Tough competition on tap

By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor

January 16, 2014

The local wrestlers will test themselves against some elite competition this weekend.

The Smiths Station Invitational will be held today and Saturday, and the teams from LaGrange and Callaway are each participating.

Troup, meanwhile, is heading to Whitewater High for the Wildcat Brawl.

At Smiths Station, more than 20 teams from Georgia and Alabama will compete.

“In this 24-team tournament, you go over there and there ain’t any weak sisters,” LaGrange coach Scooter Weathers said. “There are some tough teams from Georgia, and some tough teams from Alabama. There are state champions there, and there will be some All-Americans there.”

It will be the Grangers’ first traditional-format tournament since the Gary Silva Invitational they hosted on Dec. 28.

In that tournament, 12 of LaGrange’s 14 wrestlers placed, including Guy Wegienka, Garrett Godby and Kyler Hall, who each won their weight class.

Weathers said he’ll be bringing 10 wrestlers to this weekend’s tournament.

Weathers said everyone is at their preferred weight class, and that most of the wrestlers are as healthy as they’ve been all season.

For Callaway, Brandon Sutton likely offers the best hope for an individual championship.

Sutton won the 285-pound weight class at the Gary Silva Invitational, and five other Callaway wrestlers placed.

Dustin Holmes and Andrew Thomas both finished second at the Silva Invitational.

Troup will be one of the 20 or so teams competing in the Whitewater tournament.

The Tigers have a handful of wrestlers capable of earning a place on the podium, including 220-pounder Hudson Newton, who came into the week with a 23-3 record.

Adam Love, Tanius Harris, Jonathan Scott, Dakota Wilson and Cameron Cato are also having big seasons for the Tigers.

After this weekend’s competitions, Callaway, LaGrange and Troup will get together on Tuesday for the county championship at LaGrange High.

All three teams are gearing up for their traditional area tournaments on Feb. 1, with the top four finishers in each weight class advancing to the state sectionals.