EHS wrestlers have tough day on mats

By Ivan Sanders

CHATTANOOGA -- The Cyclone grapplers' opening day in the state wrestling competition was like opening a box of Cracker Jack and not finding a surprise inside -- disappointing.
   Three Elizabethton grapplers who qualified in last week's regional meet opened up with heartbreaking losses on Thursday in the field of 32.
   In the 103 weight class, Daniel Sochalski, who garnered second in Region I last week, was pinned at the 3:39 mark of the contest by Cole Tanner from LaVergne.
   Andy Ross, who was the third place qualifier in the 130 weight class at regional, once again suffered a tough defeat by losing a decision to Jason Gessler of Tullahoma, 8-2.
   Wrestling in the 152 weight class, the reigning Region I champ Josh Fair matched up against Hugh Cherry of Bolton in the round of 32. Cherry was able to take a hard fought 11-9 decision over Fair in the match.
   Even though the Cyclone grapplers were eliminated from winning a state title, they may be able to re-enter the competition if the wrestler who defeated them is able to pin a loss on his next two opponents.
   In this scenario, Sochalski, Ross, and Fair can still have a shot at a medal in a consolation bracket.
   Action resumes again Friday with the field of 16 and the field of 8 taking the spotlight at McKenzie Arena on the campus of UT- Chattanooga.