Tag Archives: Father Ryan

Riverdale’s Boykin sweeps pair of wrestling titles at Fargo

Nick Boykin arrived in Fargo, N.D., as a Tennessee high school wrestling state champion.

He’ll leave as a potential Olympian.

The 285-pound Riverdale rising junior, who became the first Volunteer State athlete to win a Cadet Greco-Roman national championship Monday with a 16-6 technical-fall victory over California’s Gavin Nye, added a freestyle crown Friday with a 10-0 tech-fall decision over Zach Muller of Illinois.

He is the only Tennessee wrestler to win both Greco-Roman and freestyle championships at Fargo.

“We’ve had some great wrestlers,” said Jeramie Welder, one of three Team Tennessee coaches at the tournament. “Tennessee has some of the best wrestlers in the country. We’re just having a hard time building the Olympic styles. That’s the big thing. Everything (in Tennessee) is focused on folkstyle at a young age. We’re playing catch-up with a lot of these states.

“Nick’s style, the way he wrestles, his positioning is great. He’s a really good Greco wrestler, even though he’s new at it. He made a name for himself and represented Tennessee incredibly well.”

In a performance very similar to his run through the Greco-Roman bracket, Boykin won all of his matches by either technical fall or pin in freestyle competition with the exception of a 10-4 decision.

“I didn’t expect to just go out and demolish everybody,” said Boykin, who was making his first appearance at Fargo. “I knew it would be good competition. I wanted to do my best. It was really fun.”

Boykin’s tournament performance caught the attention of collegiate and national coaches – including Matt Lindland, who has worked with a number of wrestlers at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs.

“Matt called me after (Friday’s championship match) and told me he’s got to work with him,” Welder said. “He was ready to get him out to Colorado tomorrow. He said he can be an Olympic champion if he wants to be. I agree with him. He’s that good, that talented.

“What he did is a really big thing for Tennessee. A lot of people may not realize it, but it is amazing what he’s done. He had one match that went the whole distance and he was still in complete control of it. I wouldn’t have expected him to walk over these guys like he did. He’s really god a lot of people talking. The buzz is out there.”

The 16-year-old is still trying to figure how to balance his new wrestling future with his high school athletic career – he’s a two-way lineman for Riverdale, which begins full-pad practice Monday.

“I’m going to play football, but my main priority is wrestling, after this tournament,” he said.

Along with Boykin, Father Ryan’s Eli King earned Cadet freestyle all-American status with his fifth-place finish at 138 pounds Friday. Ryan’s Trey Chalifoux will be a Junior freestyle all-American as well and will wrestle for seventh place in Saturday’s medal round.

Oakland takes top honors at Titans’ inaugural 7-on-7 event

The Tennessee Titans’ foray into the realm of high school football was a successful one, as 12 Midstate programs converged on St. Thomas Sports Park for a 7-on-7 tournament Wednesday.

Oakland, seeded fourth following the conclusion of pool play, departed with the championship trophy after defeating seventh-seeded Father Ryan 23-12 in the finals. Ryan receiver/defensive back Bryce Vickers was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

Oakland displays the championship trophy and bracket from Wednesday's 7-on-7 tournament.

Oakland displays the championship trophy and bracket from Wednesday’s 7-on-7 tournament.

“I think it’s great for the continued development and growth of high school football in Middle Tennessee,” said Josh Corey, the Titans’ youth football coordinator. “We’re very excited to be able to host it.”

Participants, in addition to the two finalists, were Lipscomb, Page, Centennial, Clarksville, Rossview, Northeast, Harpeth, Kenwood, Wilson Central and East Nashville.

“I would definitely like to grow it,” Corey said. “We’d like to give as many kids as we can manage an opportunity to come into our facility and compete. Hopefully next year we’ll grow it a little more. It’s something (that) we want to see what we did right and see what we need to work on for next year and try to make it bigger and better in the years to come.”

A key component of the Titans’ event was a character development presentation to each of the teams by ex-Titan fullback Casey Cramer.

“I was in their seats just a few short years ago,” said the 33-year-old Dartmouth graduate, who spent parts of six seasons with five different teams, including three stints with the Titans. “I was the player sitting and listening and wondering, ‘how can I play in the NFL?’ (It’s nice) To be on the other side and to be able to talk to them about what really is required – not just the Xs and Os, the 40-yard dash and the bench press, but to talk to them about character and how they develop themselves as men.

“To be a player has been great, but what was most important to me to communicate was how I failed and where I fell short. If I can use my failings and my bonehead moves so they don’t have to do that, it makes my idiotic moves worthwhile.”

The off-field element was something Corey, a former high school football coach in Florida, thought would be appealing.

“While the football part of it is important, this serves as the carrot to get them in here to talk about more important things like being a good man, having character, being a leader,” he said. “It’s something we think that as student-athletes and as people, are messages they need to learn. We’re pleased to not only be able to offer the tournament, but offer something that sets us apart from some of the other things that are going on all the time.”

Christmas in July: East Nashville bowed out of the tournament early, as the 12th-seeded Eagles lost their opening-round game in bracket play to Clarksville, but coach Brian Waite was excited nonetheless with the recent arrival of junior linebacker Jacob Phillips. Coming off a stellar sophomore season at Beech, Phillips has emerged as one of the state’s top recruits in the 2017 class.

“His parents moved to Nashville and they were looking for a school,” Waite said. “It’s been kinda like Christmas. He’s a great ballplayer and a great kid, and a great student, too.”

Tennessee, Oklahoma, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee State are among the schools that have shown interest in Phillips already.

Dueling quarterbacks: Centennial came out of pool play as the No. 1 seed behind signalcallers Tristan Pisacane and Blake Lovell – the latter a senior transfer from Spring Hill, where Louisville commit Tylin Oden is entrenched as the starter. Brian Rector, whose Cougars finished 10-3 last season and advanced to the Class 6A state quarterfinals, expects the position battle to continue through the bulk of the postseason.

Top gun: Rector was complimentary of rival QB Michael Magochy, the Page senior who led his team to a three-seed Wednesday and a quarterfinal win over Northeast before losing to Father Ryan.

“He may be the best quarterback in (Williamson) county,” Rector said. “(Independence’s Andrew) Bunch is heads and shoulders over everybody, but this guy is pretty danged good, too.”

Less than full strength: Oakland won the tournament without two of its top players – junior receiver/defensive back JaCoby Stevens and senior defensive lineman Ty Nix. Stevens sustained an ankle injury during last week’s 7-on-7 event at Riverdale and missed Saturday’s Ravenwood Invitational as well as the Titans’ tourney. Nix was also left in Murfreesboro because of an injury.

20 years later, 7-on-7 proves to be more than a passing fancy

Coming out of the dead period, most of the Midstate’s high school football programs will dive into 7-on-7 competition over the next two or three weeks before preseason practices ‘officially’ begin on July 27.

In an odd twist, a coach credited with creating the 7-on-7 concept will be holding his team out of most of those events.

Kurt Page, named interim coach at Hillwood last month following the resignation of Taylor Burks, was in his first head coaching assignment at Battle Ground Academy in 1989 and was trying to get some summer work for his skill players. Difficulties in doing so planted the seeds that have blown from coast to coast and virtually revolutionized the game.

kpage2

Hillwood interim football coach Kurt Page, who played at Father Ryan and Vanderbilt, is credited with creating the 7-on-7 concept during his tenure at Battle Ground Academy

“We had to find a way to get the guys together to throw and catch and defend the pass – something similar to summer league basketball and baseball,” said Page, who after his playing career as a quarterback at Father Ryan and Vanderbilt spent a couple of seasons as a graduate assistant under Jackie Sherrill at Texas A&M.

“I called up a few coaches to get together on Monday nights for six weeks, and they jumped right at it. We had it at BGA, and we called it the Tennessee Passing League.”

Gary Rankin, then at Riverdale, and Jerry Link at Hillwood were among the initial participants, Page recalled.

At a speaking engagement last September in Montgomery, Ala., Sherrill – who later coached at Mississippi State – referenced Page as giving birth to one of the biggest changes in college football.

“We didn’t know we were the first ones, or one of the first ones, but coach Sherrill sure did,” Page said. “He recruited nationally, and he said there was nothing going on like that on the West Coast or up east.

“It allowed coaches to collaborate, it wasn’t super-competitive, it was a great environment. I’ve had a lot of coaches at the high school and collegiate level to talk to me about it since. It’s been a huge win-win to help players develop and coaches grow at all levels. I really respect coach Sherrill. For him to remember a kid from West Nashville like that is pretty special.”

Page and the TPL moved to Father Ryan in 1994, where Will Hester – then a player at Brentwood, now a coach at Ravenwood – was a participant.

“I distinctly remember it,” said Hester, whose Raptors will host their third annual 7-on-7 event Saturday with 22 teams scheduled to attend.

“Monday and Thursday nights, all summer long. I wouldn’t have had a broad knowledge then of what was going on across the country or across Tennessee, but I remember it from here.”

The same things that Page and his coaching counterparts valued from the experience then are what Hester and others value 20 years later.

“When I was offensive coordinator at LaVergne with Don Thomas, we were one of the first to start working with the spread, and 7-on-7 was a great way for us to get a lot of work in in a day,” he said. “We’d have a few teams coming over and spending a day, getting a lot of work done. The only time I’ve not done it was the three years I was an assistant at Brentwood. We were more an option-type team then.”

Ravenwood’s may be the biggest of the upcoming area tournaments over the next three weeks, but it’s hardly the only one. Clarksville will host the National Select 7-on-7 Mid-South Qualifier tourney on Wednesday and Thursday, with 12 teams competing for a berth in the national tournament July 16-18 in Hoover, Ala.

Additionally, the Tennessee Titans are set to host 12 teams on July 15, and Middle Tennessee State will hold an event on July 18.

Hillwood will be sitting them all out, though.

“We’re going to work individually with a couple of teams, but we won’t do any tournaments,” Page said. “This is our first year. We’ve got a lot to develop and install, and we’re trying to build some relationships. We need to hone in and get better.

“But this time next year, look for us to hopefully have a tournament – or a league.”

If your team has any 7-on-7 activities scheduled this month, please e-mail details to mopattonsports@gmail.com.

Upcoming local 7-on-7 events

Wednesday/Thursday – National Select, Mid-South Qualifier at Clarksville (Clarksville, Creek Wood, Hazel Green, Hillsboro, Montgomery Central, Mt. Juliet, Northeast, Northwest, Whitehaven, Brooks, Civic)

Thursday – Mt. Juliet Chr. tournament (Oakland, Pearl-Cohn, Gallatin, Lipscomb, East Nashville, McGavock, Station Camp, Glencliff, Clarksville Acad., MJCA)

Saturday – Ravenwood Invitational (Athens; Beech; Blackman; Brentwood Academy; Brentwood; Community; Fairview; Independence; Lincoln County; Marshall County; Montgomery Bell Academy; Oakland; Overton; Page; Ravenwood; Riverdale; Siegel; Stratford; Summit; Tullahoma; Wilson Central)

7/14 – MBA at Franklin

7/15 – Titans (teams to be announced)

7/16 – Centennial, Mt. Juliet, Smyrna at Siegel

7/18 – MTSU (teams to be announced)

Hillwood turns (temporarily?) to Page at top of grid program

Kurt Page, who last coached a high school football game in Tennessee 14 years ago, is virtually set to return to the Midstate sidelines after being appointed interim coach at Hillwood.

Page was originally hired last spring to serve as offensive coordinator under Taylor Burks at Hillwood after spending the last two seasons at Monsignor Donovan in Athens, Ga. Burks resigned Monday to join Oakland’s staff as linebackers coach.

“We’re not thinking or talking about the past,” Page said. “We’ve got a good summer plan. Coach Burks set up a good offseason for them, going back to January. We got five good (spring) practices in and a good intrasquad scrimmage. Now they’re getting into the weight room, getting their running in.”

The offensive-minded Page has incorporated Nashville’s new area code into Hillwood’s ‘pistol’ attack for the upcoming season.

“I went over the last part of May and did a week of spring practice, and the guys responded well to the offense,” he said. “We’ve got a new area code – 629 – and a new adventure. We want to run a six-second play, and be the first team to score 29 (points). We’re trying to get that installed and ingrained into their thinking.”

Hillwood went 1-19 in two seasons under Burks, after he spent three previous seasons as a Hilltoppers assistant under Bubba Spears.

“Oakland is one of the top 10 programs in the state,” Burks said. “I felt this would be a great opportunity for me moving forward in my professional career, to be a part of this program.”

A former standout quarterback at Father Ryan who went on to play at Vanderbilt, Page established the MonDon program two years ago and led it to an 8-3 finish in 2014 and a berth in the Georgia Independent Schools Association (GISA) state semifinals.

Prior to the move, he had spent five years as athletics director at Franklin Road Academy, after previous coaching and administrative roles at Randolph School in Huntsville and St. Thomas in Houston.

In 13 seasons at Battle Ground Academy (1989-1993) and Father Ryan (1994-2001), Page posted a 97-50 mark with a berth in the 1990 state finals and a 1997 state championship.

“I feel good about what I can bring to the table, and I think the players trust me,” he said. “I’ve started two new programs (Randolph and MonDon), and this is something similar – starting over. We’re just trying to instill good work habits and attention, and let all the other take care of itself.”

With his football program set to become 1 of 26 under a different coach when the season opens in 11 weeks, Hillwood principal Steve Chauncy admitted the timing of Burks’ resignation wasn’t optimal.

“Any time you have a change, it’s sudden, but especially this late in the year,” Chauncy said. “But people make decisions that are best for them. We were fortunate to be able to name coach Page in the interim, and we’ll see where we go with that. It will provide some continuity for the kids.

“We’re going to gauge the situation. We certainly anticipate that coach Page could handle it if called to do it through the season, so we don’t expect any problem there if need be.”

Though Hillwood had not enjoyed a great deal of success of late – the team’s last win came in Week 4 of the 2013 season, followed by a current losing streak of 15 games – Chauncy was and is optimistic about the program’s chances heading into this season. The Hilltoppers will be in Region 6-4A with Creek Wood, Kenwood, Lipscomb, Montgomery Central and Northwest this fall.

“Sometimes you have to establish enough athletes and enough momentum to turn a situation around,” he said. “I think the reclassification will be advantageous and hopefully make a tremendous difference for us.”

MBA, Harpeth Hall win Hill Center Relays city championships

Ben Weisel took more than one for the team Friday night.

The Father Ryan distance runner wound up running nearly four miles in the Hill Center Relays city championship track meet at Harpeth Hall – winning the 1600 meters and the 3200 meters, finishing second in the 800 and running a leg on the Irish 4×400 relay.

“We were chasing MBA,” Ryan coach Doug Jones said. “He’s a great kid, works hard, does what you ask him. I probably won’t do this to him again.”

The Belmont signee wasn’t complaining after the long night, during which he nearly pulled off the tough triple – finishing just .91 seconds behind University School of Nashville’s Dylan Groos in the 800, his third race of the meet.

“I’m ecstatic,” he said after the 1:58.98 effort, which followed a 9:45.49 in the 3200 and a 4:29.71 in the 1600. “I wasn’t sure how it’d go. I’ve never done this many races in a row. I had hoped it would break exactly the way it did. I wasn’t sure if I’d have to run 9:30 (in the 3200). I knew the 1600 would be close to 4:30, but I can do that without pushing myself too hard, so that would give me the option to run another event.

“We were just going race by race, to see how each one went and how I felt. The 800 is just a speed workout, to see where I’m at and to get some points for the team.”

MBA, which set a school record with its 3:22.95 finish in the 4×400, took team honors with 145 points – pulling away from Ryan, which finished as meet runner-up with 96 points.

In addition to the relay win in the final event of the night, the Big Red got hurdle wins from Sam Curry (110s) and Will Pearson (300), who ran the opening two legs of the 4×400.

“That was a fun race,” MBA coach Robert Pruitt said of the relay, on which Curry, Pearson, Luke Bullock and Mike Lacey held off USN for the victory. “We’ll do it again in the (Division II) region, with Brentwood Academy mixed in, and we’ll do it again in the state with Memphis University School mixed in.”

On the girls side, Hillsboro’s Janel Pate came in with a chance to sweep three events as well after qualifying in the 100, 200 and 400 meters. However, the Alabama signee pulled out of the latter two in order to attend her senior prom.

“This is a big meet, but the most important thing is the sectionals and the state,” Pate said after winning the 100 with a 12.12. “I just want to get myself ready for the 100 and the 400 and the long jump.”

Harpeth Hall, which set a school and meet record with its 3:55.53 in the 4×400, won girls honors with 180½ points – nearly doubling second-place East Nashville (91).

It marked the second time in a week that the Honeybear foursome of Sophie Pilkinton, Reagan Freeman, Hallee Petrie and Lydia Witty had set a new standard in the event, following a 3:56.57 in last week’s Great 8.

“We knew after the Great 8 we’d be running our region lineup and that our legs wouldn’t be as fresh,” coach Jim Romero said. “We tried to clean up our handoffs; they weren’t great at the Great 8. We knew if we cleaned those up, we could pick up a second, and we did.

“I think some of these girls can continue to peak. That’s the question, can we get more out of them over the next two weeks. We just hope we have them where they need to be and where they can help us the most.”

Weisel and Ensworth’s Tyra Gittens – who won the 100 hurdles (14.85), the long jump (17-8½) and the high jump (5-11), setting a meet record in the latter – were named the meet’s Most Valuable Athletes.

Boys

Montgomery Bell Acad. 145; Father Ryan 96; Univ. School of Nashville 47; Pearl-Cohn 44; Maplewood 41; Stratford 40; Martin Luther King 36½; Franklin Road Acad. 35; Christ Presbyterian Acad. 32; Lipscomb Acad. 28; Antioch 25½; Hume-Fogg 25; Cane Ridge 21; Ensworth 20½; McGavock 14; Nashville Christian 12; Hillsboro 9; Hunters Lane 8; Donelson Christian 8; East Nashville 8; Overton 3½.

High jump – Zack Weatherly (CPA) 6-2; Pole vault – Ben Brunson (H-F) 13-6; Long jump – Darryl Harris (P-C) 22-7½; Triple jump – T.J. Turner (Mwd) 44-4½; Shot put – Daniel Bituli (NCS) 45-11; Discus – Rutger Reitmaier (Lips) 134-6; 4×800 – Univ. School of Nashville 7:57.97; 110 hurdles – Sam Curry (MBA) 15.15; 100 – Darius Morehead (Ens) 10.94; 4×200 – Martin Luther King 1:31.03; 1600 – Ben Weisel (Ryan) 4:29.71; 4×100 – Cane Ridge 43.68; 400 – Simpson Tanner (USN) 49.24; 300 hurdles – Will Pearson 40.05; 800 – Dylan Groos (USN) 1:58.07; 200 – Rontavius Groves (P-C) 22.08; 3200 – Ben Weisel (Ryan) 9:45.49; 4×400 – MBA 3:22.95.

Girls

Harpeth Hall 180½; East Nashville 91; Ensworth 77; St. Cecilia 57; Cane Ridge 54; Martin Luther King 39; Univ. School of Nashville 37; Overton 23; Lipscomb Acad. 20½; Antioch 18; Hillsboro 18; Stratford 17; Father Ryan 14; McGavock 10; Hillwood 9; Maplewood 7; Nashville Chr. 6, Glencliff 6; Pearl-Cohn 5; Christ Presbyterian Acad. 3; Hunters Lane 3; Hume-Fogg 2; Franklin Road Acad. 2.

High jump – Tyra Gittens (Ens) 5-11*; Pole vault – Hannah Malkofski-Berger (USN) 10-0; Long jump – Tyra Gittens (Ens) 17-8½; Triple jump – Jordyn Lesh (HH) 37-3; Shot put – Makayla Thompson (McG) 37-7; Discus – Nautica Merrell (MLK) 108-9; 4×800 – Harpeth Hall 9:43.28; 100 hurdles – Tyra Gittens (Ens) 14.85; 100 – Janel Pate (Hbo) 12.12; 4×200 – East Nashville 1:45.47; 1600 – Emma Sloan (Ens) 5:18.08; 4×100 – East Nashville 49.63; 400 – Lydia Witty (HH) 56.50; 300 hurdles – Grenetria Shell (EN) 44.23; 800 – Sophie Pilkinton (HH) 2:18.21; 200 – Maya Perry-Grimes (CR) 25.67; 3200 – Caroline Daniel (HH) 11:50.41; 4×400 – Harpeth Hall 3:55.53*.

*meet record

Let’s get ready to wrestle — state tourney style …

Josh Peck wouldn’t call it strength in numbers, but having a room full of wrestlers two days before the state tournament was an appealing sight for the Ravenwood coach.

And he figures it will be mutually beneficial to all involved.

Six other teams – District 11-AAA rivals Brentwood, Centennial and Independence as well as Page, Battle Ground Academy and Franklin Road Academy – were represented at Tuesday’s practice as fine tuning for the weekend wound down.

“It’s not just having a big room, but having good practice partners,” said Peck, who has traditionally issued an open invitation to area programs this time of year. “Some of these guys can beat everybody on their own team, but you come here and you’ve got a conglomerate.

“There’s somebody that will push you and make you better. And right before state, when the competition level goes up, the better your practice, the better you’ll be.”

Breaking the monotony of a long season is one purpose served by practicing with other teams. Creating a bit of an edge is another.

“You’re out of your element,” Peck said. “You want to work harder with another team – to show them you’re not tired, to show them how hard you work.”

Super six: Middle Tennessee has a half-dozen wrestlers that will be looking for their second state championships in as many seasons.

In Class AAA, Brentwood 152-pound senior Luke Hamilton won at 145 last year. Riverdale’s Sean Kennedy returns at 170 and Wilson Central’s John Kramer is back at 220 after claiming titles at those weights in 2014.

In Division II, Father Ryan’s Eli King eyes a 132-pound crown after winning 106 a year ago, with teammate Chris Wesnofske looking to follow his 2014 win at 132 by doing likewise at 145. Montgomery Bell Academy’s D’on Coofer goes for a second straight 220 title.

Chasing perfection: Riverdale features a pair of undefeated wrestlers — Kennedy (43-0) and sophomore 285-pounder Nick Boykin (38-0).

Also looking to stay perfect is Blackman’s Tyler Garrison, who comes into the state tournament at 54-0 and on a 91-match win streak that covers his junior season as well. The 160-pound Garrison was unable to wrestle in last year’s tournament after being ruled medically ineligible.

Working through tragedy: Blackman will have five wrestlers in action at this week’s tourney, following the death of Daniel Winters in a car wreck early Sunday morning. Winters had just qualified for his first state tournament by placing third in the 120-pound weight class at the Region 5 tourney.

Senior Michael Brobeck, the driver of the vehicle, will not participate after winning the region 132-pound title. Freshman Hunter Winters, Daniel’s younger brother, qualified with a fourth-place region finish at 170 but will not wrestle.

“He’s not ready,” Blackman coach Ronnie Bray said of Hunter’s availability. “If he were a junior or a senior, he’d probably be mature enough, but as a freshman, he’s just not ready.”

As for the remaining five wrestlers – including Garrison, 138-pound region champ Josh Feuerbacher, 152-pound region titlist Matthew Sells and 195-pound region runner-up Andre Bravo – Bray said they’re handling the situation as well as could be expected.

“Each of them is different,” he said. “Thank goodness Tyler and ‘Bam’ (Feuerbacher) are seniors; they’ve still got their eye on the prize. The others are there, trying their best to work hard. (Wednesday) was a big day to get through.

“They’ve been awesome.”

Schedule: Wrestling begins at the Williamson County Ag Expo in Franklin with four rounds of Class AAA competition starting at 3 p.m. Thursday, and resumes Friday at 10 a.m. with all three classes in action as well as the girls tournament. Championship semifinals are scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday and championship finals are set for 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $10 per day and parking is $5 daily.

Independence sets fundraiser: The Indy Eagles Wrestling Club will hold a dinner on March 12 at Dolan’s in Spring Hill. Tickets for two are $100, and ticket holders will also be able to guess the number of M&Ms in a jar with a 2015 Ford Escape going to the winner. For more information, go to indywrestlingroom.org.

Mat burns: Riverdale cuts class for wrestling …

Long known for its football and more recently for its girls basketball, Riverdale pushed a different sport out front Thursday.

The Warrior wrestlers hosted crosstown rival Oakland in a dual match during school hours, with students getting out of class to attend.

“It’s part of our homecoming week,” principal Tom Nolan said. “It’s something we do every year, to try to help grow the program. Most people don’t know a lot about wrestling. This gives our kids a chance to see kids (compete) that they don’t normally get to see, exposes them to something different.

“And it being Oakland, makes it a little more interesting.”

Riverdale's Nick Boykin (top) works for a first-period pin of Oakland's Kofi Arthur during Thursday's match

Riverdale’s Nick Boykin (top) works for a first-period pin of Oakland’s Kofi Arthur during Thursday’s match

Despite the presence of reigning Class AAA champion Sean Kennedy and 2014 third-place finisher Nick Boykin, the visiting Patriots got out with a 60-23 win.

“We had a fun time,” said Boykin, who finished a pin just before the end of the first period against Oakland 285-pounder Kofi Arthur. “Usually there’s nobody cheering you on (at dual matches). It makes it go better when you’ve got somebody cheering for you, like in football.”

Among the student spectators was Kahliya Murry, a junior forward for the Lady Warrior basketball team.

“It’s weird to see them wrestling,” she said. “They’re different people in class. They’re nice. They’re mean when they’re wrestling.”

For Riverdale coach Shawn Jones, the crowd was a pleasing sight for more than one reason.

“Wrestling isn’t a revenue-generating sport,” he said. “To have enough people to pay the official is saying something. But for these guys to have an opportunity to come out and show what they’ve got, they love it.

“The kids come and they’re thinking WWE, coming off the top rope. They see what it’s really about and they get into it. We love it.”

Riverdale makes the trip to Oakland on Jan. 16 for an in-school match.

Conflict resolution: They’re only about 15 minutes (OK, probably 20) apart, but take it from a guy who’s tried to cover both:

The G.P. West and the Father Ryan wrestling tournaments are an either/or proposition.

And their shared spot on the schedule this weekend puts a lot of pressure on teams and fans (as well as concerned media).

Franklin and Clarksville, which have typically competed in both tournaments when able, had to choose this year. Clarksville will participate in the Brentwood tourney, with Franklin going to Ryan.

“They usually have theirs the weekend before ours,” Brentwood coach Joe Blair said. “It usually works out that theirs is the first weekend in January and ours is the second. I’m not sure what happened.”

But it sounds as if the conflict is on the way to a resolution.

“We’re looking at changing our (date) next year,” Ryan athletics director Pat Lawson said.

“We recognize the quality of wrestling in this area has grown to the point that we need to have the best teams at one tournament. We’re looking at changing ours so that we can compete against the best each and every weekend – and at the same time, uphold the tradition of the Johnny Drennan Invitational with quality teams and quality competition while recognizing they (Brentwood) want to do the same for their tournament as well.”

Wrestling at Brentwood starts at 6 p.m. Friday and will resume at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Semifinals are expected to start at 11 a.m. Saturday, with championship matches set for approximately 4 p.m.

At Ryan, wrestling begins at 2 p.m. Friday and starts back up Saturday at 10 a.m. Semis are expected to start at about 12 noon with the finals at about 6 p.m.

This week’s state rankings: Tbe Tennessee High School Wrestling Poll, compiled by Luther Killian, for this week is as follows.

1. Baylor (last week 1)

2. Father Ryan (2)

3. Bradley Central (3)

4. Cleveland (4)

5. Montgomery Bell Academy (7)

6. Wilson Central (6)

7. McCallie (5)

8. Christian Brothers (9)

9. Beech (10)

10. Soddy Daisy (8)

11. Brentwood (NR)

12. Tullahoma (11)

Also receiving votes (in alphabetical order): Arlington, Cookeville, Halls, Pigeon Forge, Red Bank, Science Hill, Summit.