Hutchens wins individual title at state wrestling tournament

Feb. 15, 2014 @ 10:54 PM

Add another state title for the Pigeon Forge wrestling team.

Freshman Gavin Hutchens, two weeks after helping the Tigers win the A/AA dual state title, picked up some hardware of his own on Saturday night. The 106-pounder won the A/AA state individual title, pinning Red Bank’s Trent Comeaux in one minute, seven seconds.

Hutchens was one of eight Tigers to finish in the top six at the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s individual wrestling championships. That was good enough to earn Pigeon Forge third place in class A/AA as a team with 134 1/2 points. Hixson won the state title with 163 1/2 points.

“Our kids wrestled real well,” said Tigers coach Greg Foreman. “They had their ups and downs. Some of them had really great matches. It was a great learning environment for every one of them.”

Seymour’s Chris Poore finished fifth at 106 pounds in class AAA, making the championship semifinals before being pinned by Ryan McElhaney of Bradley Central. Poore got a forfeit from Walker Valley’s Drake Haney to get the fifth-place medal inside the Williamson County Agricultural Exposition Arena.

“They were all close matches,” said Seymour coach Alex Cate. “Chris was right in the mix of it. If we had a tournament next week he might’ve come out on top. We were proud of him to get a medal.”

In the girls event, Natalia Lysczarczyk of Pigeon Forge was second at 112 pounds. She picked up back-to-back pins in the first two rounds before being pinned herself by Jordan Morrell of Happy Valley in the final. 

While Hutchens was the only local champion, the Tigers got plenty of wrestlers to reach the podium. Matthew Kieta was third at 120 pounds, winning a 4-0 decision of Eagleville’s Hayden Hammonds in the consolation final. Isaac Frye (145), Xavier Bohanan (160), Nicholas Hilley (220) and Nathan Breeden (182) all made consolation finals before finishing fourth

Gary Reagan was fifth at 138, losing the consolation semifinal but getting a forfeit in the fifth place match from Caleb Arp of Greenback. Jacob Ruiter finished sixth at 113, losing the fifth-place match on a major decision to Austin Gilley of West Greene.

Foreman said Hutchens' win — and all of Pigeon Forge’s success these last three weeks — was a testament to a year's worth of work.

“He’s definitely put his time in to be in the position that he’s in,” Foreman said. “I encourage every one of my guys to be active 12 months of the year. That’s part of investing into this right here and getting the return that we got this year.”