Top wrestling teams to compete at Chris Vandergriff Duals

By Ken Lay

The third Saturday in January is always a big day for high school wrestling in Knoxville and this year will be no exception as Halls High School will host the Chris Vandergriff Duals Saturday.

The tournament, a staple for years on the wrestling schedule, began as the Halls Invitational and was later christened the Chris Vandergriff Invitational in honor of the two-time state champion wrestler and former coach, who remains an ambassador for the sport in East Tennessee.

The tournament always drew the top teams in the Volunteer State and across the Southeast, changed formats in 2021 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and was renamed the Chris Vandergriff Duals.

“They made us change it during COVID to keep the number of people in the gym down,” Halls coach Shannon Sayne said. “We liked it so we kept it that way.”

Wrestling begins at 9:30 a.m. with pool competition on four mats.

The 12-team field includes the host Red Devils, Brentwood Academy, Page (coached by former Halls wrestler and assistant coach Benji Gray), Maryville (coached by former Red Devil Alex Cate), Grace Christian Academy, Bearden, Anderson County, Clinton, Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett, East Hamilton, Pigeon Forge and Heritage.

The holiday weekend concludes Monday at Halls with a girls/freshman and junior varsity tournament.