Editors Note: This week we take a look at the David Crockett wrestling team. Next week we will speak with Blake Sharpshire to see how the wrestling season is going at Daniel Boone.
A renaissance of sorts is taking place in the David Crockett wrestling program, but it has started at the bottom by implementing a feeder program at Jonesborough Middle school for the first time.
That has helped coach Tod Parker give wrestlers a better understanding of what they need to do when they get to the high school level.
In the past, up until our guys have gotten to Crockett, if we get a freshman, they have never wrestled before and that gives you three weeks to show them everything that you can so that they can compete before they walk out on the mat, Parker said. All of these other schools have had a middle school program and a feeder school.
While the Pioneers arent quite able to bear the fruits from that yet, they are building on the success that they had last year when they set the school record for team wins with 20.
Back from that team is junior Mikey Kromoff, who qualified for the state meet last season at 106 lbs. Kromoff is wrestling at 113 lbs. this season and currently has a 26-7 record, which doesnt include a loss to a wrestler in his region. Over the weekend, Kromoff finished in fourth place during the Arab Invitational in Arab, Alabama.
As a team, Crockett was able to place in the top 10, which has been a common place for the Pioneers this season.
Weve placed in the top 10 in the last three tournaments that we have entered and all three of them we havent placed in the top 10 in during the last five years, Parker said.
That run included finishing ahead of Dobyns-Bennett during the The Brawl in the Hall at Tennessee High a couple of weeks ago. That was the first time that has happened in school history, according to Parker.
Also helping to lead the way for Parker and his team is senior Wesley Pare, who currently holds a record of 23-11 at 182 lbs, as he is expected to make it to the state meet. Triston Hefner is another senior that qualified for the state meet in 2013 at 113 lbs. He will try to reach the state meet at 106 lbs. this season.
However, eight freshman wrestle valuable minutes for the Pioneers, which has forced them to start their season out a little rocky.
The first part of the year we took some lumps and we have improved every week and a lot of those guys have placed in some tournaments here in the last few weeks and they are starting to come alive at the right time, Parker said.
The Pioneers are hoping that with their recent success and their new feeder program, that they will be able to make a return to the team regional duals, a place they reached in 1988, but havent been back since.
That is what we are striving for, we are trying our best to get put up there with the elite like Science Hill, Dobyns-Bennett and Tennessee High, Parker said.
Crockett will host Greeneville and Jefferson County on Thursday and middle schoolers will also wrestle during that time.
The week will end with the John Klock Classic at Elizabethton on Saturday.
Other members of the wrestling team include senior Tiny Shipley; juniors: Ryan McCrary and Arthur Gibson; sophomore Paige Snapp and freshman Morgan Bowling, William West, Bradley Moore, Zane Gray, Justin Henley and Jacob Bowman.