Pat Simpson is looking for his seniors to lead in the state Div. II wrestling tournament that gets under way Friday. The Irish are shooting for another state championship when the state duals open at the Williamson County Expo Center in Franklin.
“Guys like Wes Wesley, Cory Norcross and Anthony Simpson have all come on strong for us lately,’’ said coach Simpson. “They are all seniors and they are doing a great job of leading.’’
The No. 2 ranked Irish will take on area rival Brentwood Academy in the quarterfinal round Friday at 3:30. Ryan thumped the Eagles 64-6 in a dual match earlier this season.
“That’s a bit misleading in that they were missing some kids, and they had to forfeit a few matches in some of the weight classes,’’ Simpson said.
Ryan is looking for an 18th wrestling championship. The Irish have six dual crowns and 11 individual titles. Looking at the field, Simpson said, “I think there are four teams that have legitimate shots to win it. Baylor is always strong, as well as McCallie, (Memphis) Christian Brothers, along with ourselves.’’
No. 8 ranked MBA will take on Christian Brothers in a tough opening bout for the Big Red. All quarterfinals matches start at 3:30, with winners advancing to the semis at 7:30.
Ryan’s Norcross (heavyweight), Wesley (171) and Cole Mosley (103) are also solid contenders for individual titles later this month.
In the Div. II team smaller classification, Franklin Road Academy will make its first trip to state since the Panthers finished as runner-up in 2006. FRA will meet St. Andrews-Sewanee in its opener.
Also, BGA will meet Pope JPII, and Ensworth takes on St. George’s in their quarterfinal matches, which all start at 3:30 Friday. All finals are Saturday at the Expo Center.
Decathlon standouts transfer to Georgia
Former state decathlon champions Ben Davies and Michael Ayers have both transferred from the original SEC schools they signed with three years ago to Georgia.
Davies, who won the DII state title three straight years (2005-06-07) for Brentwood Academy, transferred from Florida. And Ayers, who also won three straight Class AAA state titles for Ravenwood High during the same years, transferred from Tennessee.
Last year, Ayers finished second in the decathlon in the SEC meet and fourth in the NCAA meet with a personal best 7,794 points. He also finished fourth in the pole vault at the NCAA meet.
Davies won his specialty, the javelin throw with a personal best and NCAA qualifying heave at the Florida Relays last year and he also won the Seminole Twilight Invitational.
Good friends, Davies and Ayers and have trained extensively with each other through the years. They will be juniors with the Georgia team. They join another Nashville area trackman on the team, distance runner Bejan Abtahi, formerly of Father Ryan, on the Bulldog team.
Maddux captures 100th coaching win
Christ Presbyterian Academy boys coach Drew Maddux collected his 100th career coaching victory in his fourth season with the school as the Lions toppled Whites Creek 42-32 last week.
“I’m very proud of what we have been able to accomplish here, and it’s only possible by having outstanding players and a great administration,’’ said Maddux whose team avenged a tough two-point loss at the buzzer at Whites Creek three weeks ago. His teams are 100-27 at CPA.
“This has little to do with Drew Maddux, but more of the wonderful CPA family here and the people I’m fortunate enough to work with,’’ added the former Vanderbilt star who took CPA to the ’08 state tournament.
In a game moved back to Thursday to beat the snow, center Matt Zelenik had 16 points to lead CPA (19-6/7-5), while Taylor Akers and eighth-grader Jalen Lindsey added nine each. Javier Booker tallied 10 to lead Whites Creek (10-12/6-7) .
Sun Belt honors ex-Glencliff track star
Former Glencliff High track star Brittany Cox, a senior at MTSU, has been named the Sun Belt Conference athlete of the week after breaking her own league and school records in the weight throws at the Blue Raider Invitational in Murfreesboro.
MBA cross country team recognized
Montgomery Bell Academy’s state cross country championship team was recognized by the Nashville Predators last Saturday between periods of the Preds game with Atlanta at the Sommet Center. Coach Robert Pruitt and most of the team were on hand.
BGA reschedules girls’ homecoming
Battle Ground Academy postponed its homecoming night celebration last Friday, which honors the 30 years of girls basketball at the school. It has been reset for Friday, Feb. 12.
The Wildcats’ games with Harpeth Hall and MBA were also postponed.