Halls’ wrestling dominates the mat

Susan EspirituHalls, Our Town Youth

The Halls High School wrestling team posted an incredible season this year, winning multiple 2023 championships: District 4 Dual, Region 2 Dual, Sectional 1 Dual, TSSAA Division 1 Class A State, Region 2 Traditional Tournament, Section 1 Traditional Tournament, TSSAA Division 1 Class A Traditional Tournament Champions. Eight individuals captured state medals: David Cook (6th), Caleb Turner (5th), Jordan Sexton (4th), Barrett Whaley (4th), Bull Goodman (4th), Briar Whaley (3rd), Sam Hutchinson (state runner-up), and Harlen Hunley (state champion).

Leif Whaley, Coach Sayne, Megann Kiser,                     Zayne Glenn, Houston Qualls

Senior boys: Sam Hutchinson, Sean Foxton,                     Wes Sexton, Will Sullinger

Bradley Woods praised coach Shannon Sayne, writing after the state championship: “I didn’t know if anyone else caught this last night, but after winning the Dual State Championship, Coach didn’t run off to celebrate with his team. Instead, he put his arm around the kid who just lost the match that determined the championship and walked him back across the mat. I don’t know what he said to the kid but I hope he will never forget.” That is the genuine heart of a coach.

Coach Shannon Sayne has coached wrestling at Halls for 17 years, but the roots are even deeper than those 17 years. Shannon and his brother-in-law, Cody Humphrey, who coaches Halls middle school wrestlers, both wrestled at Halls each winning state championships themselves. Shannon won his titles in ‘96 and ‘98 while Cody won the state title in 2002.

Shannon is married to Stephanie Humphrey Sayne, who claimed her spot in Halls and UT softball history with her sister, Ellisha Humphrey Frye.  Shannon and Stephanie have two young wrestlers, Syler (11) and Schuler (8).

Susan Espiritu is the ultimate optimist who wants to share uplifting, entertaining stories from your communities and youth! Send them to susan@knoxtntoday.com


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