Saturday, February 6, 2021 was truly an epic day for Fairview, Tennessee.
After years of dedicated coaching, team building, tough matches and close calls - all leading up to last Saturday, the Fairview High School Yellow Jackets Wrestling Team became the TSSAA 2020-21 State Duals Wrestling Champions.
To add to excitement, the team of skilled athletes became the first sports team in school history to win a state title in any sport!
The TSSAA A/AA State Dual Championships were held at Nolensville High School on two mats, with four teams in front of a limited crowd of family and school administrators due to COVID restrictions. The Jacket fans may have been few, but their support for the team was mighty.
In the semifinals, Fairview defeated Hixson 44-31 while Pigeon Forge defeated Signal Mountain 42-33. That win set up a rematch of last year’s State Championship Dual.
Fairview had earned another opportunity to prove themselves and they took to the mat with determination. Each wrestler stepped to the mat and battled for points.
The Jackets were down 25-16 heading into Heavyweight. Fairview’s Jacob Clevenger gave up nearly 80 pounds and 6 inches in height to his opponent, but overcame the odds to finish the match with a pin, followed by Sam Frank’s pin at 106 to give the Jackets a 28-25 lead. After losing 6 points at 113, Keegan Seaver at 120 secured 5 points to push the Jackets up 34-31 with two bouts left. At 126, Jeffery Anderson was returned to the mat with an illegal slam giving Fairview 6 points to secure the victory.
The Jacket wrestlers defeated Pigeon Forge 39-36 for the State Championship.
Coach Bubba Derrick said, “There are a lot of people who have supported and invested in our program from local businesses like Jefferson’s who have donated to our programs, to our past athletes, to our school staff and administration, and to our fans. There are also a few people who meant a lot to this program like Eli Sullivan and Jeff Bennett, Sr. that we lost this year and that the kids made it a point to wrestle for.
Derrick continued, "I love our kids! They are a mature group of young athletes who have learned that this sport prepares them for life and that when they put their toe on that red or green line, they represent more than themselves. I could not be more proud right now.”
With the news of the State Championship spreading quickly, the team received a police and fire escort from I-840 to Fairview City Hall with lots of Jacket fans lining the streets, honking horns and waving the winning team home. On Monday, the celebration continued as the Jacket Wrestling Team was the honoree of a parade down the halls of Fairview High complete with the marching band and loads of friends cheering on their victory.
Wrestling mom Kim Hammon spoke for many of the Fairview High wrestling parents after the big win, “We are so proud of this team, these coaches, and this school! Many hours of practice, weekend matches and commitment paid off for these guys. This is something these kids will never forget and something that will be talked about for years to come.”
The Jackets will wrap up their season with the Individual Region 4 State Qualifier this Saturday at Fairview High in the main gym from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and then the Individual State Championship will be held in Chattanooga on February 18.
Main Street Fairview is excited to announce we will publish a special section on Wednesday, February 17 to honor the Fairview High School Wrestling Team State Champions. Be sure to check out next Wednesday's edition!