The Buford varsity and junior varsity wrestling teams won the Aaron Kirkland Invitational meet at the Buford Arena on Saturday, Dec. 10. During the event, 18 varsity and 15 junior varsity teams competed.

Buford coaches look on as a Buford wrestler competes in the Aaron Kirkland Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, at the Buford Arena. Photo by Wendy Beuglas.

The event was named after Aaron Kirkland, a Buford wrestler who lost his life in a car accident just before his junior wrestling season was to begin last year. Kirkland was honored on Saturday during a break in competition when Buford senior wrestling managers and wrestlers were honored. Kirkland’s parents accepted his senior gifts in his memory.

In varsity wrestling competition, Buford came in first as Rockmart took second place, Mt. Pisgah took third and Creekview and Etowah rounded out the top five.

Buford’s first place finishers were DJ Clarke, Rylan Ibold, Kieron McCormack, Drew Gorman, Gavin Pope and Aaron Riner.

The top five junior varsity team finishers were Buford, Creekview, Rockmart, Oglethorpe and Cambridge.

The first place finishers for Buford’s junior varsity team were Tyson Matz, Jax Pope, Defarris Nixon, Isaac Melber, Cristian Hernandez and Jeremiah Gray.

We wrestled really well and it was important to us to do well to honor Aaron Kirkland on this day,” said Buford head coach Tom Beuglas, Buford head coach.

Buford’s varsity wrestling team has placed first as a team in each of its tournaments thus far this season. The Wolves face a challenge coming up Dec. 16 through 18 as they make the trip to compete in Missouri.

“We are looking forward to traveling to Kansas City this weekend for the Stampede, it is one of the toughest tournaments in the country and should be a good test for our guys,” Beuglas said.

FEATURED PHOTO:  The parents of the late Aaron Kirkland pose with the Buford wrestling team and coaches on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, at the Aaron Kirkland Invitational held at the Buford Arena.

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