The Clear Creek Middle School Bobcats wrestling team competed at the State Duals Tournament, placing fifth in the Traditional Middle School Bracket. The Bobcats beat fifth place crossover opponent, Mountain View USA Club.The Bobcats jostled Jasper, 60-21, disposing of the Dragons in the first round, before a clash with Cass left the Bobcats bruised as Cass won 51-22.
The Bobcats bounced back with wins over Chestatee and Tift County, 68-18 and 57-21 respectively; however, a closely contested three point loss to West Laurens, 39-42, was the last loss of the tournament for the “Cats.”
The “Cats” cleared Cartersville, 1-0 (forfeit), before clawing out a 45-40 win over Mountain View.
Caleb Waddell was CCMS’ only undefeated wrestler, going 7-0 on the day, however, both Grant Ledford and Edvin Jacinto finished with only one loss each. Ledford went 6-1 on the day while Jacinto won five matches.
Chris Pruett, Blake Buntin, Evan Minter, Ryan Crump, Sam Harris all finished with identical 5-2 records. Chandler Tatum and James Dover each won four matches, with Tatum finishing 4-2 and Dover 4-3.
Seth Jackson and Chase Calvert, splitting time at the 128lbs weight class, each won two matches, with the “Cats” going 4-3 at 128 in the tournament.
Other wrestlers, winning matches were Gage Stephens, Nicholas Reimer, Anthony Zilke and Isaac Mullinax. Rounding out the team were Lucas Lopez, Thomas Chastain, Kyle Jervis, and Domingo Reynoso.
Head coach, Walt Monroe, was proud of his team, speaking about the young wrestlers overachieved and exceeded expectations coming into the year.
“This was an incredible effort by these young men. We came into this tournament a non-seeded team and defeated the sixth seed, Tift County and the 3rd seed on the club side, Mountain View.
We had West Laurens on the rope coming down to the last match, which was close. To think that a month ago that we went to the Cartersville Duals and got hammered, then to pick it up to this level and come into this tournament and place is a testament to each one of these wrestlers hard work and dedication.
There has only been one year that we have participated in Middle School State Duals and not placed which was the inaugural season 9 years ago. We did not participate the second season. Since we have placed 1st twice, 2nd 3 times, and 5th twice basically on the traditional side.
One of those years we were runner up there were not separate divisions. I do not think at the beginning of the season any of our coaches or any other of the top middle school teams in the north Georgia area would have predicted we would finish this high.
As a coaching staff we are as satisfied with this finish as any other we have ever had. This group has shown as much or more improvement as any group that I have ever personally coached in 24 years of coaching. It was an exciting weekend and one that these young men should be proud to be a part of this team.”