White House Heritage High School is sending three wrestlers to state this year. The regional tournament was held on Saturday, Feb. 13, at Fairview High School.
Junior Kyle Watts will be headed to state for the second year in a row. Last year Watts placed fourth in the 138 weight class. This year found Watts in the 170 weight class with a second seed. In the first round, Watts received a bye sending him to the winner’s side of the bracket. In round two, he pinned senior T. Kern (Cheatham County) in the first period. Round three put Watts on the mat with junior M. Pukl from Fairview. Pukl beat Watts last year, but this year Watts was able to pin Pukl in the third period putting Watts on the mat wrestling for first place in the region.
The final match placed junior C. Edwards from Harpeth as the last opponent of the day for Watts. No points were scored in the first two periods of the match. Watts finally scored an escape scoring 1 point. After that a stalling call was made on Watts giving Edwards two points. Watts then took Edwards down for two. In the final 3 seconds of the match Edwards scored a reversal to win by a point. Watts took second in the region, and the two juniors were awarded match of the tournament for that final bout.
Junior Lucas Taylor is also returning to the state tournament. After placing second in the region last year at 145, he finished 4th in the region at 152 this year. No. 4 seed Taylor found himself with a bye in the first round. Round two had Taylor pinning freshman B. Shultz from White House High School in the first period of the match. Round two did not go as well for Taylor. Second-seeded B. Mitchell, junior out of Fairview, pinned Taylor in the first period. That moved Taylor to the losing side of the bracket. His next round found him on the mat with B. Bekkum, senior from Greenbrier. Taylor pinned Bekkum in the first period. The final match of the night was for third place. Taylor was once again on the mat with D. Kimble, the top-seeded junior out of Sycamore. Kimble beat Taylor at team duals just a couple of weeks previous. Kimble was up in points going into the third period. Taylor turned up the heat with some spectacular snap downs, but it was too little too late. Taylor was beat 16-4 leaving him in fourth place, but still headed to state.
Sophomore Jace Easter will be headed to state for the first time. This second-year wrestler has been in the 195-pound weight class for the Patriots all season. For his size, he is unbelievably quick. Easter pinned his first opponent, sophomore J. Bullock of Greenbrier, in the first period. He moved on to round two, facing first seed, junior A. Donaldson of Fairview. Easter made it to the third period with Donaldson before he was pinned moving him to the losing side of the bracket. In match three, Easter pinned junior A. Cook from Harpeth in the first period securing his spot at the state tournament. The last match was for third place. Easter was pinned in the first period by sophomore D. Garrity of Millington Central.
This is only the second year for Heritage’s wrestling program, and a difficult one at that. Finding matches and tournaments was a struggle. Last year only Watts and Taylor headed to state. This year, adding another wrestler, is a great thing for this young team. The state tournament will be held in Chattanooga this year. It has been postponed to Feb. 24 because of the weather.