LaGrange wins county championship
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
With senior Matt Callaway delivering the clinching points with a thrilling overtime win, the LaGrange Grangers outlasted the rival Troup Tigers to win the county wrestling championship on Wednesday night.
LaGrange was clinging to a three-point lead when Callaway stepped onto the mat to face Troup’s Kullum Irvin in the 145-pound match.
The two men went toe-to-toe in a hard-fought showdown, and Callaway eventually prevailed 7-5 in a match that went to double overtime.
The victory gave LaGrange an insurmountable seven-point lead with one match remaining.
Austin Crow won by pin at 152 pounds to give LaGrange six more points and a 43-30 victory.
Callaway, who has only lost one match this season, was pushed to the limit by Irvin, but he survived and wrapped up a second straight county title for his team.
“It was nice,” Callaway said. “I’m just glad I was able to win and pull through for my team.”
Earlier in the day, LaGrange was tested by Callaway High before winning 41-40.
LaGrange was trailing by four points heading into the final match, and Colin Cavender won by major decision to give his team the one-point win.
LaGrange won despite having to forfeit three matches against Callaway and Troup.
“We’re doing a good job with what we have,” Callaway said.
Earlier in the day, Troup beat Callaway 48-32, setting up the showdown with LaGrange for the county title.
Before the matches began, Troup seniors Michael Irvin and Mason Lumpkin were recognized, and coach Drew Garner appreciates everything they’ve done.
Garner said Irvin “leads by example. He’s a humble gentle giant. He’s very smart, and he works his tail off. He’ll lead by his actions.”
As for Lumpkin, Garner said he “has come a long way this year. Mason has probably grown up more than anybody on the team this year.”
This is a rebuilding year for Troup’s program, and Garner was pleased that there weren’t any holes in the lineup on Wednesday.
“Our goal was to fill a team, and today we filled the lineup,” Garner said.
Callaway was coming off an appearance in the Class AA state duals. Callaway split its two matches on Thursday before losing on Friday.
“Getting to go to state was awesome. It was a good experience,” Boatman said. “We got to wrestle in front of the biggest crowd you can wrestle in front of for duals. For a lot of our young guys, that was huge.”
Callaway hung tough with LaGrange and Troup on Wednesday, but it came up short both times.
“I’m proud of how they competed,” Boatman said. “They laid it all out there, and they did a good job. They gave us a shot to win both of them, the ball just didn’t bounce our way tonight. It happens, and you learn from it. That’s what good teams do.”
Here’s a recap of each of Wednesday’s matches:
Despite forfeiting three matches which cost them 18 points, the Grangers found a way to get past the Tigers.
Winners for LaGrange included Julian Santiago, Jacob Anderson, Tayvon Howard, Isaiah Coleman, Grayson Whaley, Colin Cavender, Matt Callaway and Austin Crow.
Camden Roberts and Thomas Fuller won for Troup, and the team also got three victories by forfeit.
It came down to the final match, and LaGrange’s Colin Cavender won by major decision to give his team the narrow win.
Had Cavender simply won by decision, Callaway would have won by one point.
LaGrange’s other winners were Matt Callaway, Julian Santiago, Gabrielle Martinez, Isaiah Coleman and Colin Cavender.
Winners for Callaway included LaQuize Gilbert, Troy Helton, Jayvon Nunley, Troy Helton and Ladarrius Williams.
Troup enjoyed a dominant performance to kick off the county championship.
Securing wins for Troup were Josh Fuller, Michael Irvin, Camden Roberts, Josh Tunnell and Mason Lumpkin.
Callaway’s winners were Colton Clines, LaQuize Gilbert, Troy Helton, Desmond Nunley and Ladarrius Williams.
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