RHEA'S CAMPOS EARNS TSSAA STATE TOURNEY BERTH

Pictured is RCHS Eagle wrestler Francisco Campos posing after a Region 4-AAA runner-up finish, which qualified him for his second straight appearance at the TSSAA state wrestling tournament, to be held in Chattanooga from Feb. 24-26.

(Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021 edition)

The RCHS Golden Eagle wrestling team competed in the Region 4-AAA tournament on Friday, Feb. 12, held at Bradley Central High School.

Junior Eagle mat man, Francisco Campos, earned a spot at the TSSAA state tournament, now slated for Feb. 24-26, in Chattanooga, by finishing Region 4-AAA runner-up to McMinn County’s Austin Cooley.

Campos, who wrestles in the 170-pound weight class, has a 13-2 record on the season thus far, and his state tourney qualifying effort on Friday marked back-to-back years for the junior.

At the region tourney, Campos received a bye in the quarterfinal round, and pinned Bradley Central’s Knox Watson in the semifinal round to advance to the finals against McMinn’s Cooley. Cooley earned a 4-0 decision over Campos in the Region 4-AAA championship match. For his efforts, Campos tallied 16 points for the Eagles in team points.

Other Eagle wrestlers competing and finishing in sixth place in their respective weight classes were Allen Graham (120-lb.), Caleb Hickman (126-lb.), Joel Manzano (132-lb.), Devon Dunigan (138-lb.), Logan Douglas (145-lb.) and Jeffrey Cross (160-lb.).

Graham suffered a loss by pin in the quarterfinal round to Soddy-Daisy’s Hunter Bankes. Graham recovered with a 15-2 major decision win over Ooltewah’s Triston Schultz in the first consolation round. Graham suffered a loss by pin to East Hamilton’s Connor Lloyd in the consolation semifinal round. Graham earned two team points for the Eagles and concluded his season with a 5-4 record.

Hickman claimed victory with a pin over Ooltewah’s Hunter McKinney in the quarterfinal round but suffered a loss by pin to Cleveland’s Charles Randall in the semifinal round. East Hamilton’s Nathan Hollingsworth earned the consolation semifinal round win with a pin over Hickman. Hickman earned four team points for the Eagles and concluded his season with a 7-3 record. Hickman, along with Campos, qualified and competed in the TSSAA state tournament a year ago.

Manzano suffered a loss by pin in the quarterfinal round to Walker Valley’s Christian Wilson. Manzano received a bye in the consolation round one and then suffered defeat by pin to East Hamilton’s Hayden Endicott in the consolation semifinals. Manzano concluded his season with a 5-3 record.

Dunigan suffered a loss by pin in the quarterfinal round to Soddy-Daisy’s William Whalen but pinned Ooltewah’s Michael Hill in the first consolation round. Dunigan suffered defeat by pin to Walker Valley’s David Cantrell in the consolation semifinal round. Dunigan earned three team points for the Eagles and concluded his season with a 4-6 record.

Douglas battled to an 11-10 decision loss to East Hamilton’s Caleb Boyd in the quarterfinal round. Douglas received a bye for the first consolation round and suffered a loss by pin to Ooltewah’s Roman Evans in the consolation semifinals. Douglas concluded his season with a 2-2 record.

Cross suffered a loss by pin to Ooltewah’s Jaden Harden in the quarterfinal round but pinned Soddy-Daisy’s Jacob Ingerman for the win in the first consolation round. Cross suffered a loss by pin to Walker Valley’s Jackson Davis in the consolation semifinals. Cross earned three team points for the Eagles and concluded his season with a 3-8 record.

The following schools are in order of their team’s region tournament place and points:  1. Cleveland (245.5); 2. Bradley Central (221); 3. Walker Valley (114); 4. East Hamilton (102); 5. Soddy-Daisy (59); 6. McMinn County (51); 7. Ooltewah (49); 8. Rhea County (28).