Southland Academy middle school wrestlers shine bright at state tournament

Published 4:30 am Tuesday, January 22, 2019

From Staff Reports


PERRY, GA – The Southland Academy (SA) middle school wrestling team finished in third place as a team and had several Raiders turn in outstanding individual performances at the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) Middle School State Wrestling Tournament held at the Westfield School in Perry, GA on Saturday, January 19.

SA finished with a total of 133 points. The Raiders finished 10 points behind State Runners-Up Bulloch Academy (143) and 15 points behind state champions Westfield (148).

SA middle school wrestling coach Josh Hicks was extremely proud of how his team performed. “

Southland Academy’s Tanner Humphrey (middle) won the middle school state championship in the 118-lb. weight class. To the left of Humphrey is State Runner-Up Samuel Nevil of Bulloch Academy and to the right of Humphrey is Brooks Barbour of Westfield.
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This was a very young team that overachieved all year,” Hicks said. “They wrestled with heart, pride and gave maximum effort. We had a very strong group of eighth graders that will be missed next year. We were banged up going into the tournament and had to do what was best for the kids. I was just really pleased with how our boys wrestled today.”

Southland Academy middle school wrestler Mitchell Turton won State Runner-up in the 150-lb. weight class.
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Hicks went on to say that he feels that if the fifth and sixth graders stick with it, they will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. Hicks also congratulated Bulloch Academy and Westfield for their second and first place finishes respectively.

Tanner Humphrey finished as a state champion in the 118-lb. weight class. Will Rhodes also won an individual state championship. Rhodes finished in first place in the 132-lb. weight class.

Southland Academy middle school wrestler Will Rhodes (middle) won the state championship in the 132-lb. weight class. To the left of Rhodes is State Runner-Up Dylan Glenn (Strong Rock Christian) and to the right of Rhodes is third place finisher Dakota Davis of Gatewood.
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Two SA wrestlers finished as state runners-up. Mitchell Turton finished second in the 150-lb. weight class and Keaton Griffin came in second in the 124-lb. weight class.

Ethan Beck finished in third place for the Raiders in the 106-lb. weight class, and in the 83-lb. weight class, Evan Fender turned in a fourth-place finish. Jack Saye also finished in fourth place in his weight class.

“Josh Hicks did a great job coaching these kids this season,” SA Athletic Director Clint Humphrey said.

Southland Academy middle school wrestler Evan Fender (black) in action. Fender won fourth place in the 83-lb. weight class.
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The Southland Academy varsity wrestling team will begin the GISA Region 3-AAA Wrestling Tournament on Thursday, January 24. It will run through Saturday, January 26, at the GSW Storm Dome.