Decision day for wrestlers

Published 12:24 am Saturday, February 2, 2019


Daily News

It’s decision day.

Dozens of local wrestlers from Callaway, LaGrange and Troup will look to keep their seasons alive when they compete in their traditional area tournaments.

While LaGrange and Troup will be at Central-Carroll for the Area 4-AAAA tournament, Callaway will travel to Bremen for the Area 5-AA tournament.

The format is the same in both area tournaments, with the top four finishers in each weight class advancing to next week’s state sectionals.

The top finishers at the state sectionals in turn qualify for the state finals in Macon, where champions will be crowned in every weight class for wrestlers in all seven state classifications.

Among the local competitors are wrestlers who placed at state last season, and others hoping to earn a spot on the podium this year.

At Troup, three men who placed at last season’s Class AAAA state meet are ready to make another run.

One of those men who placed at state last season is Darious Hanson, and he appears primed to make a charge at a championship.

Hanson has won two individual tournaments and finished second in another.

Also for Troup, Pearson Strickland and Colby Harry placed at state last year, and they’ve had strong senior seasons.

A handful of other Troup wrestlers have enjoyed successful seasons as well, including senior Mason Lumpkin who placed at the Chattahoochee River Wrestling Association tournament in December.

Another standout for Troup has been freshman Kullum Irvin, who placed fourth at last weekend’s Last Man Standing tournament.

“We’ve got some individual guys that I think can show out at state,” Hanson said. “I like our team individually. We’re missing a lot of weight classes, but individually we can bring back some hardware from area, and state.”

LaGrange’s long returning state placer is Matt Callaway, and he’s coming off a second-place finish in a tournament at Bowdon.

Other LaGrange wrestlers who have had standout seasons include Jacob Anderson, Isaiah Coleman, Colin Cavender and Hunter Brooks, all of whom placed at the Bowdon tournament.

Seniors Christian Whaley and Charles Ray have gotten it done on the mat, and from a leadership standpoint according to head coach Scooter Weathers.

“They’ve been leaders,” Weathers said. “They’ve helped teach the younger kids. They motivate them. It’s something that you count on.”

Ray is eager to make the most of his final few weeks as a high-school wrestler.

“I’m looking forward to it a lot,” Ray said. “I can’t wait.”

For Callaway, it has been an ultra-successful season.

The Cavaliers finished second at the area duals before earning a top-10 finish in the state duals.

Callaway then beat Troup in the county championship before losing a close one to LaGrange that came down to the final match.

From an individual standpoint, while Callaway doesn’t have any returning state placers, it does have some men who made it to the state sectional.

Laquize Gilbert, Anthony Elliott, Jakwan Nunley and Ladarious Williams all made it to the state sectional last season, but didn’t qualify for the state finals.

Gilbert and Elliott both won individual titles at the CRWA tournament in December, and a number of other Callaway wrestlers have placed at tournaments throughout the season.

Among that group is senior Curmondre Bray, who is wrestling for the first time this season.

Bray has placed in multiple tournaments, including last weekend’s Bowdon event.

“He has an opportunity to do something pretty special,” Boatman said.