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Silva Invitational on tap

By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor

3 months 23 days 7 hours ago |8 Views | | | Email | Print

When Gary Silva called a pin, there was no mistaking it.


Silva was a fixture on the local wrestling scene for decades as a referee, and when he called a pin, he had his own distinctive way of doing it.


Silva would leap in the air, and he’d land and slam his hand on the mat, and the resulting pop could be heard in every corner of the gym.


Last year, Silva died unexpectedly at the age of 49.


As a way to honor Silva, LaGrange wrestling coach Scooter Weathers decided to name a tournament after him.


So what had been the Granger Invitational became the Gary Silva Invitational.


The second Gary Silva Invitational will be held Saturday at Gardner Newman Middle School.


The tournament is being held at Gardner Newman since a basketball tournament will be going on at the same time at LaGrange High.


Weathers said as long as he is LaGrange’s coach, the tournament will continued to be named after his good friend.


“That’s what it’ll be called from now on,” Weathers said.


This year’s tournament will feature 10 teams, including the host Grangers, as well as Callaway High.


“We’ve got some good (teams),” Weathers said. “We’ve got three teams that finished in the top 10 at the Hardaway tournament.”


LaGrange is coming off a strong showing in the Northgate dual tournament on Saturday.


LaGrange went 4-1, with its only loss coming to Douglas County.


“We held our own and wrestled hard,” Weathers said. “We just came up a little bit short.”


After Saturday’s tournament, LaGrange will be off until Jan. 3 when it competes in the Area 5-AAAA duals.


LaGrange will be trying to finish among the top two in that tournament to advance to state.


The schedule doesn’t lighten up at after that, with a handful of competitions leading up to the traditional area meet on Feb. 1, to be followed by two weeks of state competition.


“There’s no down time from here on out, that’s for sure,” Weathers said.


The Callaway wrestling team, meanwhile, competed in the J.C. Ferrell Duals last weekend in Carrollton.


Saturday will mark the second time time Callaway has competed in a traditional-format tournament, and head coach Ben Bone believes that is where his team can thrive.


Because of Callaway’s lack of numbers, it will have a hard time being competitive in dual events, but it has a handful of wrestlers capable of faring well in traditional events.


“We’re mainly a traditional team. I like to get us in tournaments with the traditional brackets,” Bohn said. “We try to make ourselves better to get ready for the area.”


The Area 4-AAA traditional tournament will be held Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at Central-Carroll High.

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