Blackman's wrestling team made program history Saturday, finishing in fourth place in the TSSAA duals.

It was the highesst finish for the Blaze in the 20-year history of the program.

The Blaze opened the state duals Friday with a 75-6 win over Sevier County before falling to eventual champion Cleveland 40-30 in the quarterfinals.

However, Blackman fared well in the consolation rounds on Saturday, defeating Science Hill 43-36, Houston 46-30 and Centennial 47-30 before losing 42-24 in the third-fourth place match to 14-time champion Bradley Central.

"They are the defending state champions for a reason," Blackman wrestling coach Ronnie Bray said of Cleveland. ...""I am so excited for our guys, coaches and parents. All of our hard work truly paid off."

Oakland went 2-2 and came close to making the consolation semifinals. The Patriots defeated Knoxville Halls 37-29 before losing in the quarterfinals 33-30 to Centennial.

"We knew we were going to start out in a bit of a hole but we battled back within three points and the match could have gone either way as each of us won seven matches," Oakland wrestling coach Josh Harris said.

Oakland's Russ Griffin, Evan Harris and Dejon Glaster won by pin falls against Independence in the consolation round on Saturday.

"My guy might have been tired but nothing is going to stop me," Griffin said of his win.

Oakland bowed out with a loss to Bradley Central 41-24, but freshman Harris picked up another win at 145-pounds for the Patriots.

"It is the first time that Oakland has won two matches at the state meet, according to one of my coaches," Harris said. "We have a solid core group returning and a good eighth-grade group as well."

Blackman battled all day, first building up a 43-6 lead and winning over Science Hill 43-36 with a few forfeits making the final score closer.

Their second match was against Houston from Germantown, and the Blaze built a 46-6 lead again, but with forfeits at (152), (160), (170) made the final tally 46-24.

The highlight of the match was Blackman's Jayden Hemphill of Blackman and Dan Laramie, who went six periods before Hemphill pulled out a 4-1 win.

"I got him in a stand-up maneuver to make it 2-1. Then later I got him in a front face lock for the final points to make it 4-1," Hemphhill said. "I had a double overtime before and I was looking at my coaches for advice, and I followed in."

In the consolation semis, Hemphill won his match 17-2 to give the Blaze a technical fall and five points. The Blaze would go on to win the next seven weight classes to get a 41-0 lead before forfeits came into play.

Although Blackman fell to Bradley Central 42-24, two Blaze wrestlers headed to college shined in their last duals matches. Brooks Sacharczyk and Bowdy Boyce are headed to Arkansas Little-Rock and Newberry College in South Carolina, respectively, to continue their careers. Senior Anthony Gomez also looking at three schools to continue his career.

Blackman closes out the season with a record of 30-4, while Oakland finishes at 19-6.

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