Grangers’ Callaway wins title
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was a breakthrough performance for LaGrange High’s Matt Callaway.
Callaway has accomplished plenty during his time as a high-school wrestler, but coming into his senior season he’d yet to win an area championship.
Callaway remedied that on Saturday when he wrestled his way to the top spot in the 145-pound division in the Area 5-AAAA tournament at LaGrange High.
“It’s definitely a milestone that I wanted to get,” said Callaway, who only has one loss this season.
Callaway is one of seven LaGrange wrestlers who finished fourth or higher in the area tournament to qualify for the state sectional.
The top finishers from the state sectional advance to the state finals in Macon.
Callaway will be joined in the state sectional by Jacob Anderson, Austin Skiff, Colin Cavender, Grayson Whaley, Asa Leath and Tayvon Howard.
Callaway had a first-round bye on Saturday, and he beat Troup’s Kullum Irvin in his first match before easing past Central-Carroll’s Taylor Smith in the championship match.
Anderson made it to the championship match at 160 pounds before losing to Jabril Williams of Cartersville.
Anderson is hopeful that his season will end in Macon at the state finals.
“I’m super-excited,” Anderson said. “I got to be an alternate for state last year, so I’m really hoping I can make it this year. I’m hoping I can place this year. I think I can.”
Finishing third on Saturday for LaGrange were Skiff (120 pounds) and Cavender (138 pounds).
After losing in the semifinals, Cavender bounced back to beat Pierce Simmons of Central-Carroll in the third-place match.
While disappointed not to be in the championship match, Cavender refocused for his third-place match.
“I just had to give it 100 percent,” Cavender said. “(Losing in the semifinals) shows that this next week in practice, I’ve got to pick it up.”
Skiff bounced back from a close loss in the semifinals to beat Troup’s Josh Tunnell in the third-place match.
Whaley (126 pounds), Leath (132 pounds) and Howard (170 pounds) each finished fourth on Saturday to qualify for the state sectional.