Beck wins state for Southland at GIAA State Wrestling Tournament
Published 7:12 pm Monday, February 6, 2023
AMERICUS – Southland Academy sophomore Ethan Beck fought his way through the GIAA State Wrestling Tournament and emerged as the state champion in the 144 lb. weight class by beating Tristan Handley of Crisp Academy in the state finals of the GIAA State Wrestling Tournament on Saturday, February 4 at the GSW Storm Dome.
“It feels great,” Beck said when asked about winning the state title. “In the last match, I just had to focus up and listen to my coaches. My coaches made it possible for me to come here today.” Beck went on to say that he had a tough battle in the semifinals against Anthony Vasquez of St. Anne Pacelli Catholic School. Vasquez ended up taking third place in the 144 lb. weight class by beating Jackson Spence of Westfield. “I was able to beat him (Vasquez) from just calming down and doing what I needed to do,” Beck said.
As a team, the Southland Raiders did not finish as well as they had in the past. In previous years, SAR had finished as the state runners-up, but this year, the Raiders finished in ninth place with a total of 45 points. Westfield won the team state title with 158 points, followed by state runner-up St. Anne Pacelli Catholic School (147 points) and third place finishers Strong Rock Christian (130 points).
Even though the Southland Wrestling Team did not finish as high as it had in the past, several individual Raiders finished in the top six in their various weight classes. In the 150 lb. weight class, freshman Allen Styck turned in a fifth place finish, as he defeated Dakota Davis of Gatewood by the score of 10-8.
In the 175 lb. weight class, senior James Wall earned himself a spot on the podium by finishing in sixth place and freshman Brock Shrable finished in fourth place in the 190 lb. weight class.