Cagle champ, Pietarila 2nd, Meade 3rd at state

FRANKLIN — Two Farragut High School wrestlers finished their careers on the Volunteer State’s grand grappling stage Saturday night, Feb. 16.

Tyler McKeefery and Hailey Stevenson both medaled at the state championships after a stay full of pitfalls at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center.

For McKeefery, the trip to the podium at the state tournament, finishing fifth, was a long time coming.

He helped re-establish a once-proud FHS program and immediately became a leader upon arriving on campus four years ago.

He’ll wrestle at Ottawa University in Kansas next season, exiting the Admirals wrestling program as one of Farragut’s most decorated athletes, having won four consecutive region championships in three weight divisions.

McKeefery, who competed in the 120-pound class this year, also captured region titles at 106 and 113 during his illustrious prep career.

He was able to avenge a preliminary loss in the fifth-place match.

Stevenson, meanwhile, took sixth in the girls 119-pound tournament.

“I’m really happy for both of them,” FHS head coach Bobby Hampshire said. “Tyler had a great career and he was a four-time region champion. He helped us build the program and he’s been a leader.

“Hailey was the first girl in our program and she medaled at state last year, and she was able to get the chance to defend that medal.”

In Division II, Christian Academy of Knoxville’s Gavin Cagle won a state title in the 160-pound class. The Warriors’ Keyveon Roller posted a runner-up finish in the 106-pound division. Nathan Harris was fifth at 126.

Other area athletes to medal in Class AAA were Hardin Valley Academy 160-pounder Josh Pietarila, who captured second in his bracket for the second consecutive season.

Bearden sophomore Matheson Meade finished third in the 145-pound weight class after a season that saw him plagued by illness.

“We’re really proud of him,” Bulldogs head coach Donnie Floyd said.

Webb School of Knoxville also had a pair of Division II placers. Zack Tieng was third in the 145-pound division, while Brik Boruff took fifth at 220.