The Valdosta Daily Times
Lowndes finished second and Valdosta took third at the Region 1-6A traditional wrestling tournament last weekend in Kingsland.
Host Camden County, the defending state runner-up, won the region title.
Lowndes had two wrestlers win individual region titles, and eight Vikings qualified for the state sectional tournament.
“We’ve been wrestling pretty good,” Lowndes head coach Spencer Graybeal said.
“We got a good group of wrestlers through to sectionals. ... We’re looking forward to getting into sectionals, and seeing how it goes from there.”
Matthew Moody won his third region title in three seasons with the Vikings, finishing first in the 152-pound competition. Moody is undefeated this season, having won all 37 of his matches.
Austin Ogburn won his first region championship, taking first in the 195-pound competition. Ogburn has a 34-4 record this season.
“Those two (Moody and Ogburn) have been pretty consistent all year. I feel pretty confident about them,” Graybeal said.
Davis Ison finished second in the 132-pound competition, and Brandon Bell placed second at 182 pounds.
Robbie Powell finished third at 113 pounds and Carl Jackson was third at 145 pounds. Sam Washington (220) and Clayton Griffis (138) were fourth in their weight classes.
The top four finishers in the region in each weight class have qualified for the Class 6A East Sectional tournament, which will take place on Friday and Saturday at Chattahoochee High School in north metro Atlanta.
Valdosta had three individual region champions, and nine Wildcats qualified for sectionals.
“The team did pretty well,” Valdosta head coach Benjy Scarbor said. “(With) a little bit more help, I think we could have ended up with maybe a runner-up. ... We wrestled well.”
“It was real good (to finish third),” captain Jarvese Gilliard added. “That’s a big improvement over (our performance at) region duals.”
Senior Clarence Williams, the Wildcats’ other captain, won his third career Region 1 title, taking first in the 145-pound weight class.
“(Clarence) really wrestled pretty dominant in the finals. He didn’t pin (his opponent), but he scored most of the points,” Scarbor said.
Gilliard won the region championship in the 160-pound class.
“(Jarvese) wrestled a Camden kid in the finals who he had wrestled twice and who had beaten him twice this year,” Scarbor recalled.
“It was 2-2 going into the third period. We chose bottom. The (Camden) kid tried to lock up a move and got a little high, and (Jarvese) reversed him and pinned him.”
Valdosta’s Reginald Dennis was the 120-pound region champion.
“He (wrestled) real well, a real scrappy kid,” Scarbor said.
“He beat two guys ranked in the top 10 in the state in the semifinals and finals.”
Valdosta’s Mason Schmitt finished second in the 126-pound class. Marcus Norman (132 pounds) and Erick Brown (138) both took third. Derrick Smith (113), Darius Brown (195) and Bruce Scott (285) placed fourth.
There will be 16 wrestlers competing in the sectional tournament this weekend.
The top eight will advance to the state tournament, which will be held Feb. 14-16 at the Macon Coliseum.