MJ’s Wilkins, Walling take TSSAA gold

Staff Reports • Feb 21, 2017 at 8:15 AM

FRANKLIN — Before John Kramer built Wilson Central into a state power in this decade, Brad Mattingly had taken Mt. Juliet to new heights in the 2000s.

The Golden Bears enjoyed a bounce back over the weekend in the TSSAA state wrestling tournament with two champions last Saturday at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center.

Senior Zackrey Wilkins won the 138-pound championship while junior teammate Nathan Walling did the same at 195.

Wilson Central sophomore Michael Kramer tried to bring another championship to Wilson Central, but after a string of pins lost in the 285 final. Teammate Sean Sesnan also ran the table until being upended in the 120 final.

Mt. Juliet did well in the girls’ tournament as Kaitlyn Lee and Meagan Pruitt finished second at 120 and 125 pounds, respectively.

A look at how Wilson County wrestlers fared in each class:



Wilson Central freshman Grant Fetters lost his first match before winning twice in the consolation round.


Wilson Central sophomore Gage Backus won a 6-5 decision in the first round before losing two straight.


Wilson Central senior Sean Sesnan won four matches before losing 6-0 to William Blount’s Calvin Martin in the championship round.


Mt. Juliet junior Austin Plumlee won three matches before Franklin’s Jack Shrader pinned him in 4:44 in the semifinals. He rebounded with a 5-2 win in the consolation before finishing fourth with a pin in 4:13 to Soddy-Daisy’s Charles Wheaton.

Wilson Central senior Simon Pergande won his opening match 10-2 before reeling off three wins in the consolations. He lost to Bearden’s Kyle Burns 5-0.


Wilson Central sophomore Alex Pergande won his first two matches and Mt. Juliet senior Jalen Henry his first before falling into the consolation bracket. Henry won twice in consolations before losing 6-2 to Clarksville’s Justin Brenot. Pergande lost his first consolation to Knoxville Halls’ Chase Brown. Had Pergande and Henry lasted one more round, they would have faced each other. As it was, Brown beat Brenot 5-2.


Mt. Juliet senior Zackrey Wilkins went 5-0 for the weekend, culminating with a 9-7 win over Tennessee’s Dewey Pendley for the championship.

Wilson Central sophomore Cullen Belcer won his first match before losing twice in a row.


Mt. Juliet sophomore Steven Weist won his first two matches before taking four straight in the consolations to finish third with an 8-2 win over Summit’s Sean Butler.

Lebanon senior Austin Reynolds lost his first match before rebounding to win twice in consolations. He was pinned by Siegel’s Michael Moultry in 26 seconds.


Lebanon sophomore Ryan Brown pinned Anderson County’s Tyler Muncey in 2:41 before dropping his next two matches.


Mt. Juliet sophomore Dylan Quinn won his first two matches and got a third victory in consolations before losing to Science Hill’s William Diehl 3-1 in sudden victory.


Wilson Central senior Damon Smith pinned his first opponent in two minutes before falling into the consolations. He won four straight in the loser’s bracket before losing in the semifinals to William Blount’s Dawson Satterfield. But Smith capped his tournament with a fifth-place finish via an 11-9 decision over Franklin’s Nick Galbreath.


Wilson Central senior Nico Noga won a match before falling into the consolations. Mt. Juliet sophomore Christopher Humphreys lost his first match but won in consolations before meeting up with Noga, who won the only all-Wilson County bout of the tournament 6-5. Noga won his next round by forfeit before losing 3-2 to Clarksville’s Bradley Williams.


Mt. Juliet junior Nathan Walling went 5-0 to take the state with an 8-3 decision over Tennessee’s Jeremy Spangler.

Wilson Central sophomore Geoffrey Walpole lost both of his matches.


Lebanon senior James Baird lost both of his matches. Had he won his consolation match, he would have met up with Wilson Central junior Andreus Trotter, who won his first match before pinning Morristown East’s Hayden Dacos, who had just pinned Baird in 4:36, in 2:52. Trotter then bowed out with a 5-4 loss to Rhea County’s Garrett Smith.


Michael Kramer’s bid to bring another championship to Wilson Central fell short 14-4 in the championship match to Riverdale senior Nick Boykin. Kramer had pinned his first four opponents with no bout lasting longer than 56 seconds.

Mt. Juliet senior Byran Horner lost his first match, won in consolations before bowing out with a pin in 47 seconds to Dobyns Bennett’s Brenton Salyers.



Mt. Juliet sophomore Kaitlyn Lee won twice before being pinned by Sullivan East’s Allison Davis in 54 seconds in the finals.


Mt. Juliet junior Meagan Pruitt won twice by pin before dropping a 9-6 decision to Cookeville’s Melissa Garcia in the finals.


Friendship Christian sophomore Harrison Noffsinger (113 pounds), sophomore Tyson Strickland (220) and freshman Ryan Jackson (285) each went 0-2.

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