February 12-- The Vidalia Wrestling team earned a sixth-place finish with all seven wrestlers that qualified earning a Class AA State medal. Vidalia (76.5 points) was only 2.5 points out of fourth behind Rockmart (79 points) and Armuchee (78 points). “We were extremely proud of the effort our guys put into these two days,” stated Coach James Ferry about the team and the most state level medals earned in recent school history. Coach Bobby Blount added, “This is certainly the most medals we’ve earned in the last decade if not more.” At 126 pounds, Kaleb Cook earned a sixth-place finish by defeating Lopez of Jeff Davis in the consolation first round before falling to Ivey of Social Circle in a close 6 – 8 decision in the consolation semi-finals. In the final match, Cook lost to a familiar opponent in Sharpe of Pepperell again in a close 2 – 6 decision. At 132 pounds, Quadir Harris also earned a sixth-place finish by defeating Daniels of Dade County before losing his final match to another Pepperell opponent in Bevels. Harris completes his two-year wrestling career with 50 wins and one state medal. Harris plans to join the armed forces upon graduation. At 138 pounds, senior captain Cory Braddy completed a 137 career wins senior campaign with a fourth-place state finish and a two-time state medalist. His 137 career wins ranks him third all time in Vidalia Wrestling history. Braddy lost to finalist Bowman of Rockmart, defeated Butler of Armuchee and Detweiler of Social Circle before falling to Area 1 AA foe Ashley of Fitzgerald; a two-time state medalist himself. Braddy commented after the tournament, “Although it wasn’t the final result I wanted, I’m very proud of my accomplishments and happy for our team progress to top six in the state.” Braddy plans on attending college to earn a degree in middle school science and return to Vidalia to teach and coach wrestling. At 145 pounds, senior captain Elijah Thornton placed fifth to finish his high school career with a final win to end with 92 career wins and one state medal. Thornton went 2 – 2 in the tournament, defeating Preston of Bacon County and avenging a sectional finals lost to Pounds of Northeast Magnet by pin. Thornton has already signed and been sworn into the United States Army and will spend to next several years defending our freedoms around the world. Senior captain Aldarreis Tillery placed fourth at 152 pounds. The two-time state qualifier, defeated Kiser of Chatooga to open the tournament and O’Dell of Lamar County before being defeated in the consolation finals. Tillery finished his three-year career with 91 wins, an area championship, and one state medal. Freshman, Thomas Godbee (170) started his career off with 58 wins on the season, a couple of tournament championships, several runner up finishes which included Area 1 AA and Sectionals, and a fourth-place state medal. Godbee won his first match over Fortson of Elbert County by pin before falling to eventual state champion Robinson of Temple. He then pinned Cottrell of Chatooga. In the consolation finals, Godbee lost another close match to senior Markelyn Lundy of Fitzgerald 5 – 8.2 12 18 VHS Wrestling Watts

In the state finals, junior 195 pounder, Tahjah Watts capped a 62 win season; 115 career wins; with an exciting 4-3 victory over Jheffery Lundy of Fitzgerald. Watts opened the tournament with a decisive win over Brown of Heard County 14 – 3. In the state semi-finals, Watts defeated 2017 195 state runner Walker of Banks County by a 10- 8 decision. The state championship match was an exciting strategic battle between two young men that have faced each other four times in the last four weeks, all in the finals. “I accomplished all my goals this year. I felt like I could be in every finals match and eventually win the state title. With God on my side, I have a majority against any opponent. I am extremely proud and thankful for my family, my coaches, my school, my teachers, and my community,” stated State Champion Tahjah Watts. Coach Steve Fullam said, “We had our plan going into the match and we knew the plan his rival was gong to use. Our plan worked a little better.” The Vidalia Wrestling team would like to thank all our supporters, parents, and teachers. God bless and roll tribe.

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