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Emotional Bevelhimer wins region wrestling
Shurina’s dramatic rally earns 171 crown;10 locals statebound


Motivated by his younger brother’s season-ending knee injury, Nathan Bevelhimer’s trek to the Region 2, Division I wrestling crown in the 160-pound class was also fueled by his coach.

“Right before we went out, [coach Junior Hernandez] told us just to wrestle for our family, and the whole time I had my brother in my head,” an emotional Bevelhimer, a Bearden senior, said of Samuel Bevelhimer, a sophomore at 145 who tore an ACL earlier this season. “I got real emotional ’cause this one’s for him. Biggest win I’ve ever had.”

Bevelhimer (33-6 record), who defeated Bookie Al-Khelaifi of West 6-3 in the finals at Knoxville Catholic Saturday, Feb. 10, became one of two westside region champs among 10 who qualified for the TSSAA state tournament this week (Feb. 14-16) in Chattanooga.

Hernandez said about Bevelhimer, “Last week I told him, ’dude, you owe me one,’ ’cause I let him go to a wrestling college match, and I let him blitz practice about thirty minutes early.

“And he repaid me with a championship, and I love it,” Hernandez added. “It was emotional for me because as a first-year coach that was my first championship. And that’s how I want to start a program.”

Meanwhile, Catholic’s Daniel Shurina pulled off quite a rally in the 171 finals to edge Greenback’s Jackie Miller 9-7 in overtime.

Shurina, a junior (34-9), trailed 7-3 after two periods but fought back to within 7-5 with less than a minute left before being awarded two stall points — the last with less than 10 seconds remaining. “He was stalling, he was too tired to continue,” Shurina said.

In overtime, “I sprawled and just high-legged over and got behind [him],” Shurina added about his quick two-point maneuver in OT. “I did it all with God, I was praying the whole time.”

FHS senior Shane Reveiz (215) joined teammate Ethan Farinella (103) as region runner-ups, along with Bulldogs Andrew Birdwell (135) and Jacob Coffin (130).

Admiral junior A.J. Farinella (135) and Bulldog sophomore Ian Little (112) each finished third to qualify for state, as did fourth-place finishers Jacob Smith of Christian Academy of Knoxville (140) and CAK teammate David Morse (103).

For the fourth straight time this season, Reveiz (39-7) lost to Frankie Morgan of Union County (47-0), the state’s top-ranked wrestler at 215 who was 2006 champ at 189. But the last three have been close (3-1 Saturday).

“Shane’s tough, I’ve wrestled him eight times since last year (8-0),” Morgan said, impressed that his former coach at UCHS, Jason Moorman, is now Reveiz’s head coach at FHS. “This year, he’s put a lot of training into it, he’s a lot tougher this year.”

Reveiz got an escape point early in the second period for a 1-0 lead before Morgan did the same. Tied 1-1 in the third, Morgan grabbed two points with 1:19 remaining.

“[Shane] just came out of position for a second, and you can’t come out of position against Frankie,” Moorman said, adding that Reveiz nevertheless “wrestled great, he’s in good shape.”

In the 103 finals, Ethan Farinella was pinned in the first period by eighth-grader Jeremy Miller of Greenback, No. 2-ranked in the state and a Middle School All-American. As for making state, “I’ve been looking forward to this all year, just going out and wrestling with all my heart,” Ethan Farinella said.

Coffin (36-5), who qualified for state at 130 last year as an eighth-grader at CAK, said coach Hernandez’s practices “are really great, and they get you motivated to keep going and striving towards our ultimate goal and have fun.”

Birdwell (23-9), also making his second state tourney appearance after finishing fourth last year at 125, calls Coffin “an amazing partner in practice” who “pushes me one hundred-and-ten percent, twenty-four/seven.”

Among a 25-team field — the largest in Tennessee — Greenback won the region team title by edging out Seymour (174-171). Bearden finished fifth (115.50), Farragut seventh (95.50), Catholic 12th (59) and CAK 17th (41.50).

As for Bearden’s improved team results in major tournaments and dual matches this season, Birdwell said Hernandez “has really turned the program around.”

 

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