LaGrange wrestling heads to sectionals feeling confident

Published 9:40 am Saturday, February 10, 2024

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LaGrange wrestling is heading to sectionals. After earning a fourth-place finish in the region in the traditional wrestling tournament last Saturday, the Grangers have booked a spot in the next round.

“I was really proud of the way they performed,” LaGrange coach Michale Pharis said. “We finished just six points behind third place, but I was proud of the way we competed regardless of where we placed.”

Despite a successful weekend for the Grangers, not every member of the team was happy with their performance.

“I didn’t place where I wanted to going into the tournament,” Burns said. “I wanted to finish in first place in my weight class.”

Sectionals will be hosted at Troup High, so the Grangers will not have to pack up a bus and travel halfway across the state. However, with such a youthful squad not many of the wrestlers have experience at sectionals.

“None of these guys have experience at state with Sean being the closest one who was one match away at sectionals last year,” Pharis said. “This is going to be a brand new experience for a lot of them.”

One wrestler does have experience in these types of tournaments. Shirey, the lone senior on the team, knows what it takes to be a state qualifier and wants to end his wrestling career at LaGrange High with a bang.

“I have to be a good example for them,” Shirey said. “I want to keep going all the way and come back with a ring.”

Some of the wrestlers truly kicked off their lives as a LaGrange high wrestler with a bang. Freshman Mason Boykin was outstanding at the region tournament and was the only Granger to finish first in his weight class.

“The competition is a lot harder with a lot of older guys, but I went into it expecting to get first and I did,” Boykin said with a big smile across his face. “It’s been a good freshman year so far.”

LaGrange also featured their first girl in the all-female portion of the region tournament. It was a strong showing for freshman Kinsley Freeland, who went 2-2 and has a lot to build on.

“There were a lot of people and it was a lot bigger than any other tournament I’ve wrestled at, but overall it went well,” Freeland said. 

In total, the Grangers had 13 wrestlers place: First place- Mason Boykin (157 pounds), Second place- Sean Shirey (132 pounds), Third place- Jackson Burns (120 pounds), Nehemiah McLaughlin (190 pounds) and Sincere Snipes (215 pounds), Fourth place- Tyler Atkinson (113 pounds), Christian Black (126 pounds), Danny Hewett (150 pounds), Tyson Bailey (175 pounds), Fifth place – Phillip Thompson (138 pounds), Brycin Hart (144 pounds), Alan Pasada (165 pounds) snd Sixth place- Nolan Fausett (285 pounds).

The Grangers will be waking up bright and early on Saturday morning to head to Troup High to take part in sectionals.

“We have to go into this being cool, calm and collected because our ceiling is pretty high, but we can go the opposite way pretty quick because we are so inexperienced,” Pharis said. “We have to do the little things right and hopefully the big things will take care of themselves.”