Wrestlers earn spot in Macon
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
For high-school wrestlers in Georgia, all roads lead to Macon.
Everything a wrestler does, the work in the training room, the sessions in the weight room, the film study, is all about hopefully landing a spot in Macon for the state finals.
For nine local wrestlers, that goal has been achieved, and now they’ll try to make it through to Saturday and earn a spot on the awards podium.
To bring home a medal, a wrestler needs to finish sixth or higher in his weight class.
Among the local wrestlers who’ve made it to Macon are three men who have placed at state before.
While Callaway’s Anthony Elliott and LaQuize Gilbert placed at state last season, LaGrange’s Matt Callaway earned a spot on the podium two years ago.
Callaway’s wrestlers will compete in the Class AA state meet, and there will be 12 competitors in each classification.
Elliott, Gilbert and Ladarrious Williams, who were all late-comers to wrestling because they’re also on the football team, have had exceptional seasons.
Gilbert, competing at 160 pounds, has only lost one match this season, and Williams (132 pounds) and Elliott (182 pounds) have six losses between them.
Last season, Elliott finished third at state, and Gilbert placed fourth.
LaGrange’s contingent is led by Callaway (145 pounds), a senior who’ll bring a 66-2 record into the state finals.
Callaway has had an exceptional season that included an area championship, and he has set the program’s single-season record for victories.
Colin Cavender (138 pounds) has also had a big season with 54 wins, and Jacob Anderson (160 pounds) is 42-15.
Among Troup’s state competitors are a pair of brothers, senior Michael Irvin (285 pounds) and Kullum Irvin (145 pounds).
This will be the final state tournament for Michael Irvin, who has had a successful athletic career at Troup as a wrestler and a football player.
Kullum Irvin, who is also a football standout, is a sophomore.
Troup’s other state participant is Camden Roberts (106 pounds), who has excelled as a freshman.