GHS wrestling claims third straight city title
Published: Friday, January 18, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 18, 2013 at 11:41 p.m.
Gainesville High School continued its dominance on the wrestling mats Friday by winning its third consecutive city championship.
The Hurricanes showed they were the more experienced team, knocking off host Eastside 48-24 before getting past Buchholz 43-33.
Thomas Herlevich, Marcellus Boyd and Wade Jones combined to earn 36 of Gainesville's 91 total points by winning their respective matches by pins.
Herlevich pinned Eastside's Alex Whaley in his first match and squeezed in his second pin of the night against Buchholz's Peter Emery at the 3:59 mark. The senior won the 145-pound weight class.
“Our goal for the whole team was to come out fast and aggressive and (Thomas) did exactly that,” Gainesville High coach Ryland Wagner said. “Thomas is a great story. He has a 4.3 GPA. Started wrestling in the ninth grade and made it to states in just his sophomore year. He wants to go out on the right note.”
Boyd got his first pin in the nick of time. He held down Eastside's Shannon Powell with just one second to spare in a match where the referee called for action several times. Boyd's second pin came against Anthony Moore of Buchholz to win the 138-pound weight class.
The 170-pound weight class belonged to Jones by making quick work of both of his opponents. Jones first pinned Eastside's Romell Thomas in just 59 seconds. His lightning-quick work of Jared Rogers lasted just 18 seconds.
Hurricane teammates joining Herlevich, Boyd and Jones as weight class winners included Treavon O'Neil (106 pounds), Tajh Brennan (113 pounds), Matt Tamayo (138 pounds) and Vlad Dubinin (182 pounds).
The match that was the most pivotal in deciding the championship belonged to one of the youngest and smallest Hurricane wrestlers.
Brennan, just a sophomore who has jumped back and forth between varsity and JV this year, was seen as an underdog in his second match of the night against the older Joe Levine of Buchholz. Brennan took advantage of Levine's mental mistakes, wore him down and stole three points. The Gainesville team and coaching staff were ecstatic with the upset.
“He was our team MVP tonight and this is his first year wrestling,” Wagner said. “The goal we set for him was not to get pinned. His win gave us so much momentum. It was critical because the score could have only been (a four-point lead) if it went the other way.”
“That is all I was thinking the whole time, ‘Don't get pinned, don't get pinned,'” Brennan said. “He made a few mental mistakes and I grinded it out.”
Buchholz won the second-place match, beating Eastside 45-27.
Four Buchholz wrestlers won their respective weight classes: Lorenzo Smith (126 pounds), Myckel Hutchinson (152 pounds), Vinny Sunter (195 pounds) and Deontiae Neal (heavyweight).
Eastside's winners included Rashad Bennett (120 pounds), Jesse Houston (160 pounds) and Mike Linton (220 pounds).