Competing at Jefferson County, the Hilltoppers claimed their second consecutive Region 1-AAA championship.
The Hilltoppers won handily over runner-up Tennessee High, 206.5-155.5. Dobyns-Bennett placed third with 128 points, and David Crockett was fifth with 109.
Science Hill’s Braxton Mann and Chase Diehl were crowned individual region champions. The ’Toppers had nine grapplers reach the finals and almost everyone placed in the top four.
“This is great for our kids to come in here and win another region title,” Science Hill coach Jimmy Miller said. “A lot of our kids came in here and performed very well. There’s big expectations of them being in this program. It’s not easy being a Science Hill wrestler some days and you’ve got a target on your back everywhere you go.”
Diehl, in particular, stood out to Miller. Operating in the 170-pound class, the recent Southern Illinois-Edwardsville signee kept his perfect record intact — he’s now 59-0 this season — and is trying to win another state title.
“(Diehl) is looking for a big weekend coming up next weekend at state. He’s five matches away from finishing the season the way he wants to,” Miller said. “We had a bunch of freshmen and sophomores step up and find their way into the regional finals and get us some points. Our mainstays really helped us out today, too. We can count on our juniors and seniors.”
Posting second-place finishes for Science Hill were Hayden Bodo, Javelle Gillespie, Tripp Miller, Tyler Seeley, Joseph Frye, Jared Harter and Jack Tevis.
Seeley lost an exciting match in overtime in the 132-pound bout to Jefferson County’s Landon Fisher, who scored a reversal when Seeley nearly got the point needed to win on an escape.
OTHER NOTABLE FINISHES
Brennan Watkins (113 pounds) and Cade Salyers (285) collected titles for Dobyns-Bennett.
For the runner-up Vikings, Reece Nelson won the 120-pound title and senior Dillon Pendley, named wrestler of the year and outstanding wrestler in the lower weight classes, took home the 138-pound crown.
Tennessee High’s Logan Ferguson won by forfeit in the 152-pound division and Dominic Fields took home honors in the 160-pound division. Fields was selected as outstanding wrestler in the upper weight classes.
Gavin Hurley won the final title on the evening for the Vikings at 195 pounds.
David Crockett’s Gavin Russell won the deep 145-pound division over Frye with a fall in the second period with 1:50 left.
Daniel Boone’s Gage DeLoach claimed runner-up honors in the 220 class. Another notable finish for the Trailblazers was junior star running back Charlie Cole — who just recently started wrestling — placing third in the heavyweight division, good enough for a state-tournament berth.
The state tournament will take place on Friday and Saturday at the Williamson County Expo Center in Franklin.
REGION 1-AAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Saturday, Feb. 9
At Jefferson County, Dandridge
1. Science Hill 206.5, 2. Tennessee High 155.5, 3. Dobyns-Bennett 128.0, 4. Jefferson County 117.5, 5. David Crockett 109.0, 6. Morristown West 99.5, 7. Daniel Boone 52.0, 8. Morristown East 36.0, 9. Volunteer 26.0, 10. Cocke County 9.0.
106: Brayden Ivy (Morristown West)
113: Brennan Watkins (Dobyns-Bennett)
120: Reece Nelson (Tennessee High)
126: Braxton Mann (Science Hill)
132: Landon Fisher (Jefferson County)
138: Dillon Pendley (Tennessee High)
145: Gavin Russell (David Crockett)
152: Logan Ferguson (Tennessee High)
160: Dominic Fields (Tennessee High)
170: Chase Diehl (Science Hill)
182: Camden Buckingham (Morristown West)
195: Gavin Hurley (Tennessee High)
220: Ryver Shelton (Jefferson County)
Heavyweight: Cade Salyers (Dobyns-Bennett)