Blackman junior Sells sets lofty goals

Blackman junior Sells sets lofty goals

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Blackman junior Sells sets lofty goals

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MURFREESBORO

Tyler Sells was a spectator at arena level two seasons ago when Blackman teammate and friend Eric Feuerbacher leaped into coach Shawn Jones’ arms after winning his first TSSAA wrestling state title.

The Blackman junior has made it his goal this season to get his own state title, and perhaps finish his career with two titles.

“I’ve never been satisified with just qualifying for state,” said Sells, who is a two-time state qualifier. “I set really high goals on what past events have happened at Blackman. I want to be our first two-time state champion.

“That’s all I’ve been thinking about.”

Sells is 39-3 this season at 160 pounds with one loss to an in-state wrestler — Aaron Lopez of Cleveland. Sells’ remaining losses have come from state champions from Georgia and Louisiana. All three have been by decision. And no loss was more than two points.

He will help lead the Blaze to the Region 5 Duals at 6 p.m. today at Blackman High. The Blaze wrestle Siegel in the dual semifinals. Wilson Central wrestles the winner of Wednesday’s dual match of Riverdale and Tullahoma.

The winners meet afterward. The top two teams advance to the TSSAA State Duals, held Feb. 1-2 in the Williamson County Agricultural Expo Center. Blackman has reached the state duals the past two seasons.

Sells spent the offseason going to different camps and wrestling events. He attended the Jeff Jordan State Champ Camp in Urbana, Ohio. He went to the UT-Chattanooga team camp with his Blackman teammates. And he was part of Team Nemesis, a wrestling team comprised by MTSU coach Bryan Knepper to compete in the Dixie Duals in Georgia.

Nothing was as intense as the camp in Ohio, which he has attended the past four years.

“It is nine hours a day of just intense drilling,” Sells said. “We have three sessions a day, three hours long. It makes you mentally strong because you are away from home, and it helps you physically.

“Every session goes until you drop.”

That intense training was important to this season’s success.

“I knew he had potential,” Blackman coach Ronnie Bray said. ” He worked his tail off over the summer. He’s developed confidence in himself through all of the stuff he has done.

“He now understands what it takes to get to an elite level. He doesn’t get nervous.”

Sells, who also plays football for the Blaze, has his eyes set high. It’s why he could be seen in the offseason running 3 miles up and down Shores Road near his home during the hottest point of the day.

He put himself through the most grueling offseason he could to prep him for this season.

“When we had three-a-days in football, he’d still go to the wrestling mat and put in the work,” Bray said. “He’s just been dedicated.”

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