By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor
December 29, 2013
The LaGrange High wrestling team appears to be hitting its stride at the right time.
After a strong second-place performance in last weekend’s Northgate Duals, the Grangers returned to the mat on Saturday and came through with another terrific showing in the Gary Silva Invitational at Gardner Newman Middle School.
While Smiths Station captured seven individual titles to claim top honors in the team competition, LaGrange wasn’t far behind.
Twelve of the Grangers’ 14 wrestlers finished fourth or better, and that was good enough for a second-place finish, just 20 points behind Smiths Station.
“We wrestled at Northgate last Saturday, and we felt like we turned a big corner,” LaGrange coach Scooter Weathers said. “We just practiced this week and had a really good week, and we wrestled today and everything turned out really, really good.”
Six LaGrange wrestlers earned spots in the championship round, and three of them walked away with victories.
Among the victors for LaGrange was Guy Wegienka, who pinned Chattahoochee County’s Jacob Afoa in the finals.
Afoa was the favorite in the 195-pound weight class coming off his third-place finish in the state tournament in February.
LaGrange also got a championship from Garrett Godby, who beat DeAndre Jackson of Carver in the 120-pound finals.
In the 138-pound weight class, it was a matchup of local wrestlers, with LaGrange’s Kyler Hall and Callaway’s Dustin Holmes facing off.
Hall got the upper-hand with a pin, giving LaGrange another individual title.
Three other LaGrange wrestlers made it to the finals and fell short.
At 106 pounds, Bruer Sharp fell to Max Kauffman of Smiths Station.
Dexter Jones lost to Smiths Station’s Jelani Gooden in the 152-pound championship match, and Jacob Butler fell to Jonah Williams of Smiths Station in the 170-pound finals.
Third-place finishers for LaGrange were DeErious Sands (113 pounds), Turner Duke (160 pounds), Lew Hyers (220 pounds) and Emmanuel Mann (285 pounds).
Finishing fourth for LaGrange were Luke Haynes (126 pounds) and Khalid Barnes (182 pounds).
1 - Smiths Station (192 points)
2 - LaGrange (172)
3 - Northside-Columbus (122)
4 - Callaway (88.50)
5 - Carver (84)
6 - Bowdon (65)
7 - Chattahoochee County (57)
8 - Langston Hughes (seven)