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January 14-- The Vidalia Wrestling Team qualified for the GHSA State Duals for the second time in school history and in the last five years. The Indians won three out of four duals to finish second in Area 1AA.

“We are excited about the opportunity to represent our area as well as the team effort it took to accomplish this goal. In a day when the whole world talks about individuality, to qualify as a team and to have our guys embrace the team effort is something special,” stated Coach James Ferry.

The Indians defeated Swainsboro 78-6 with wins coming from Hunter Manning, Noah Tippett, Robert Allen, Markevious Mincey, Kaleb Cook, Damian Townsel, Dawson Campbell, Thomas Godbee, Lawson Paradice, Tahjah Watts, Zack Edwards, Jaylin Burns, and Javarius Worthen. Vidalia then faced familiar foe and long-standing area runner up; having defeated Vidalia three years in a row; Fitzgerald. Vidalia beat Fitzgerald 45-30 in a match that went back and forth until the Indians took control of the last three matches. Fitzgerald opened with two wins before Mincey tabled a fall in the first period making the score 6-12. Fitzgerald won the next match, 6-15. Townsel defeated his opponent to close the gap to 9-15. Fitzgerald then reeled off two pins to take a 27-9 lead. Vidalia’s next three wrestlers; Godbee, Paradice, and Watts; were able to put up 18 point to tie the team score at 27-27. Fitzgerald won the next match in a close decision to take a 27-30 lead. Indian Jaylin Burns took the mat at 285 and ended Fitzgerald’s state bound hopes with a monstrous second period pin to put Vidalia in the lead for good 33-30. Worthen and Manning scored six points each to give the Indians a 45-30 victory.

“Jaylin’s win was exciting and put the stamp on us traveling to Macon,” Coach Bobby Blount commented. In the area title match the Indians lost to Toombs County 20-46, but the match was 20-21 after nine matches. Vidalia got wins from Mincey, Campbell, Godbee, and Watts. Jeff Davis challenged Vidalia for a true second, but the match was never in question with Vidalia winning 50-27. Winning Indians were Mincey, Cook, Campbell, Godbee, Paradice, Watts, Burns, Worthen, and Tippett.

The Indians will open the State Dual Tournament on Thursday against Screven County in Macon. Coach Ferry finished with, “We are certainly blessed to have these young men wrestling for our school and representing our community. Regardless of what happens in Macon, we are extremely proud of the team effort these guys have demonstrated all season long. God bless and #rolltribe.”

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