The Fairview Yellow Jackets wrestling team fell to the Pigeon Forge Tigers 43-26 on Saturday night at Williamson County AG Expo Center.

It was the first state finals appearance for any sport in the school's history. 

“They (Pigeon Forge) have some quality wrestlers,” said Fairview head coach James Derrick. “I knew we were going to have to stay close until I got to my last four or five guys. Pigeon Forge is a great program, and they are what drives us.”

Fairview started off the match with a pin by Luke Maxwell in the 170 class.

Joseph Skidmore picked up a pin for the Tigers in the 182 class.

The Yellow Jackets won a 9-4 decision in the 195 class by Cody Delano.

Pigeon Forge took the next two classes in 220 and 285 by outright win and pin respectively to collect a 16-9 lead.

Fairview picked up a win from Joshua Helm in the 106 class by a 10-8 decision.

The Tigers took the 113 and 120 class by outright win and pin to lead 25-11.

Fairview won the 126 class with Blake Mitchell on an outright decision 8-5 to cut the Pigeon Forge lead to 25-14.

In the 132 class, the Tigers collected a pin to extend their lead 31-14.

Riley Bennett of Fairview answered back with a pin of his own in the 138 class to cut into the deficit 31-20.

Pigeon Forge collected back to back pins in the 145 and 152 weight class to extend their lead 43-20.

The Yellow Jackets fought hard in the last class battle at 160 to collect a pin from Marco Puki. This would not be enough to come back against Pigeon Forge, losing 43-26.

With this loss, Fairview finished runner up in the Class A/AA state championship and finished 36-7 on the season.

“This group of seniors is really special,” said Coach Derrick. “They make the difference walking in the room every day (by the way they practice and compete). My team is built on character and hard work. This thing is a culmination of work for seven or eight years for these kids (with club team participation)."

The Yellow Jackets have won three straight region championships. 

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