Despite missing five varsity grapplers, including two state champions from a year ago, the Buford Wolves went into the Takedown Sportswear Invitational at their new gym and finished fourth out of 47 teams. Buford head coach Tom Beuglas added that to come out with a top-5 finish without two state champs and three other starters is a great job by the Wolves junior varsity.
Social Circle won the tournament with a 192.5 while Woodland of Cartersville (175) North Forsyth (166) and followed by Buford with 163.
In the 138-pound division Nick Stonecheck defeated Gavin Smith of Archer 3-2 in a very exciting match. The two had battled twice with Stonecheck winning both times but each time Smith closed the gap. Stonecheck got a takedown in the first period to take a 2-0 lead but Smith tied it up with 1.11 left in the match. Stonecheck got an escape and held on for the victory. Beuglas added that they were two great wrestlers.
Buford’s 145-pounder Blaine Bergey lost a tough 3-0 decision to Archer’s Logan Smith however, in the 170-pound division Cooper Roberts went up against Creekview’s Evan Gianfala, who came in undefeated. Roberts got a reversal with 2 minutes left after Gianfala led 1-0 after two periods. Roberts held on for a 2-1 and handed Gianfala his first loss.
Beuglas also added that Buford has not been able to put the team he wants on the mat yet due to injuries. State Champion Charlie Darracott is out with mono and Logan Ashton who won the Midwest Classic in Kansas City is out with an injury. Buford won the Southern Slam at the beginning of December and finished with a top-10 finish at the Midwest Classic in Kansas City.
Buford will be leaving for Ohio right after Christmas and start Area Duals the first weekend after New Years.
By Mark Blumen