August 20, 2018

Brave wrestlers open season at Granger Duals

(Lagrange, GA) — The Braves kicked off the 2015-2016 varsity wrestling season when they traveled to Lagrange for the annual Granger dual tournament.

Head coach Kyle Yates took the largest group of wrestlers (26) that he has ever taken to the big round-robin dual tourney which featured teams from Lagrange, Brookstone, Cedartown, Smiths Station (AL), and Northgate.

The Braves had the opportunity to match up with all five squads in the all day meet. Some of the top individual performances came from seniors Matt Brown and Andrew Cannon, who each finished 3-0 Saturday.

Brave sophomore Trent Sickman battles a Smith Station opponent during Saturday's Granger Duals

Brave sophomore Trent Sickman battles a Smith Station opponent during Saturday’s Granger Duals

Brown is looking to build on a school best state-runner up finish at the GHSA Class AA State Championships last year and Cannon could also make some serious noise if he can stay healthy after battling injuries the last couple of seasons.

Kevin  Hendrix (4-1), Matthew Nilsen (2-1), and freshman Gage Cannon (3-1) also performed well at the opening meet.

Gage is the younger brother of Andrew and Saturday’s loss marked his first defeat on the mat since the 6th grade.

Coach Yates was pleased with the overall performance as his guys took the mat for the first time this season.

“Today was good for us. We had a lot of young guys get some experience and our older guys won all their matches and did a really good job,” said Yates after the duals.

“These dual type tournaments are beneficial because you can get a lot of kids more matches. I got everybody that we took down there a match today which was my goal.”

Yates is also especially excited that the sport seems to be growing in popularity at the school.

“We have 12-15 freshman and they all did well today,” Yates said. “I have never taken that many guys to a tournament which is a good thing, meaning the program is growing. That is also a testament to our older guys who have done well getting to state over the past few seasons and getting more guys interested. I was proud of the effort today but we have got a long way to go as far as getting in shape and honing in our skills.”

The Braves best Cedartown Saturday 54-30 and took down Brookstone 49-29. The squad also performed well in a close match to Northgate, a Class AAAAA school from Newnan.

Rounding out the rest of the 2015-16 HHS wrestling team roster are Jacob Moon, Devin Caito, Chancellor “Chunky” Hannah, Cody Yates, Eli Fairbanks, Thadeous Higgins, Nathan Arrington, Blake McAdams, Oren Richardson, Trent Sickman, Oren Richards, Romeo Hendrix, Dylan Ball, Brian Hill, Sam Brown, Diamond Delgado, David Urquilla, Michael Cheney, Jacob Bishop, Brenden Thompson, and Luis Vasquez.

The Braves will host Villa Rica and Temple in the first home meet this Wednesday in the high school gym before traveling to Central-Carrollton for a tournament Friday and Saturday.

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