Successful wrestlers know when to be aggressive and go for the pin, and they also know when to go for points.
Riverdale senior Scottie Boykin wasn’t able to get the pin, but his aggressive moves earned him the points he needed to win the state championship in the 195-pound weight class Saturday. He defeated Walker Valley’s Billy Raulston 11-4 at the Williamson County Ag and Expo Center.
Boykin earned points from the start of the match from falls. Raulston earned points from escapes, but didn’t get any points from falls off Boykin.
Boykin had made it to the state championship wrestling match last season, but lost in the final match.
“I felt like I had worked harder and I know I deserved it more,” he said. “I was definitely a lot more confident than last year.”
Boykin led 4-1 at the end of the first period, 6-2 after two periods and added five more points in the final period after two falls and an escape.
“Our game plan was to go out there and attack relentlessly, which he did, and get that cushion,” said Riverdale coach Shawn Jones. “He worked for a full six minutes, and he’s going to be on top of the podium for that reason.”
It was Riverdale’s first wrestling state champion since former NFL star Dennis Harrison won the state in 1973.
“I’ve coached a lot of kids, and to pick out one more deserving than this kid, I can’t do it,” said Jones. “He’s a hard worker. Any college program would be better off having him.”
In the consolation matches earlier in the day, several Rutherford County wrestlers competed for medals.
Siegel’s Kyle Coder finished fourth in the 145 class, falling 17-2 in the third-place match to Soddy Daisy’s Gage Richmond.
In the heavyweight division, Blackman junior Austin Wells also claimed fourth place, losing in the third-place match to Joey Evans of Heritage 3-1.
“You’ve got to keep getting better, you’ve got to be aggressive, that’s what coach keeps telling me,” said Wells.
Josh Feuerbacher of Blackman finished fifth, pinning Jake Sahutske of Beech in 3:52, in the 138 class.
“It was actually pretty fun,” he said. “Last year I didn’t do so well. This year I came out and proved myself.”
Another fifth-place finisher was Sean Kennedy of Riverdale in the 170 class. Kennedy defeated Chase Gregory of Walker Valley 9-1 to claim fifth place.
“It’s great to come out here and compete and represent Riverdale,” said Kennedy, a sophomore.
Ellis Dodson of Eagleville battled in the fifh-place match, but was pinned by Garang Madult of Glencliff, in the 113 class.
Blackman sophomore Tyler Garrison was defeated by Nathan Wilson of Maryville 4-1 in the 152 class. Wilson went on and competed in the fifth-place match.