2015-16 Toombs County Wrestling

Ricardo Santana finishes third in first state tourney

Ricardo Santana secures 3rd place with a 2nd round pin
Ricardo Santana secures 3rd place with a 2nd round pin

Toombs County Bulldog freshman wrestler Ricardo Santana finished third in his first trip to the GHSA Wrestling State Championships, in the Infinite Energy Arena in Gwinnett County. Santana pinned Rockmart’s Truett Bowman 23 seconds into the second period in the AAA 113 pound third place match.

Ricardo had a take down in the first period to jump up 2-0 and then Bowman countered with a reversal for two points and escape for one to take a 3-2 lead. However, Santana earned two more points with a take down, in the second period, and then he pinned Bowman to end the match. Watch a slideshow

Ricardo takes down Bowman
Ricardo takes down Truett Bowman
Ricardo is a state placer for the first time
Ricardo is a state placer for the first time
Ricardo with his 3rd place medal
Ricardo with his 3rd place medal
Ricardo pins Kelton LeBaron to move into 3rd place match
Ricardo pins Kelton LeBaron to move into 3rd place match

https://youtu.be/Ih1Kh8nAlsw

Seven Bulldog wrestlers are going to state

Ervin Mincey (right) wrestles Lumpkin County's Zach Matthews for 1st place
Ervin Mincey (right) wrestles Lumpkin County’s Zach Matthews for 1st place

Seven Toombs County Bulldog wrestlers have survived the grueling, two-day GHSA Class 3A -A Sectional in Madison and have qualified for the state tourney. That number compares favorably to the past. Nine Bulldogs qualified for state in 2010-11, eight in 2008-09 and seven in both 2007-08 and 2011-12. Last year five Dawgs made it and the year before the total was six with four winning state championships in the Toombs County Middle School Gym.

Ervin Mincey lost his first place match 10-4 to junior Zach Matthews from Lumpkin County. Zach is now 36-2 and Ervin will go to state for the first time with a 42-17 record.

106 pounds- freshman Cruz Arredondo (49-6)- Cruz won his first two matches on Friday with a first round pin and a 20-11 score. On Saturday, in the semifinals, Cruz lost to Devin Mullinax (Banks County) (33-3) by a first round pin. He won 2-0 and the lost by a second round pin and finished fourth to qualify for state for the first time.

113 pounds- freshman Ricardo Santana (44-6)- Ricardo won his first two matches with bye and a second round pin. In the semifinals he lost 8-5 to junior Hector Torres (Jackson County) (13-3). Santana then won 6-1 and lost 3-2 to finish fourth and qualify for state for the first time.

120 pounds- sophomore Gage Clark (39-13)- Gage lost 9-5 and won with a second round pin in the consolation round. Clark beat Kevin Arias (Dawson County) (17-7) by a tech and then lost 8-2 and won by another tech to finish seventh and qualify for state for the first time.

126 pounds- junior Sebastian McKee (34-21)- Sebastian lost by a second round pin and won by a second round pin in the consolation round. McKee lot 9-3, won with a first round pin and lost by a first round pin and finished 10th.

132 pounds- junior Justin Hall (29-17)- Justin won his first two matches with two second round pins. In the semifinals Hall lost by a first round pin to senior Tanner Thurmond (Jefferson) (40-0). Then Justin lost 9-0 and lost 4-3 to finish sixth and qualify for state for a second time.

138 pounds- junior Deven Matthews (39-21)– Deven moved through the first round on a bye and then lost in the second round on a technical decision. In the consolation round Matthews lost 7-2 to junior Cole Hopkins (Lumpkin County) (22-20). Then Deven rallied and won a match with a pin late in the second period and he won the ninth place match 17-10. He will be an alternate

145 pounds- junior  Luke Anderson (36-12)- Luke lost by a second round pin and then won 11-6 in the consolation round. Anderson lost 9-8 to junior Carter Hopkins (Lumpkin County) (35-12). Then Luke bounced back with a second round pin and a 10-6 win to place ninth and he will be an alternate.

152 pounds- junior Carson Roberts (28-11)- Carson won with a second round pin and lost 16-14 in the second round. Roberts won 5-1 over junior Dalton Brannon (Appling County) (24-12). He then lost 5-4 and 6-0 to finish seventh and qualify for state for the first time.

160 pounds- senior Nathan Belch (47-11)- Nathan won with a first round pin and a 13-3 decision. In the semifinals Belch lost by a second round pin to fellow senior Chris Couch (Oconee County) (41-6). Belch then won 11-7 and then took care of Jefferson freshman Mason Corbett shutting him out 5-0 to win third place and earn his first trip to state.

220 pounds- sophomore Ervin Mincey (39-17)- Ervin won with a first and a second round pin. In the semifinals Mincey won in triple overtime over junior Dalton Sikes (Oconee County) (44-7). In the finals Ervin was matched up against senior Zach Matthews from Lumpkin County. Matthews had lost only two times this season and he won two of his matches with pins and the other by a 7-4 score.

Nobody scored in the first two minute period. Matthews finally earned two points late in the second period. Matthews opened up a 5-0 lead and then Mincey scored two points. Matthews scored the next five and led 10-2. Ervin scored two points making the final score 10-4. Mincey finishes second and earns his first trip to state. Matthews heads to state with a 35-2 record.

TCHS Bulldogs repeat as Area 1 AAA Champs

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The Toombs County Bulldog wrestling team repeated as the Area 1 AAA champions and in the process qualified 11 Dawgs for the GHSA AAA East State Sectionals in Madison. Six Bulldogs won area championships and all for the first time. Last year the Bulldogs qualified all 14 weight classes for the sectionals and had four area champs. Toombs has now won three straight area championships. Watch a slideshow

Sectional Qualifiers

Area Champions- Cruz Arredondo, Ricardo Santana, Gage Clark, Luke Anderson, Carson Roberts and Nathan Belch.

2nd place- Justin Hall, Deven Matthews and Ervin Mincey

3rd place- Sebastian McKee

4th place- Jonathan Quintero

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Freshman area champ Cruz Arredondo controls his match

 

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Freshman Ricardo Santana becomes an area champion with a pin

 

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Gage Clark earns his first area championship with a pin

 

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Trailing 7-3 Luke Anderson rallies and wins area with a pin

 

Carson Roberts uses his back and leverage to win an area championship
Carson Roberts uses his back and leverage to win an area championship

 

Senior Nathan Belch becomes an area champ with a pn
Senior Nathan Belch becomes an area champ with a pin

https://youtu.be/ty7EevgAYBQ

TCHS finishes 5th in a tough Bulldog Sweet Onion Tourney

Toombs County’s Deven Matthews, who finished fifth in the 138 pound weight class said the first Bulldog Sweet Onion Wrestling Tournament, held in the new Toombs County Gym, was the toughest tourney he had ever wrestled in. In fact, no TCHS wrestler made it to the championship round against the likes of Tift County, which finished first in the team standings, Osceola, Florida (2nd place), West Laurens (3rd place) and Fitzgerald (4th).

Dallas Coursey pins a Vidalia wrestler in the third period
Dallas Coursey pins a Vidalia wrestler in the third period

Finishing fourth for TCHS was Cruz Arredondo (106 pounds), Carson Roberts (152) and Ervin Mincy (220).

Fifth place Bulldogs were Dallas Coursey (113), Sebastian McKee (120),  Deven Matthews (138) and Nathan Belch (160)

Sixth place TCHS wrestlers were Luke Anderson (145) and Jonathan Quintero (220).

Uncle Derrick watches nephew Ervin in the Bulldog Sweet Onion

When Derrick Mincey (2000 TCHS graduate) was a Bulldog he was not only a bruising fullback and a tough to block defensive lineman, but also he was a two-time GHSA State Heavyweight Wrestling Champion. Derrick’s nephew, Ervin, wrestles for the Bulldogs in the 220 pound weight class and on Saturday the uncle was watching and cheering on his nephew.

Ervin Mincey wins with a pin
Ervin Mincey wins with a pin

https://youtu.be/H2ztX7L0Y48

TCHS wrestlers win once and lose twice on the second day of the GHSA State Duals

The Toombs County Bulldogs opened the second day of the GHSA AAA Team Dual Wrestling Championship with a 48-19 loss to Lumpkin County. However, the Dawgs bounced back in the consolation round with a 40-36 win over Spencer. Then later in the day TCHS was knocked out of the tourney by McNair by a score of 38-31.

Morales and Morgan propel Toombs County to GHSA State Dual Victory over Calhoun

Jonathan Morales starts a Bulldog comeback with a pin (Picture courtesy Dee)
Jonathan Morales starts a Bulldog comeback with a pin (Picture courtesy Dee)
Oren Mrogan pins his Calhoun opponent (Picture courtesy Dee)
Oren Mrogan pins his Calhoun opponent (Picture courtesy Dee)

Since 2008 Toombs County High School has had two state tourney match ups with Calhoun and both times the Yellow Jackets prevailed. In a 2008 Elite 8 football game, in Calhoun, the Yellow Jacket beat the Bulldogs 41-14. Then in a 2010 quarterfinal best of three, in Lyons, the Calhoun baseball team swept TCHS 7-0 and 6-1.

That Yellow Jacket run has finally ended, in the first round of the GHSA AAA Team Dual Wrestling Championship at the Macon Centreplex, with the Bulldogs coming from behind to beat Calhoun 40-34.

“We made a move that we thought would help us and we got caught in a headlock,” head coach Bradley Benton said. “Those things happen and we got pinned and it put us behind the 8-ball. It was back and forth all the way through the lineup. We were down by six with two matches to go and we got two tremendous performances from freshman Jonathan Morales and junior Oren Morgan. Morales was down 9-3 and he put the guy on his back and pinned him. Oren was down by four or five points and he pinned the guy. It was just unbelievable that kind of comeback effort. I just haven’t seen anything like it.”

Bulldog Brawl- Day 2- The Bulldogs finish first

Cruz Arredondo wins the 106 pound weight class with a 1st round pin
Cruz Arredondo wins the 106 pound weight class with a 1st round pin

The deep Toombs County Bulldog wrestling team outscored third ranked AAA Hilton Head (South Carolina), 249.5 to 232, to win the Bulldog Brawl in Lyons. Appling County finished in third place.

Toombs County Bulldogs

106 pounds- Cruz Arredondo 1st place

113 pounds- Ricardo Santana 2nd place and Dallas Coursey 4th place

120 pounds- Sebastion McKee 1st place and Jaden Banks 3rd place

126 pounds- Gage Clark 2nd place

132 pounds- Justin Hall 2nd place

138 pounds- Deven Matthews 2nd place

145 pounds- Luke Anderson 2nd place

152 pounds- Vonnard Smith 3rd place

160 pounds- Nathan Belch 1st place and Chase Wickstrom 4th place

170 pounds- Jonathan Morales 3rd place

182 pounds- Oren Morgan 3rd place

195 pounds- Cameron Panick 4th place

220 pounds- Ervin Mincey 1st place

Bulldog Brawl- Day 1- Dawgs lose close 1st place dual to Hilton Head

The Toombs County varsity wrestling team rolled through pool play in the Bulldog Brawl at the TCHS Gym. The Dawgs spanked Brookstone 68-6, beat Region 1 AAA foe Dodge County 54-24 and shutout Hilton Head’s junior varsity team 72-0. Those three victories sent Toombs County into a championship match up with Hilton Head’s varsity team.

Toombs County was missing heavyweight Jonathan Quintero which means the Dawgs had to yield six points to Hilton Head on a forfeit. Those points may have been the difference as Hilton Head pulled out a 41-33 victory. TCHS’s Cruz Arredondo was the only Bulldog to win his match with a forfeit.

On New Year’s eve Hilton Head won it’s own tourney by beating Alcoa High School (Tennessee) 34-30 in the semifinals and then the Seahawks knocked off North Marion (West Virginia) 40-24 in the championship match. That is the first time Hilton Head has won the Seahawk Duals. Hilton Head is ranked third in AAA in South Carolina.

On Saturday the eight teams will stage a traditional style tourney with individual weight classes. Also competing are Appling County, Irwin County and Toombs County’s junior varsity team.

Ricardo Santana was the first Bulldog to win with a pin
Ricardo Santana was the first Bulldog to win with a pin

 

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Gage Clark claimed five Bulldog points with a 13-0 victory

 

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Justin Hall executes a first period pin

 

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Luke Anderson almost pinned his opponent in the first round. He wound up a 7-0 winner.

 

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Nathan Belch pinned his opponent in 15 seconds to give TCHS a 33-29 lead

https://youtu.be/K6-IXDTlAYM

Younger Dawgs improve finish at War Eagle Classic

A younger group of Toombs County High School wrestlers improved on their 2014 eighth place finish at the War Eagle Classic, at Woodward Academy, by placing fifth. In 2014 the Bulldogs had six wrestlers who placed by finishing sixth or higher. This season, a team with only one senior, had 10 Bulldogs finish in the top six.

The Bulldogs were lead by freshman Ricardo Santana, who followed up his first place finish at West Laurens, with Toombs County’s only first place victory at Woodward. Gage Clark and Nathan Belch each finished second, Cruz Arredondo was third, Sebastion McKee fourth, Joe Cowart and Justin Hall fifth and Cameron Pannick, Devon Matthews and Blaine Burkett sixth.

Top Five Teams

1 Luella
2 Lovett
3 West Laurens
4 Morgan
5 Toombs

Bulldogs finish 3rd with three 1st placers at West Laurens 

The Toombs County Bulldog wrestlers finished third and had three first place finishers in the Raider Invitational at West Laurens. This was the Bulldogs first traditional tourney of the season which means wrestlers compete in weight classes and not as team versus another team.

Senior Nathan Belch and freshman Cruz Arredondo and Ricardo Santana each finished first. Devon Matthews and Ervin Mincey placed second Justin Hall was third and Jonathan Quintero fourth.

The Bulldogs three-peat at the Yellow Jacket Duals

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For the third time in three years the championship match up in the Yellow Jacket Duals, held at Jeff Davis High School, was Toombs County versus Ware County. The Bulldogs beat the Gators in 2013 and 2014 and in the 2015 version, of this grueling two-day event, the Dawgs earned a three-peat by winning all nine of their matches and they defeated Ware twice- 54-20 in pool competition and 41-30 in the finals.Watch a slideshow

In the first place match, the Bulldogs trailed Ware County 24-4 after five of the 14 weight classes. Nathan Belch, the Bulldogs’ only senior, earned the four points with a major decision. The Dawgs also won in the heavy weight division when Jonathan Quintero picked up three points with a regular decision. The first Bulldog to earn six points was freshman Cruz Arredondo, who pinned his Gator in the first round.

Cruz Arredondo pins the Gator
Cruz Arredondo pins the Gator

The lower weight Bulldogs made up the early match gap. After Dallas Coursey lost a tough match in overtime, Gage Clark picked up three points and then Joe Cowart turned the match for good with an exciting pin which cut the Ware lead to 30-23.

Joe Cowart fires up his teammates with a pin
Joe Cowart fires up his teammates with a pin

Justin Hall was the final Toombs wrestler to win on the mat. The veteran Dawg pinned his opponent with ease to make the score 30-29 Ware County. Devin Matthews and Carson Roberts won by forfeit and it was all over. The Bulldogs, for the second straight year, won all nine of their matches.

Justin Hall is the third Dawg to win with a pin
Justin Hall is the third Dawg to win with a pin

On Friday, in pool competition, Toombs knocked off Fitzgerald 66-15, Telfair County 75-6, Pierce County 81-0 and Ware County 54-20. On Saturday the Bulldogs defeated Brantley County 71-12 and Treutlen County 54-28 in pool action. In the quarterfinals TCHS took care of Crisp County 57-21 and in the semifinals the Dawgs beat Treutlen 49-18.

TCHS wrestlers dual big schools & finish second

Carson Roberts, Gage Clark and Blaine Burkett
Carson Roberts, Gage Clark and Blaine Burkett

The 3A Toombs County Bulldog wrestling team beat four 6A teams and one 4A in route to a second place finish in the Packer Duals in Moultrie.

TCHS knocked off 6A Colquitt Counry 48-31, 6A  Lowndes County 49-25 and 4A Crisp County 65-11 before losing to 6A Tift County 45-27. The Bulldogs wrapped up second place with a come-from-behind win over 6A Valdosta. With the Dawgs trailing by 11 points, Carson Roberts and Blaine Burkett reeled off two straight pins, each worth six points, to nip the Wildcats 39-38.

This weekend the Bulldogs will go for their third straight win in the Jacket Duals at Jeff Davis High School. The last two years the Bulldogs have beaten Ware County to finish first. Last year TCHS beat the Gators 52-26 and the year before the winning score was 52-26.

TCHS wrestlers talk about their first action of the season

The Bulldogs workout in their new wrestling room
The Bulldogs workout in their new wrestling room

The Toombs County High School wrestlers moved in to their new wrestling room this week. The Bulldogs had been practicing in the old high school gym, but when the competition cheerleading season came to an end they inherited the Cheer Dawgs practice room.

This week the Bulldogs are working hard to get ready for their second event of the season. On Tuesday TCHS will be competing in the Packer Duals at Colquit County High School against a lot of big 6A schools.

The Bulldogs opened up the season two weeks early and both the varsity and junior varsity teams brought home a trophy. In fact the two teams both went 3-1 and were suppose to wrestle for third place, but instead the varsity was awarded the third place trophy and the junior varsity took home the fourth place hardware.

The varsity defeated Greenbrier, Baldwin and East Laurens and lost to Grovetown. The junior varsity beat Franklin County, Evans and Harlem and lost to Eastside (Covington). All were varsity teams.

For the varsity squad five Bulldogs went 4-0- Cruz Arredondo, Ervin Mincey, Jonathan Quintero, Ricardo Santana and Gage Clark. Jonathan Morales and Blaine Burkett were 4-0 for the junior varsity.

TCHS wrestling season opens with varsity and JV teams winning a trophy

Harlemtchswrestlingnovember142015

The Toombs County Bulldogs opened the wrestling season two weeks early and both the varsity and junior varsity teams brought home a trophy. In fact the two teams both went 3-1 and were suppose to wrestle for third place, but instead the varsity was awarded the third place trophy and the junior varsity took home the fourth place hardware.

The varsity defeated Greenbrier, Baldwin and East Laurens and lost to Grovetown. The junior varsity beat Franklin County, Evans and Harlem and lost to Eastside (Covington). All were varsity teams.

For the varsity squad five Bulldogs went 4-0- Cruz Arredondo, Ervin Mincey, Jonathan Quintero, Ricardo Santana and Gage Clark. Jonathan Morales and Blaine Burkett were 4-0 for the junior varsity.