'Canes sweep town


Shane Jeffers of Gainesville High holds down Brad Barrett of Buchholz Friday night at GHS.

DANNY GHITIS/Special to The Sun
Published: Saturday, January 21, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 21, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
Gainesville High's wrestlers wanted to do something special for coach Ryland Wagner for his 27th birthday, so they decided to go out and dominate the city championship.
Moments after Wagner hoisted the City Championship trophy high above his head with a proud smile on his face, his squad of championship wrestlers burst into a "Happy Birthday" song and the celebration began.
The Hurricanes (12-1 and ranked No. 4 class 2A) won the second annual championship for the second time, beating Eastside 52-28 in the opening match and upending Buchholz 64-18 in the final match.
"This is a great birthday present," said Wagner, whose team features eight seniors. "This is a great turnout here tonight. This is what we want as far as the fans and the support and the enthusiasm of everyone because we want this to be a top tournament for everyone."
Gainesville won nine individual trophies, while Eastside (10-5) defeated Buchholz 52-28 and claimed four individual winners and Buchholz (15-12) grabbed one in the 152-pound class.
Like last year, the Hurricanes cruised to victory, but this year the competition was much improved and the level of excitement from Eastside and Buchholz far exceeded last season's meet. Both the Rams and Bobcats are programs on the rise and the meets in the near future should only grow in quality.
"This is really exciting to have the gym packed and be blowing them (Eastside and Buchholz) out," said Gainesville High's Devin Billings, moments after he won the 171-pound class with a 23 second pin. "This is the first time the other schools have been pumped and to have all our seniors here and winning is incredible."
The wrestlers will have a chance to square off once again today at 10 a.m at the Buchholz Invitational at Buchholz High School where the three schools will compete along with Columbia and Suwannee.

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