original photo courtesy of Richard Immel
Last month we debuted a new feature on TOM, our high school regional rankings. The feedback we received was incredible, so we decided to take it a step further and break down the top teams from each region. The regional rankings provided an excellent platform for wrestlers that were previously overlooked, so we foresee that being the case for teams that may not get a chance to shine, as well.
Rankings teams, especially in high school, are certainly not a cut-and-dry process. There are a handful of different criteria used when judging these teams. Results at the state tournament, regular-season tournaments, duals results, and performances by their individuals all are considered. At the high school level, it’s rare to find teams that are dominant in all of those facets. That is true in the Southeast region as even some of the top squads had an off day.
Without any further, these are the top 12 teams in the Southeast region.
12) McCallie School (Tennessee)
Head Coach: Jake Yost
The first of three Tennessee teams in these rankings, McCallie took third place in the Tennessee DII State Championships with 176.5 points, just seven points behind second-place Christian Brothers. McCallie also took third at the dual state tournament. After a narrow loss to Christian Brothers, the Blue Tornado rebounded with a pair of dominating victories to take third place. At the individual tournament, four McCallie wrestlers won state titles Emory Taylor (126), Alex Whitworth (160), Gavin Cagle (170), and James Howard (285). Howard finished the year as the top-ranked 285 lber in the Southeast. It was the third title for Taylor and fourth for Whitworth. Alex is on track to become only the third five-time champion in state history. Cagle also picked up his second. Another pair of Blue Tornado grapplers also made the finals with Jack Braman (120) and Riley Looper (182) doing so.
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