A perfect ten
TALLAHASSEE — For most of the weight classes at the District 2-2A meet, advancing on to regionals was a formality for a majority of the wrestlers.
With the top four wrestlers in each weight class earning a spot at regionals, most weight classes only featured four or less wrestlers on Friday.
Except for four classes.
With four weight classes featuring at least five, four Tigers had to battle their way through to advance on.
And all four did.
Matt Ross (126-pound weight class), Zach Williams (132), Austin Chapman (160) and Chad Sapp (170) all wrestled their way to top four finishes in their respective weight classes at Lincoln High Friday to join six other Tigers at the regional meet next week.
Will Vickers (138) and Chace Curtis (120) were both district champions in their weight classes. Curtis’ performance came as no surprise but Vickers turned some heads.
The sophomore only started wrestling in high school six weeks ago.
“He came out of soccer, had wrestled in middle school and came to us wanting to wrestle in high school,” Columbia head coach Kevin Warner said. “He said he’d like to try it out again so we let him come in the room about six weeks ago and he’s been doing great. He’s a sophomore, first time wrestling in high school and he’s a district champion so it was a very impressive performance.”
Curtis has been one of Columbia’s most consistent wrestlers all season long and Warner has high expectations for him, not just next week at regionals, but beyond.
“He’s in contention for a state title this year,” Warner said. “He’s got to pick up his offense a little bit but he’s in contention for a state title so we’re hoping he can keep improving in regions next week. He’s got to be strong but I think he’ll do fine.”
As a team Columbia finished in fourth out of five teams with a score of 126, just two points behind third place Chiles (128). Lincoln took first place (195) while Leon grabbed second (159.5).
Gainesville finished fifth with an 84.
Marcus Zeighler (285), Kody Waldron (145) and Chapman all finished second in their respective weight classes. Brandon Lloyd (106), Ross and Williams placed third individually.
Clayton Williams (113) and Sapp took home fourth-place finishes.
Warner says the Tigers could have performed better than their fourth place team-finish but is pleased to see all 10 wrestlers advance onto the regional meet at Chiles High next Friday and Saturday.
“I think at regions we can do well. As a team, we didn’t perform as well at district as I hope we would. There were just a couple of mental mistakes that messed us up and hurt our chances to wind up in third place but with ten competing we did well. All the boy wrestled tough and it was a good tournament,” Warner said.