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Dix state title keys best-ever FHS finish


FHS wrestler Scott Dix reacts with joy seconds after wrapping up the 140-pound class state title.
From the family’s own wrestling room to the yellow seats of Section 201 of The McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga Saturday evening, the Dix family witnessed its third wrestling son reach the summit.

Overflowing with joy following his 18-5 victory over Germantown’s Andrew Barnett during the 140-pound class finals of the TSSAA State Division I Wrestling Tournament Championships, Scott Dix embraced his coaches and teammate Zach Brezina.

And then he quickly jogged up the arena steps to Section 201.


That’s where his father, Ron, was waiting in the middle of the aisle for an extended embrace as the FHS-dominant section roared its approval. Seven-plus years of hard work had ended with a state championship.

“It’s been my goal since I first stepped on a mat in the fourth-grade, and it’s just an amazing feeling,” Dix said a few minutes after winning the state title. “It really hasn’t hit me yet. I’m still taking it all in, it’s amazing.”

Much more on the Dix family later in this article.

As a team, Farragut’s fourth-place state finish (80 points) was the highest ever in school history according to FHS co-head coach Joe Knox.

In addition to Dix’s state title, the high team finish was aided by second-place state finishes by Justin Knox (171-class) and Chad Turner (152). Knox was a tough-luck loser in his championship match, falling to Bryant Blackmon of Bradley Central 1-0.

More on Justin Knox and Turner later in this article.

As for other top West side efforts, Bearden’s Aaron O’Hern took hard work to an even more impressive level by reaching the 145 state semis before finishing sixth.

O’Hern whipped George DeJesus of Rossview 6-3 and Patrick Jenkins of Elizabethton 7-3 before taking out Daniel Boyce of Collierville 6-5 in the quarterfinals.

Among Division II state finishes, Dean Smith of Webb carried on a successful family tradition of his own by finishing second at 145.

DIX PATH TO SUCCESS

Dix credits not only his past state championship match experience but several years of working with his father and older brothers, Ryan and Mark.

Both brothers set good competitive examples. As a senior in 2000, Ryan Dix finished fourth in the state in the 135-pound class. Heavyweight Mark Dix, Class of 2002, was a three-time KIL champ. Also giving lots of support are mother, Teri, oldest brother Todd and youngest sister Lindsay.

“Ever since the first day I stepped on a mat they’ve been there cheering for me, coaching me, supporting me, helping me learn new moves and everything,” Dix said. “I can’t even describe how much they’ve helped me. Without them, I couldn’t ever have done this, never.

“My dad got me started in it, and my dad has been my coach since the very beginning,” Dix added. “He’s still my coach and he’s still my number one supporter. Without him, I couldn’t have done anything at all.”

In order to have a reliable place to practice, Ron Dix put his money where his vision was and built a family wrestling room about “seven or eight years ago.”

“In my basement we actually knocked down a wall between two rooms, and we’ve got two separate mats,” Scott Dix said. “A lot of money and a lot of time has been put into that room to get it right for me to give me a place to work on everything.”

KNOX CLOSE

“Justin wrestled real hard, the kid pretty much just backed up the whole time … they didn’t even hit the kid for stalling,” coach Knox said about how the referees should have penalized the Bradley wrestler at least once (one point per violation). “The kid backed up the whole match. I think Justin would have been able to take him down if he had wrestled and not backed up.”

With an impressive state tourney effort that included an 8-7 victory over Adam Valentine of David Lipscomb in the semifinals, Knox suffered his first loss of the season in the finals and ends with a 25-1 record.

TURNER ‘GREAT’

Wrestling “the best tournament of his life” according to coach Knox, Chad Turner finished second in the state at 152 highlighted by a major upset in the semifinals.

“He ended up knocking off the number one (ranked) guy in the semis, and he totally dominated the kid,” coach Knox said of Turner’s 5-4 victory over Luke Borneman of Houston.

MOUNTAIN WINS TWO

Knox also praised Admiral Paul Mountain (125), who although not placing in the top six did pick up two state wins.

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