TIFTON — Tift County wrestling is battered, but the Blue Devils will give it their best shot at sectionals, which begin today at Perry.
All 12 Tift County wrestlers made weight at last week’s Region 1-AAAAAAA tournament, but only 10 are going to sectionals because of injuries in back-to-back matches. The team does pick up a wrestler, however. Madison Cox is competing to become to first female make state in school history.
Garrett Westberry broke his orbital bone in his first 195-pound match, leaving what head coach Shawn Watson described as “a bloody mess.” Only minutes later in the 220-pound division, Dalton Hancock dislocated his shoulder, which couldn’t be popped into socket on-site. Hancock’s arm is currently in a sling and he, too, is out.
Unfortunately for Westberry, the region match will be in his last in high school; he graduates this year. Hancock is a sophomore. He made state a year ago.
Not all news was bad at the region tournament.
Gerald Coney took first place at 189 pounds and will be a top seed at sectionals. Timothy Wright finished second at 138. Among his victories was one over Camden County, said Watson.
Region third places went to Quay Goldsborough (126 pounds), Davarius Smith (145) and Garrett Sumner (285). Fourth place went to Caleb Barber (106), Blake Haggins (132), Braden Wilbanks (152), Angel Calles (160) and Zach Carter (170).
Wrestlers need to finish in the top eight to make the state tournament. That translates to winning two matches at sectionals, said Watson.
State will take place next week, Feb. 13-15, at the Macon Centreplex.