The Dodge County High School Wrestling team traveled to East Laurens High School on Friday, January 27th to compete in the Individual Area Tournament. As a wrestler you must finish in the top four at area to qualify for the next step toward state, sectionals. The Indians entered the tournament with several seeded wrestlers.
Junior Christian Grauberger completed the regular season with a 50-2 record earning the number one seed at 138 pounds. Senior Tyler McDonald entered with a 20-12 record good enough for the number two seed at 145 pounds. Junior Jared Cannon finished 26-11 at 160 pounds and earned the number one seed. Junior Tyler Montford who was 37-15 on the year also gained the one seed at 170 pounds. Senior Cam’ron McCloud at 195 pounds earned the two seed with a record of 47-8. Freshmen Javon McNeal had regular season record of 14-10 giving him the three seed. Also competing was sophomore Keshaun Smokes at 152 pounds and freshman Noah Pace at 182 pounds.
The Indians would have a record setting day as they put five wrestlers into the Area finals. Javon Mcneal and Keshaun Smokes lost in the Semifinals and fell into the consolation semifinals where they had to win to move on to sectionals. However both fell short and wrestled for the alternate spot in 5th and 6th place match. McNeal beat a Dublin wrestler for a 5th place finish, Smokes lost in the final moments to a wrestler from Lamar to finish 6th.
In the finals Grauberger faced McNickles from Spencer. These two young men are ranked one and two in the state at 138 pounds in AA. Grauberger beat McNickles in Area Duals in a close match. This day would go to McNickles as he had a last minute takedown to score the go ahead points leaving Christian to finish 2nd.
Up next at 145 pounds, McDonald squared off against Burgess from Spencer. McDonald came into the match looking for revenge from the earlier loss at Area Duals. McDonald took an early lead and never gave it up claiming the area championship.
Jared Cannon faced Trim from Southwest in the finals at 160. Cannon went down early to Trim but continued to fight. He wore down Trim to capture the area championship at 160.
In the following match Tyler Montford took on Hess from Monticello, this was their first meeting. It was a war for three periods. At the end of regulation the score was 1-1. In the first overtime you need a takedown to win and Hess would do just that to give Montford 2nd place.
In the Indians finale McCloud faced an old foe from Dublin, Turner. They have squared off five times this season and McCloud has won twice. They were tied at the end of regulation and went into overtime. After the first overtime the score was still deadlocked. It took a 2nd overtime to decide an outcome. In the second overtime, Turner reversed McCloud for two points. McCloud escaped in the 3rd overtime period to earn one point, but it was not enough as Turner claimed the Area Championship at 195 pounds.
The team finished fourth overall, just six points behind 2nd place. These five Indians will travel to Toombs next Saturday to compete in the AA Sectional A Tournament for the right to enter the state tournament the following weekend in Macon.