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LaGrange’s Anderson eyes big season

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

He earned a place on the awards podium last season, and LaGrange High’s Jacob Anderson is looking for more this year.

Anderson, a senior member of the LaGrange wrestling team, finished fourth at last year’s state meet in Macon, and the goal is to be at the top of the podium this season.

“I want to win it. That’s my goal,” Anderson said. “I think I can if I stay focused.”

At the moment, Anderson and his teammates are in the beginning stages of a season that kicked off last week.

After finishing third in a tournament at Alexander High on Tuesday, LaGrange participated in a four-team meet at Troup on Wednesday.

Troup beat Pace Academy and lost to Harris County and LaGrange.

“Troup is a good team, and Harris is a good team, and Pace isn’t bad either,” said LaGrange coach Burton Thomas. “Today was a good day getting to see three really tough teams. It was good for us, a good experience, and we’ll definitely learn from it and grow from it.”

Thomas has been splitting his time between football and wrestling.

Thomas is the defensive coordinator on the football team, which finished second in Region 2-AAAA and will host New Hampstead on Saturday in the opening round of the state playoffs.

Since Thomas hasn’t yet been able to commit full-time to wrestling, he appreciates having some veterans, including Anderson, in the practice room to help lead the way.

“We’ve got so many young guys that they’ve been helping in practice, teaching the young guys,” Thomas said. “They’ve helped me a lot, because I’m going 100 mph in football and doing two sports at one time is not easy. I am relying on those guys, and they’re helping me out a lot.”

In addition to Anderson, who competed at 160 pounds on Wednesday, Austin Skiff (132 pounds), Grayson Whaley (138 pounds), Colin Cavender (145 pounds), Tavarrious Reed (154 pounds), Jayden Almond (160 pounds), Austin Crow (170 pounds) and Hunter Brooks (120 pounds) bring valuable varsity experience to the mat.

Skiff went 3-0 on the day, and he had LaGrange’s only win in a loss to Harris County.

Other members of the lineup on Wednesday were Ty Traylor (106 pounds), Sean Shirey (113 pounds), Brian Guzman (126 pounds), John Lumpkin (152 pounds) and Rod Talley (182 pounds), Tayvon Howard (195 pounds) and Mike Williams (220 pounds).

“I really feel like our team can get a lot better,” Anderson said. “We have a lot of younger guys. They’re working every day. I really do feel like we’re going to be a lot better.”