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January 3-- The Vidalia Wrestling Team competed traveled above Atlanta for four days of competition over the Christmas break. The Indians left on December 27th for a practice session at Rockmart High School, the following day they competed in the Rockmart Yellow Jacket Invitational, placing 8th out of 18 teams and earning three medals. The Indians left Rockmart for a two day tournament at Lambert placing 11th out of 36 teams and winning two medals at the highly competitive Hook ‘Em Clash. “Our goal was to come to north Georgia to see many different teams as well as several of the AA teams we’ll at the state tournament,” Coach James Ferry stated. He continued, “We saw a ton of great competition and really challenged our guys. The greatest accomplishment was not the medals but how our young responded to the challenge before them. We’ll use this as a catalyst going into the Area Duals this coming week.”

At Rockmart, placing for the Indians were Kaleb Matthews (106) second, Cory Braddy (138) fourth, and Tahjah Watts (195) second. Other team members wrestling and scoring for Vidalia were; Robert Allen, Kaleb Cook, Quadir Harris, Elijah Thornton, Chason Brogdon, Thomas Godbee, Austin Mazzeo, Zack Edwards, and Ramon Escalera. The Indians placed only behind host Rockmart and Armuchee as Class AA foes in the team standings. Coach Bobby Blount commented, “We got better today. Not only did we see teams that we normally aren’t able to compete against, but our kids competed well after a late night practice and early turn around this morning.”

The Lambert finish, although not as high in placing, was more impressive as it was a bigger, tougher tournament and a complete team effort. Placing for the Indians were Tahjah Watts (195) second and Thomas Godbee (170) fifth. The tournament included many of the top teams in Georgia from all classifications as well as nationally ranked Brandon, Florida; Irmo, South Carolina; and Collierville, Tennessee. Again, only two Class AA schools finished higher than Vidalia’s eleventh place. Those scoring team points for the Indians were; Robert Allen, Kaleb Cook, Kaleb Matthews, Quadir Harris, Cory Braddy, Elijah Thornton, Chason Brogdon, Austin Mazzeo, Zack Edwards, and Ramon Escalera. Senior Elijah Thornton summed up his last Hook ‘Em experience going 3 – 2 by saying, “This was an excellent team effort. All of us did well and I’m excited because this is the first of my three trips that I won matches and had a chance to win a medal.” Coach Steve Fullam concluded, “This was a team effort. Many teams that finished higher than us only scored points from a few wrestlers. We had points from almost every wrestler we brought for the first time, and had some medal winners.”1 2 18 VHS Wrestling

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