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IT’S A WRAP: Crockett wrestling season over; team saw plenty of success

Another high school wrestling season has come and gone in Tennessee and the wrestlers and coaches at David Crockett High School had a season full of team and individual achievements.
Mother Nature played havoc with the schedules of winter sports teams all over the state, but despite losing two dates and four dual meets because the weather, the DCHS wrestlers put together a 15-6 dual meet record.
This includes a 5-2 mark in District 1-AAA, which was good for third place in the conference. The Pioneers went on to finish seventh in the expanded Region 1 individual tournament, qualifying four wrestlers for state competition in the process.
“Weather-wise, this was easily the roughest season I’ve ever had here,” Pioneers head coach Roger Hill said. “Scheduling practice was very difficult with all the snow days we had, but we managed to pull it together. This group of kids has been highly motivated and dedicated to the cause. Things worked out pretty well for us in the end, and we’re real excited about next year.”
The Pioneers will lose three seniors for the upcoming 2010-11 campaign — Tom Snyder, Tyler Rome, and Tyler Caldwell. Snyder completed an impressive career with a season record of 28-9 at the 112-pound weight class and a third place finish in the regional tournament. He is a two-time Region 1 tournament place winner and will leave behind a career mark of 87-34. Rome posted a 20-12 record at 140 pounds and Caldwell was 15-15 at 160.
The Pioneers are not left leaderless. A trio of junior state qualifiers has DCHS wrestling fans excited about next year’s prospects.
Matthew Thomas finished third in the regional tournament after posting a 32-10 mark at 125 pounds. Thomas will carry an 88-38 career record into his senior season. Rico Vaquero was 27-16 at 130 and finished fourth in the region. His career record stands at 49-34. And Dylan Bryant was very tough in the 215-pound class, compiling a 37-10 record and reaching the quarterfinals of the state tournament. Bryant was also the champion in his weight class in the T. Tom Riner Invitational tournament in Lebanon, Va., in January. His career record is currently 69-30. Thomas, Vaquero, and Bryant were also ferocious pinners; between them they recorded 70 falls this season.
Several other experienced wrestlers will return next season for the Pioneers. A sophomore, Jeremiah Rogers, posted a 34-8 record with 24 pins and made the All-District 1-AAA team at 152 pounds. Junior Phillip Kyker and freshman Allen Carter wrestled as needed between 112 and 125 pounds; Kyker finished the season at 11-18, while Carter recorded a 6-9 mark. Sophomore Zack Willis was 14-19 at 135, and missed qualifying for the state tournament by one match.
Catastrophe struck the team on Jan. 9 when promising freshman 103-pounder Logan Hensley suffered a broken leg at the Chattanooga Central Invitational and was lost for the season. Up to that time, Hensley had posted an 11-4 record and appeared to be one of the favorites in the region at that weight. Fellow freshman Jacob Anderson filled in and completed the season with a 9-14 record.
Other regular starters for the Pioneers were sophomore Blake Neurenberg (9-12 at 135); junior Andrew Acuna (7-27 at 145); junior Bradley Corby (9-19 at 171); freshman Gabe Hawley (4-12 at 189); and junior Josh Johnson (4-11 at 285). Also posting varsity records this season were junior Lucas McKee (1-2 at 152); freshman Dillon Rivait (1-6 at 171); and junior Christian Taylor (2-4 at 215).
Freshman Megan Canonizado competed for the Pioneers in the 148-pound weight class of the girls’ division. At the girls’ state tournament in February, she won two matches and came within one match of medalling, losing in the consolation semifinals.
The team held its annual awards banquet on Friday, March 5. Matthew Thomas, Jeremiah Rogers, and Dylan Bryant were named to the Pioneer Takedown Club (35+ takedowns in a season). Rogers was named Most Improved. Phillip Kyker won the Dedication Award, while Rico Vaquero was the recipient of the Coaches Award. Most Valuable was Thomas, and Bryant received the Leonard Bryant Award for Most Outstanding Wrestler.