Bryan County’s startup wrestling program, now in its third season, is growing by leaps and bounds.
Proof of that was evident this past weekend at the Class A Area 3 traditional tournament when Coach Zach Ledbetter’s team qualified 10 individuals for next week’s sectional tournament.
“We finished that first season with eight wrestlers,” Ledbetter said. “This weekend we qualified 10 of 11 wrestlers for the sectional which is more than we finished with in that first season. Hopefully what we did this weekend will get more kids interested in trying it.
“It was a good day all the way around. It seemed every time you looked around we were winning another match. We had seven (sectional) qualifiers last year so this shows we’re growing as a program.”
While the traditional tournament is focused on individuals whereas the recently completed state dual tournament is a team event Ledbetter said the Redskins finished third as a team in the boys event held Saturday at Screven County High School.
The girls tournament was held Friday at Effingham County and the Redskins were represented by India Mainer who advanced by finishing third at 215 and Alyssa Burnsed (150) who finished fifth and will be an alternate. The girls sectional will be Friday at Upson-Lee High School and the boys will be at Commerce High School.
The Redskins did not have any individual champions among the boys but William Patrick (120), Colton Gunter (132), Jorge Jimenez (138) and Jett Lewis (285) all had second-place finishes. Jayden Lee (113), Evan Cowart (144) and Carlos Arias (190) placed third and fourth-place finishes were claimed by Jaylen Williams (157) and Kameron Boggs (175). The top four places advanced.
“Jorge Jimenez had a day that needs to be highlighted,” Ledbetter said. “He wrestled a weight class above his normal weight. Colton had dropped down to 132 and beat Jorge in practice.
“So, Jorge wrestled up and won his first two matches before getting beat. Despite going up a class we had no doubt he would do well.”
While the Redskins had one of their best days ever their performance was marred by the absence of senior Tarrell Singleton (215) who did not wrestle due to a knee injury suffered in the region dual tournament.
Singleton, a team captain and leader who qualified for last year’s state tournament, got the news Friday his season was over.
“It was a very tough day when we got that news,” Ledbetter said. “He’s had a great season and career.”