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Nealon, Page preparing for the best of the best

Feb. 22—The Cumberland County High School wrestling program did well last weekend as the boys competed the Class A, Section 2 Championships at Heritage High School in Maryville, TN, while the girls took part in the Class A, Region 2 Championship in Winchester.

Three Cumberland County wrestlers represented the Jets in the sectional tournament, while four CCHS Lady Jets lined up to battle for the region title at Franklin County High School in Winchester.

Though they battled through some long days on the mat, two wrestlers — Jacob Nealon and Alexis Page — finished high enough to advance and will be representing CCHS at the state championships Feb. 23-24 at the Williamson County AgExpo Center in Franklin.

"There was quality competition at the sectional tournament," said Cumberland County coach Brad Eich. "There were multiple returning state medalists competing, so it was a very tough field.

"Jacob wrestled well on Saturday. He had some good takedowns to help him secure his third-place finish. He does have a few things to clean up and polish before competing at state. It will be his second trip to the state tournament."

Jacob Voss, wrestling at 132 pounds for the Jets, lost his two opening matches at the sectional. He was beaten by Ethan Uhorchuk of Signal Mountain and Brasco Cox of Heritage.

Bryson Young, competing in the 144-pound weight division, lost to Braylan Cooper of Soddy-Daisy before being eliminated by Demetrius Brook of Polk County.

Nealon opened the tournament with a victory over Braeden Jenkins of Hixson. He followed that with a loss to Jonathhan Davis in the semifinal of the winner's bracket. He came back to beat Aiden Witt of Alcoa and then he took the third place match with a victory over Matthew Fowler of Red Bank.

The CCHS girls got good performances from Jenna Padgett at 107 pounds, Chelsea Authier at 126 pounds, Page at 132, Jade Tulley competing at 152 pounds, and Marly Elliott at 165 pounds.

Pagett, who did receive a forfeit win, lost both of her matches. She was beaten by Lily Shipley of Walker Valley and Cali Ellis of Bradley Central. Authier lost her first match to Brianna Oswald of Tullahoma, she then earned a bye into the next round before beating Addie King of White County.

Tulley won two of three matches at 152 pounds. She beat Avery Grant of Sale Creek. However, she lost to Neveah Buchanan of Shelbyville Central and then closed things out with a win over Bella Harris of Cleveland. Elliott lost both of her matches in decisions to Piper Fowler of Cleveland and Savannah Davis of Livingston Academy.

Page beat Lavenia Chase of Moore County in the opening round of the day. She then followed that up with a victory over Jianna Bare of Coffee County. She made it three wins in a row with a win over Audreyona Perkins in the girls' semifinal match. In the title match, she lost to Stella Wilson of St. Andrews.

"The girls wrestled in the region tournament at Franklin Co. High School," Eich said. "Jenna and Marly did awesome for first-year wrestlers. Jade and Chelsea both came up just one match short of qualifying for the state tournament.

"The girls did some really good things in their matches this season, and I am excited for their offseason and senior years next year.

"Lexi finished second in the 132 pound weight class. She wrestled well all day, and will be making her second trip to state this weekend. I am so proud of all of them."