VALDOSTA, GA — In a field loaded with teams in Georgia’s largest two classifications, teams that will take home state hardware in the next two months, two teams from the coverage area competed in the Allstate Wildcat Invitational this weekend.
Lincoln was sixth in the 16-team field, with 115 points, while Bay (33 points) was 15th.
Georgia 6A teams Valdosta (228.5) and Lee County (213.5) topped the field, with 7A squads Lowndes (207.5), Colquitt County (169.5) and Tift County (116) rounding out the top five (a Georgia-side story will be published on our Matmen sister site).
Below follows a summary of the coverage area’s top-four individual performances at each weight class:
152 — Bay’s Trenton Wood was his team’s top performer, finishing third. He was the first Tornado wrestler to place in the Wildcat since current Bay assistant coach Zach Deaton did so back in 2002. Wood had two front-side first-period pins (1:10 over Coffee County, 1:46 over Valdosta) to reach the semis, where he lost by third-period fall to Lee County, the eventual runnerup. In the consis, Wood added two more pins over Cook County and a second Valdosta wrestler, winning that last in 1:15 for third.
160 — Lincoln’s Connor Edwards was also third after reaching the semis. Edwards had a pin over Lee County (1:07) and majored Bainbridge (11-3) to get to the final four, where he took his first loss of the season by fall to Tift County, the eventual runnerup. Edwards bounced back with two bonus-point wins in the consis, with a pin and then a 10-1 major over Cairo for third.
195 — Lincoln’s Cayden Bevis was north Florida’s only tournament champion on Saturday. Bevis bonus-pointed through the first three rounds to reach the finals, with Friday TFs over Valdosta (26-11 in 2:52) and Lee County (28-12 in 4:13), following that up with a third-period fall (4:34) over Lowndes County’s Grayson Lewis to reach the final and Georgia 6A defending state champ Josh McCutchen of Valdosta. Throughout the match, Bevis (12-0 for the season) proved his mettle, with scoring moves in each period (takedown in first period, reversals in the second and third, with a quick turn in the second as well), turning back McCutchen, 8-3, for the title.
220 — The Trojans’ Omarion LaRoach reached the final, where he lost by second-period fall (3:18) to Lowndes County’s Grant Laskey in the final. Prior to that, however, LaRoach had Friday wins over Lee County (13-5 major) and Pierce County (5-1 decision), opening Saturday’s account with a second-period fall (3:47) over Tift County, the top-seed in the tournament.
Complete brackets and team scores from the tournament can be found HERE.