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Six in a row
Behind Dix, Knox,Turner, Farragut wrestlers capture sixth straight Region 2 tourney title; O’Hern grabs region crown


Aaron O’Hern, left, tussles with Maryville’s Landon Hall in the 145 finals.
With region championship victories from Scott Dix, Justin Knox and Chad Turner among eight state qualifiers, the Farragut High School wrestling team won the program’s sixth consecutive Region 2 Tournament championship Saturday.

“I think everybody’s peaked at the right time,” FHS co-head coach Joe Knox said about his team’s 43.5 point victory versus second-place Maryville at Sevier County High School.


Joining coach Knox, co-head coach Kerry Ferguson and their eight Admirals for the TSSAA Division I State Championships beginning today through Saturday in Chattanooga are Aaron O’Hern and two other Bearden Bulldogs.

Currently with a 34-8 record, O’Hern held his ground late against Landon Hall of Maryville and without a point being scored in the final period held on to win the 145-pound class region title 4-3.

“Aaron had total control of the match,” said BHS head coach Robert Brown. “He never took Aaron down.” As for O’Hern’s rise from non-state qualifier in 2003 to region champ, “oh, my goodness, I’m as proud as can be,” Brown said. “But I wouldn’t say this is a big surprise only because he’s such a hard worker.”

Michael Lumpkin, region runner-up at 215 with a 24-7 overall record, and Scott Wesselman, fourth at 171, will join O’Hern and coach Brown in Chattanooga. More on Lumpkin and Wesselman later in this article.

ADS’ BIG THREE

Dix, the state’s top-ranked Division I 140-pound class wrestler who edged familiar foe Jesse Gainer of South-Doyle 2-1 in the region finals, earn his third state tournament berth.

Dix, with an overall record of 39-3, joins Justin Knox, ranked second in the state at 171 with a perfect 21-0 record, as coach Knox’s most likely candidates to win state championships.

“I think that Justin and Scott could both definitely win the state championship,” he said.

As for Justin Knox’s biggest state tourney challenge, “he’s from Bradley Central, Brian Blackman, I haven’t seen him yet,” Justin said of the state’s No. 1 man at 171. Knox finished fourth in the state last season at 160.

Senior Chad Turner, champion at 152 following a dominating 15-5 region title victory over Adam Smith of South-Doyle, has successfully overcome a serious back injury that cost Turner his entire junior season.

“Chad’s a great athlete also,” Knox said of Turner, who qualified for state in 2002 at 140.

OTHER STATE QUALIFIERS

Sophomore Nick Reveiz, who despite only having wrestled “not even two months yet” according to coach Knox, finished as region runner-up at 189. “Nick pulled all kinds of upsets, in the quarters he beat the number three seed, and then in the semis he beat the number two seed,” Knox said. “He’s a great athlete.”

Despite losing a heartbreaking 6-5 sudden-death overtime decision to Jeremy Webb of Seymour in the 112 finals, senior Erick Abercrombie is making his fourth consecutive trip to the state tournament (28-3 record).

Chad Blankenship, third at 160, Paul Mountain, third at 125, and Ryan Farinella, fourth at 145 also qualified for Chattanooga.

OTHER TOP ADMIRALS

“Zach Brezina wrestled his heart out, he wrestled a great tournament, he had some pins that really helped,” the coach said of his senior heavyweight who won two matches with pins. “So did Brandon Lazarus (215).”

BEARDEN DUO

As for Lumpkin’s strengths, “Every year he’s placed higher and higher,” Brown said. “And that’s all you can ask for.”

As for Wesselman, “he has the most fight of any wrestler I’ve ever coached,” Brown said. “He’s not the best on technique, but he will fight to his last breath.”

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