Wrestling teams compete in county championship
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was a break-even kind of night.
The Callaway, LaGrange and Troup wrestling teams faced off in the county championship on Wednesday evening at LaGrange High, and each team finished with a 1-1 record.
Callaway edged Troup 42-36 in the first match, and LaGrange then handled Callaway 60-18.
In the night’s final match, Troup edged LaGrange 36-33 to create a three-way tie for the county title.
For all three teams, it was valuable to get on the mat and gain some experience heading into a critical portion of the season, beginning with the area duals on Jan. 16.
After the state duals, the teams will compete in their traditional area tournaments and the traditional state tournament.
“It’s just a matter of getting your kids mat time and getting them ready for state,” said Troup coach Drew Garner.
For Troup, the challenge at the moment is finding a way to fill out the lineup.
On Wednesday, Troup had to forfeit five matches, which cost it 30 valuable points.
Despite that, Troup managed to beat LaGrange, and come close against Callaway.
In the win over LaGrange, Troup’s winners were Wyatt Turner, Franklin Jackson, Josh Tunnell, Kullum Irvin, Christian Hudson and Braxton Truitt, and they each won by pin.
In the Callaway match, Troup’s winners were Turner, Brayden Hutchins, Braydon Bowen, Jackson, Irvin and Truitt.
Truitt had a big win that gave Troup momentum against LaGrange.
“Braxton Truitt was the win that catapulted the team,” Garner said.
Troup also had three female wrestlers compete in exhibition matches.
Jazmine Goode pinned her opponent at 145 pounds, Haylee Ward won at 120 pounds, and Loriana Reed competed at 132 pounds.
Zach Cummings, Callaway’s first-year head coach, said he was “very happy with the way the guys competed. It was nice having everybody back, and having it where we have a full team. We had that support from the bench that helped drive the kids during the matches. It helped us pull through in some of the close matches.”
Ladarrious Williams, who helped the Callaway football team win a state championship, won both of his matches on Wednesday.
Colton Cline also went 2-0 with a pair of pins, and Isaiah Shoemake had a key win.
“Beating Troup, and losing to LaGrange, they were close, tight matches,” Cummings said. “There are little things we have to work on if we want to make it to that next step.”
Burton Thomas, LaGrange’s first-year head coach, was grateful that he and the other local teams were able to have a county championship during a season with a lot of uncertainty.
“We’re just trying to get through the season,” Thomas said. “The coach at Central said it best, coach (Jeremiah) Fountain. When you’re going to these matches, it’s almost like, let’s get through it. There’s so much going on. We’re trying our best. We’ve got kids out, we’ve got kids quarantined, I just came off quarantine. But we’re getting through it. I’m glad we’re making it.”
In the victory over Callaway, Grayson Whaley, Colin Cavender, Carter Lay, Alec Morrissette, Jacob Anderson, Tayvon Howar and Qua Thornton each prevailed, and they all prevailed by pin.
In the Troup match, Brooks, Isaiah Coleman and Cavender won for LaGrange.
“They got a lot of matches, and quality mat time,” Thomas said.
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