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No.1 Knox, No. 4 Reveiz lead FHS to 2nd at Halls
Bearden’s O’Hern 23-2; Wesselman wins tourney, but injury ends his career


Farragut’s Justin Knox is making up for lost time in his final season as a high school wrestler.

“Last year I was injured throughout the whole year and didn’t get to train nearly as much,” said Knox, the state’s No.1-ranked Division I wrestler in the 171-pound class who finished a close second in the state last season. “This year I have to work that much harder and come back and win it this year.”

With Knox’s latest tournament championship at the annual Halls Invitational Saturday, Jan. 15 — and joined by 215 champ Nick Reveiz — Farragut claim second-place in the team competition behind Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett.

Meanwhile, a Bearden grappler had a bittersweet finish at Science Hill High School in Johnson City Saturday — more bitter than sweet in the long run.

Along with Bulldog Aaron O’Hern (152-class), senior Scott Wesselman won the 171-class title during the Fendetti Brawl Invitational, but ended up breaking his leg during the final 45 seconds of his title match.

Though able to finish the match and claim the title with a 9-2 win, Wesselman’s BHS career is over because of the injury, Bearden head coach Jason Andersen said.

More on Wesselman, O’Hern and Bearden later in this story.

KNOX, REVEIZ

Working out at a prestigious wrestling school in Atlanta for six weeks in the summer and wrestling and learning from a pair of former NCAA champion wrestlers has so far resulted in Justin’s dominating performances and a perfect 19-0 record entering the week.

In addition to working out with former three-time NCAA Division II national champion Waylon Lowe, “I also worked out with Witt Durden, he’s a former Division One All-American from Oklahoma,” Knox said. “Working out with all the best guys, getting as many tough matches as I could.”

In addition to improving his strength and quickness since last season, “I used to wrestle mainly on my feet, and now I try to score points on the mat a lot more than I did before,” Knox said.

As for Reveiz, ranked No. 4 in the state in Division I despite having only wrestled for barely more than a year, expectations are rising.

“Last year everything surprised me, any kind of accomplishment,” said Reveiz, whose record improved to 17-3 after Saturday’s title. “This year I’ve worked in the summer, I’ve worked off-season, I’ve worked with Justin — I really expect myself to win the state.”

OTHER FHS FINISHES

As for other FHS top finishers at Halls, Chad Blankenship (152), Paul Mountain (130) and A.J. Farinella (119) each finished second; Demi Klonaris (fourth at 103), Daniel Turner (fifth at 112), Tim Mohon (fifth at 275), Shane Reveiz (fifth at 189) and Matt Scaperoth (seventh at 125).

BEARDEN

Wesselman suffered a stress fracture in the same leg during the fall cross country season, “I guess it never healed right,” Andersen said. “In the finals match something happened, he came down on it.

“Scott’s really upset, I can’t believe it,” Andersen added.

Wesselman’s career ends with a 23-6 record this season, which included 21 pins according to Andersen.

Despite being out, Andersen added that Wesselman “should be” ranked among the state’s top 171-pounders. The senior also finished second at the Greeneville Invitational Saturday, Jan. 8.

One of the state’s best at 152, O’Hern’s championship gave him a 23-2 record entering the week. He also finished second at Greeneville.

“Takedowns, we’ve been working hard on takedowns ...” Andersen said about O’Hern’s biggest strategic asset. “He’s really in good shape, he conditions on his own. He’s very disciplined.”

OTHER TOP BULLDOGS

Among other top Bulldogs at Science Hill, sophomore Nathan Bevelhimer (160) took third. “He’s coming on, he’s strong,” Andersen said of Bevelhimer.

In addition, Andersen said sophomore Andrew Birdwell (119) “is coming, the next two years he’ll be strong.” Despite not placing at Science Hill, Birdwell finished fifth at Greeneville.

Though out with a rib injury during the Science Hill meet, Doug Plumly (189) finished fifth at Greeneville.

As a team, the Bulldogs finished 11th of 18 schools at Science Hill after placing ninth out of 22 at Greeneville.

 

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