Cavaliers ready for area tournament
Published 1:06 am Wednesday, January 30, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The journey continues.
The Callaway High wrestling team, coming off a strong showing in the Bowdon Invitational, will be back on the road on Saturday for the Area 4-AA traditional tournament.
The top four finishers in each weight class will advance to the state sectional.
The area tournament, as well as the state sectional, will be held at Bremen.
Callaway tuned up for area by competing at Bowdon, and the team had four placers.
Ladarious Williams, Anthony Elliott and LaQuize Gilbert finished second in their respective weight classes, and Curmondre Bray placed fourth.
Cameron Key and Corbin Browning won matches, but didn’t place.
“Being able to see that kind of competition this past weekend was good for us,” Callaway coach Jason Boatman said. “A couple of our guys got hit in the mouth. It kind of brings you back down to earth a little bit. It reminds you to keep working, keep getting better.”
Putting in the work, Boatman added, has not been a problem for a team that has enjoyed tremendous success this season.
“They’ve always worked extremely hard,” Boatman said. “I think the way they’re working, and the way they’re preparing, they’re going to do the best they can to get ready for area.”
Williams, Elliott and Gilbert are veteran wrestlers who have enjoyed phenomenal seasons, and they’ve placed in multiple tournaments.
Bray is a newcomer to the sport.
Bray, who was a standout defensive lineman on the Callaway football team that reached the state semifinals, decided to give wrestling a shot as a senior, and he has caught on quickly and become an integral member of the lineup.
Bray earned a third-place finish in the Gary Silva Invitational in December, and he took on a strong field and placed fourth at the Bowdon tournament.
Bray also finished second at the Chattahoochee River Wrestling Association tournament in December.
“That’s his first Bowdon tournament, so he really didn’t know the magnitude of how big that tournament is. He just goes out there and does his thing,” Boatman said. “He has an opportunity to do something pretty special. We don’t need to tell him. Just go out there and keep doing what you’re doing.”
Gilbert and Elliott both finished second at the Silva Invitational, and Williams was fourth in that tournament.
All three men also placed in the CRWA tournament.
At Bowdon, Callaway faced some stiff competition, including some wrestlers from Central-Carroll, which excelled at the Class AAAA state duals earlier this month.
“That’s a team that got third in Class AAAA in the state duals,” Boatman said. “You’re competing against teams like that. It was really great prep for us for this weekend, knowing the magnitude and the importance of it.”
Callaway finished second in the area duals before earning a top-10 finish at the state duals.
It was Callaway’s first-ever appearance in the state duals.