victory and state championship number two.
Vaughn’s final season was a successful one from start to finish, as she only dropped two matches all year and picked up at least 24 wins.
Champion: Two-Time Champ, Undefeated Ella-Lina Gonzalez, CHS Junior, 107 lbs
Ella-Lina Gonzalez, junior from Clarksville High, entered the 107 lbs bracket after winning her first state title last year at 103 lbs and previously claiming 3rd place in that weight class in 2020. Gonzalez did not simply pin her first three opponents – she didn’t even let them score a single point.
In the title match, Gonzalez met sophomore Jenna Baines from Greeneville, herself a state champion in 2021. Technically, Baines was the only one to “score” a point on Gonzalez all weekend – but it was a penalty by Gonzalez that awarded that point. With a takedown and an escape, Gonzalez sealed the deal and won her second state title, 3-1.
Gonzalez finished her junior season 38-0. Expect to see her back at the state tournament next year, hungry for her third championship.
Champion: Returning Medalist Aidan Brenot, CHS Junior, 160 lbs
Not satisfied with a 2nd place finish in 2021 at 152 lbs, Clarksville junior Aidan Brenot returned with a vengeance. He plowed straight into the finals with two pins plus a 16-5 victory in the semifinals.
Brenot met senior Dylan Cockman, a two-time medalist from Arlington, in the title match. Cockman was the first to score, but it was his only point of the match. He escaped in the second period, only to be taken down and nearly pinned by Brenot. In the final period, up by four, Brenot slammed the door shut. He slipped out of Cockman’s grip for a reversal, then ended the senior’s career with a pin.
Brenot finished his junior season with over 30 wins and only 6 losses. He should be tough to beat during his senior campaign.
Champion: Newcomer Shaniayha Wysinger, CHS Sophomore, 235 lbs
February has been good to Clarksville High’s Shaniayha Wysinger. The sophomore claimed two victories this month over a 2021 state champion before even entering this state tournament, her first.
Wysinger won her first three matches by pin before going into the finals against Diamond Young, sophomore from Cleveland. Things were looking very dicey for Wysinger as Young opened up a 7-1 lead in the first period through two takedowns and a nearfall.
When given the option for how to start the second period, Young chose neutral, meaning both wrestlers resumed action on their feet. An attempted takedown turned into a rolling tussle on the ground and Wysinger emerged on top. She quickly pinned Young to win, despite her 6-point deficit, and assumed the title of state champion in the process with a record of 26-6.
RHS Zack Duessler left as Clarksville-area wrestlers competed in the TSSAA State Tournament on Feb. 26, 2022. (Ryan Vinson)
CHS Grace McIntyre top as Clarksville-area wrestlers competed in the TSSAA State Tournament on Feb. 26, 2022. (Ryan Vinson)
NWHS Shyanne Michalski top as Clarksville-area wrestlers competed in the TSSAA State Tournament on Feb. 26, 2022. (Ryan Vinson)
RHS Analise Jetter top as Clarksville-area wrestlers competed in the TSSAA State Tournament on Feb. 26, 2022. (Ryan Vinson)
CHS Alexia Escobedo pinning as Clarksville-area wrestlers competed in the TSSAA State Tournament on Feb. 26, 2022. (Ryan Vinson)
CHS Emma Stewart top as Clarksville-area wrestlers competed in the TSSAA State Tournament on Feb. 26, 2022. (Ryan Vinson)
MCHS Carly Minor right as Clarksville-area wrestlers competed in the TSSAA State Tournament on Feb. 26, 2022. (Ryan Vinson)
In addition to the five champions, four other Clarksville-area wrestlers made their way to the finals and claimed 2nd place. Each one was a medalist last year, as well.
- Ty Bryant (CA 132) controlled each of her first three matches, including two pins. In the final she was tied after the first period, but fell by pin in the second.
- Genesis Gilmore (MCHS 152) pinned her first three opponents in a total of 2:15, but fell by pin in the final.
- Brette Spink (NWHS 165) had one of the most grueling weeks, with three matches including the finals going to overtime. Despite Spink’s endless grittiness, her opponent escaped with a 1-point win.
- Zack Duessler (RHS 182) won his opening match for the first time and came up clutch with a comeback semifinal win to make it to the finals. There, his opponent jumped out to a 5-0 lead after a tough call for the Rossview senior. Duessler battled back into the match, but his opponent stalled out the clock to escape with a one-point win.
The following wrestlers made it to the semifinals with two early wins before being dealt a loss. From there, they were guaranteed a medal, and here’s how they did:
- Emma Stewart (CHS 114) finished in 3rd.
- Gabby Wilkinson (RHS 138) finished in 3rd.
- Annalynn Rakett (CA 120) finished in 4th.
- Gracie Tuberville (MCHS 107) finished in 5th.
- Alyssa Adamo (RHS 152) finished in 5th.
- Alexis Mize (RHS 165) finished in 5th.
- Katie McMillan (RHS 185) finished in 5th.
- Alexia Escobedo (CHS 138) finished in 6th.
- Carly Minor (MCHS 235) finished in 6th.
- Seth Robles (CHS 132) finished in 6th.
The following wrestlers won at least three matches throughout the tournament to place in the top six and earn a medal. They are:
- Analise Jetter (RHS 145) finished in 4th.
- Shyanne Michalski (NWHS 100) finished in 5th.
- Lilli Cobb (CHS 132) finished in 5th.
- Mason Booth (MCHS 220) finished in 5th.
- Jes’Onla Barefield (WCHS 120) finished in 6th.
- Grace McIntyre (CHS 126) finished in 6th.
The following wrestlers picked up two wins and two losses over the first two days:
Girls: Ava Teasley (RHS 100), Caitlynn Miller (RHS 107), Caila Weatherspoon (CHS 120), JT Nikolao (RHS 235); Boys: Aidan Johnson (CHS 145)
The following wrestlers got a taste of victory at state, winning one match each:
Girls: Evelin Ochoa (RHS 126), Kelsey Mize (RHS 132), Madelin Allen (CHS 145), Kayla Powers (CHS 152), Crysalyn O’Connor (MCHS 165), Najette Mojica-Soto (WCHS 132); Boys: Cyrus Sanders (CHS 106), Garrett Furnas (WCHS 113), Jacob Miller (RHS 120), Max Landrum (RHS 132), Joshua Key (MCHS 132), Ethan Cunningham (NWHS 152), Deago Buck (CHS 170), Chris Carbin (WCHS 220)
The following wrestlers capped off a strong season with appearances in the state tournament. Congratulations to everyone!
Girls: Mahkenze Bonczek (RHS 114), Christina Newsom (NWHS 126), Syriana Berrios (WCHS 138), Julia Easter (MCHS 138), Lily Peters (MCHS 145); Boys: Reese Levendusky (MCHS 120), Devin Mayfield (MCHS 152), Ryan Babuscio (MCHS 170), Stanford Thompson (WCHS 182), Jace Powell (CHS 195), Ruben Avalos (RHS 195), Kevin Shaw (NWHS 195)
In individual tournaments, wrestlers still score points for their teams based on their wins. In the girls tournament, Clarksville High School finished 1st with 122.5 points, marking the seventh consecutive year a CMCSS school won this award at the state tournament. Rossview finished in 2nd place with 108.5 points.