GHS wrestling wins city meet
Published: Friday, January 30, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 12:36 a.m.
The Gainesville Hurricanes hosted the city wrestling championships and came out victorious, winning 97-85-33 against area rivals Buchholz and Eastside. The ’Canes and Bobcats went down to the final two weight classes, getting clutch victories in the end by Preston Mueriott and Mark Musselwhite to seal the victory.
Buchholz knocked off a tough Eastside team 58-21 in the first of three meets during the round robin. GHS then followed with a 51-12 victory against Eastside in the second, putting Buchholz in the lead 58-51.
In the finale, Buchholz managed to keep its lead with a 5-3 regular decision by Nathan Lofty over Josh Walters and a pin by Damien Boada against Chris Clark making it 79-75.
But then GHS began its run. Tanner Storms held Rico Coar to just a two-point reversal for a 6-2 regular decision worth three points. Horace Freeman then took Buchholz’s Christian Seda for a major decision and adding four more and an 82-78 lead.
After a pin by GHS’s Kyle Brooks over Rooster Samsone, it appeared the ’Canes were where they wanted to be, in the lead with the middle of their lineup coming up.
“The strength of our lineup is in the middle,” head coach Ryland Wagner said. “We knew if we could wrestle smart down the stretch, we could put ourselves in a great situation to win.”
So down the stretch it was, but not yet.
Buchholz’s John Simmons shocked the gymnasium with a huge pin against senior Deanerius Wilson. Simmons was wrestling in his first meet all season after coming back from knee surgery. Simmons’ pin came shortly after Wilson collected his 100th career win, a 8-6 decision in an extra minute sudden death against Eastside’s Calvin Thomas.
“He (Simmons) showed resilience, this was his first match, and he was great,” Buchholz head coach Billy Pankey said.
The momentum appeared to be swinging the Bobcats’ way as they cut the ’Canes’ lead to just three. But it was GHS’s Mueriott and Musselwhite who had the final say, sealing the victory at 97-85.
“This is not only good for wrestling, but for the city of Gainesville,” Wagner said. “As a program we are trying to promote the numbers of kids who want to be a part of the programs. A city championship like this can definitely get it done.”
Buchholz hosts the Bobcat tournament tonight, featuring both GHS and Eastside, along with Suwannee, Wakulla, Jensen Beach, Columbia and Bradford.
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