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Grieco, champ at 171, leads eight westside state qualifiers

Among his lifetime sports achievements, Farragut High School junior wrestler Greg Grieco rated his Region 2 championship in the 171-pound class “probably my highest ’cause it’s individual, it’s only you.”

As first reported in Farragut First Edition, Feb. 14, Grieco said he’s “worked so hard the past three, four months, every day in that wrestling room just bustin’ it and getting after it and getting in better shape and knowing that I am going to be the best when I step on that mat.”

Grieco’s 8-0 blanking of Knoxville Catholic’s Zac Veum in the 171 finals highlighted eight westside wrestlers who qualified for this week’s Division I state meet in Chattanooga during final round region action Saturday at Gibbs High School.

Three other Admirals qualified for state: Ethan Farinella third at 125, Kevin Mann fourth at 130 and Clayton Ginn fourth at 140.

Other westsiders to qualify in addition to Veum (24-6 record) were Matthew Smith of Christian Academy of Knoxville, third at 171; Catholic’s Greg Shurina, fourth at 285, and Jackson Beggs of Hardin Valley Academy, fourth at 103.

Farragut head coach Tim Brunson said of Grieco (39-8 overall record), “He had a great tournament. He destroyed everybody leading to the finals. … Great finals match. He’s had a great year. It’s a testament to his character, he’s a great kid.

Grieco’s highest regular season tournament finish was second at Halls Invitational. “Greg works hard every day, comes in, pushes himself,” Brunson said. “He gets better every time he goes out on the mat.”

Grieco, third in region last year to qualify for state, added, “I’ve been working so hard this whole, entire year, there’s no way I was going to give up that match. ... I wasn’t cocky, I was confident.”

About his other qualifiers, Brunson said Farinella “wrestled really good. Kevin Mann at 130 had just a fabulous second day today … really came through in some tight matches today. “Clayton Ginn has really been a leader all year, had a great tournament,” the FHS coach added.


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