Wrestlers continue journey
Published 11:37 pm Thursday, February 7, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The road to Macon continues.
The state sectionals will be held at locations across Georgia this weekend, and the stakes are high.
The top wrestlers in each weight class will advance to the state finals, which will be held in Macon next week.
More than 20 combined wrestlers from Callaway, LaGrange and Troup are hoping to punch their ticket to the state finals.
While Callaway’s wrestlers will be in Bremen for the Class AA B sectional, the LaGrange and Troup wrestlers will travel to West Laurens High for the Class AAAA A sectional.
In the Class AAAA sectional, there will be 16 wrestlers in each weight class, and the top eight finishers in each weight class will advance to Macon.
The format is a bit different for the Class AA sectional.
There are 12 wrestlers in each weight class, and the top six will qualify for the finals.
The local team with the most participants in the state sectional is LaGrange.
Eleven members of LaGrange’s team finished fourth or higher in the Area 5-AAAA tournament to advance.
Included in that group is Colin Cavender, who won his weight class.
That’s the continuation of a stellar season for Cavender, who is 32-8.
LaGrange’s second-place finishers were Isaiah Coleman, Hunter Brooks, Jacob Anderson and Joseph Bozeman.
Coleman has enjoyed a fantastic freshman season with a 28-7 record, and Anderson is 33-8, while Brooks has a 26-16 record.
Placing third for LaGrange were Matt Callaway and RJ Haley, and Austin Skiff, Colton Clines, Christian Whaley and Charles Ray were fourth.
Callaway, LaGrange’s lone returning state placer, has enjoyed a fantastic junior season with a 43-12 record.
Clines has been one of LaGrange’s top wrestlers with a 25-11 record, and Whaley is 30-17 and has the third-most wins on the team.
Haley, Skiff, and Ray all have winning records this season.
Now, those same wrestlers will try to extend their season for another week.
“We’ve got great draws,” LaGrange head coach Scooter Weathers said. “Now with that being said, you still have to toe the line and wrestle. The goal here this week is to punch your ticket to the big dance.”
Seven Troup wrestlers made it through to the state sectional, including three men who won area championships.
Darious Hanson, Pearson Strickland and Colby Harry, who each placed at last year’s state meet, won their weight classes at the area tournament.
Also for Troup, Javontae Parham finished third, and Dylan Hayes, Kullum Irvin, and Riley Bowles placed fourth.
Hanson, Strickland and Bowles have all had dominant senior seasons.
Hanson has a record of 38-2, Strickland is 36-3, and Harry, who was a late arrival because of football, is 24-2.
Bowles, who also a member of the football team that made it to the state semifinals, is 14-3.
Irvin has enjoyed a terrific freshman season with a 21-14 record, and Hayes is 22-22.
Nine members of the Callaway wrestling team qualified for the state sectional.
Leading the way for Callaway were LaQuize Gilbert (170 pounds) and Jared Nation (195 pounds), who won their weight classes.
Gilbert is Callaway’s leader in wins with a 28-5 record, and he has multiple tournament titles to his credit.
Three Callaway wrestlers, Cameron Key (106 pounds), Ladarious Williams (132 pounds), and Anthony Elliott (195 pounds), finished second.
Elliott boasts a 26-6 record this season, while Williams is 24-8.
Placing third for Callaway at area were Korbin Browning (120 pounds), Curmondre Bray (182 pounds) and Jakwon Nunley (160 pounds), and Lathan Patterson (285 pounds) was fourth.
Bray has enjoyed a terrific debut season as a wrestler with an 18-11 record.