The 2019 Jeff Davis Duals, featured 28 teams from Georgia and South Carolina, and the Toombs County Mat Dawgs brought home a first place trophy in the Silver division.
The tournament started out with four pools of seven teams and ended with Gold, Silver and Bronze pools. The Bulldogs came away with the Silver division championship going 3-0 in the medal round. The Mat Dawgs started the medal round wrestling against Benedictine and came away with a 48-34 victory. The second dual pitted TCHS against area rival the Fitzgerald Purple Hurricanes who had defeated Telfair in round one. The Bulldogs came away with a 54-27 victory. Toombs matched up against Jeff Davis in the finals after the Yellow Jackets had defeated Vidalia in the semis. Toombs County took the championship with a 45-33 win over JD.
Leading the Mat Dwgs in the tournament were senior Devante Willis (220 pounds) with a 9-0, record. freshman Tank Morris (182) 8-1, sophomore Jacob Edwards (145) 8-1, senior Areal Rodriquez (138) 8-1, junior Blake Hall (132) 8-0, senior Martin ”Tini” Santana (126) 9-0, freshman Gibson Wood (120) 9-0 and senior Jose “Chema” Balderas (106) 8-1.
Coach Bill Benton had this to say about the weekend, “I thought our wrestlers had an awesome weekend. This team has a great mix of experienced wrestlers and young talented guys. It’s going be fun to see this team get better each week. We went into this tournament not filling a complete line-up, something we haven’t had to worry about in a long time. That puts added pressure on the guys on the mat, making pins a must. I thought our guys rose to the occasion and wrestled as good as we could have expected. We should get our missing pieces back next week and be fine moving forward. Our guys in the room did a great job this week. I can’t say enough about the guys we have working with our kids. Sam Sapp, Lucas Nelson, JD Rogers and Dirk Brantley are grinding everyday with our guys from 5 years old through high school. When you bring two freshmen and they go 17-1 over the weekend, you know those guys are doing a great job. It’s a pleasure to go to work with those guys every day.”