This past weekend the GHSA State Traditional Tournament was held at the Macon Centreplex and once again the Bobcats of Gilmer High School were well represented.
Coach Josh Gobadapoor in his first Season at Gilmer High School continued the winning tradition with 12 student athletes qualifying for the Individual State Tournament after a strong showing at the sectional tournament last week hosted by Woodward Academy. Representing the Bobcats in Macon were So. Logan Bentley(20-8) 113 lbs., So. Lucas Lopez(24-13) 120 lbs., Fr. Tristan Kendall(17-4) 126 lbs., JR. Hoyt Stover(26-13) 132 lbs., Jr. Alex Repetun(28-13) 138 lbs., Sr. Chase Calvert(23-20) 145 lbs., So. Caleb Waddell(30-2) 152 lbs., Sr. Grant Ledford(25-9) 160 lbs., Sr. Ryan Crump(39-3) 182 lbs., JR. Taylor Brogdon(19-13) 195 lbs. and Sr. Anthony Zilke(37-6) at 285 lbs. These guys left everything they had on the mats as the vied to be on top of the podium at tournaments end. As Thursday and Friday came to an end, the stiff competition in 4AAAA from around the state proved to be heart breaking for several Bobcats while others fought their way into the medal rounds.
As Saturday approached, the Bobcat Nation put their focus on Tristian Kendall taking 4th at 126 lbs., Ryan Crump taking 3rd place at 182 lbs. and Anthony Zilke taking 3rd place at 285 lbs. After the Opening Ceremonies for the Finals where 14 Men and Women were inducted in to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, the spotlights were turned on and the wrestlers for the final matches of the weekend entered the arena. Stepping to the mat for the 152 lb. Championship match from Gilmer High School was Sophomore Caleb Waddell(33-2) and from Luella High School, Sr. Daniel Reid(32-1). From the first whistle to start the match, Waddell was in a dog fight. Both Waddell and Reid had a counter move for everything their opponent attempted in trying to put points on the board. The action was intense for 6 minutes(3 periods at 2 minutes each) in a low scoring bought. At the end Caleb Waddell came out on the short end of a 4-3 decision, placing him 2nd in the state at 152 lbs.
I see great days ahead for Caleb Waddell in the sport of wrestling and in life. A great young man who will keep training and working hard to reach the 2019 state Finals and bring the coveted State Championship Title to Gilmer High School as the tradition continues.
Final results: 1- 2nd Place, 2- 3rd Place, 1- 4th Place, 2- 6th Place and 6 Pre-medal round eliminations.