LaGrange eyes state berth

Published 1:53 am Friday, January 11, 2019


Daily News

Before last year, the LaGrange Grangers were a fixture in the state duals.

For eight consecutive seasons, LaGrange either finished first or second in the area duals to qualify for state.

That streak came to a close last year, with LaGrange finishing behind Troup and Central-Carroll in the Area 5-AAAA duals.

LaGrange will try to begin a new streak today when it travels cross-town to Troup High for the area duals.

There will be five teams in the tournament, and the top two finishers will advance to the state duals next week in Macon.

LaGrange heads into the area duals riding high.

After winning the Callaway Classic on Saturday with a 5-0 record, LaGrange won a pair of matches on Tuesday, including one over Opelika.

“We’ve got to somehow keep the boat afloat, and keep rolling,” LaGrange head coach Scooter Weathers said.

Weathers believes a grueling practice he put the wrestlers through the day before the Callaway Classic could have been a turning point for the season.

Not pleased with what he was seeing in what was supposed to be a casual practice, Weathers instead pushed the wrestlers to the limit, hoping they would respond in a positive fashion.

“Our plan was to come in and have a pretty easy day, but it was a rough day,” Weathers said. “We had some guys all up in their feelings and their emotions by the time practice ended. They came out Saturday, and we took off, and beat a really good Mount Zion team that placed in the top four at the state duals last year. And then we turn around and beat Callaway to win the championship.”

It’s a LaGrange team short on varsity experience.

Many of LaGrange’s top wrestlers, in fact, are freshmen, including Austin Skiff, who went 5-0 during the Callaway Classic.

“I play baseball, and this is like the best family I’ve ever had,” Skiff said. “They always encourage me, and they’re always motivating me, and my coaches are amazing.”

LaGrange’s top returning wrestler is junior Matt Callaway, who was a state placer last season.

Callaway has placed in a handful of tournaments this season, and he went 4-0 in the Callaway Classic.

“It was a great morale booster for sure,” Callaway said of winning the Callaway Classic. “We’ve just got to keep practicing like we did (on Friday).”

Another LaGrange wrestler who has enjoyed a successful season is Colin Cavender, who went 3-0 in the Callaway Classic with a pair of forfeits.

“I’m proud that we actually went out here and did our moves, did what our coaches told us,” Cavender said.

Also going 5-0 in the Callaway Classic was Alex Morrissette, and Joseph Bozeman and Christian Whaley were 4-1.

Colton Clines posted a 3-1 record, and Isaiah Coleman and Jacob Anderson were 3-2.

Charles Ray and Qua Thornton were 2-0, Asa Leath was 2-1, and Devin Harris, Tavarrious Reed and Jaden McCurty each won one match.

Joining LaGrange in the area duals are Troup, Central-Carroll, Cartersville and Cedartown.

LaGrange’s first match today will be against Cartersville at 5 p.m.