By Mark Blumen

The Buford High School Wrestling team takes home the 1st place trophy at the Buford Takedown Sportswear Invitational this past Saturday.  Photo credit: Alicia Couch Payne

The Buford Wolves wrestling team felt much better than they did last season going into their own tournament this past Saturday, December 15th at the Buford City Arena with a full squad. Last year, the Wolves were missing five grapplers and finished fourth. This year with 14 wrestlers all healthy, Buford won their Takedown Sportswear Invitational by a landslide.

Buford won 247.5, while the closest competitor was Cass High School with 172.5. West Laurens was third with 171. Now for Buford, in the words of the late great Fat’s Domino, is “going to Kansas City.” The Wolves will compete in a very prestigious Kansas City Stampede next Friday December 21st.

Buford had four individual champions in senior Logan Ashton at 113, Nick Stonecheck at 145, Charlie Darracott at 152, and Blaine Bergey at 160.

Ashton, who is a Stanford commit, pinned Bryce Kresho of Cass just 1:12 into the match. Darracott, who was out last year with mono, got a major decision 21-8 over Etowah’s Blake Smith. Bergey won 5-0 over region foe Clarke Central’s Meshai Coleman. Stonecheck had a tough time but got a 4-2 decision over Rex McDaniel of North Gwinnett in extra time.

Buford had two more in the finals but they fell short finishing second. Nick Cambria dropped a 10-0 decision to 3-time South Carolina state champion Jordie White of Eastside in the 120-division. In the 106-pound weight division, Nick Cordy led 4-1 but got pinned at 4:36 to state champion Darrell Rochester of Valdosta.

Trey Smith placed third in the 132-pound weight division with a 5-1 victory over Creekview’s Mason Bott.

This weekend was a good tournament for us. It is the first time we have had all 14 kids this season. The kids are just now getting in shape from football, so it will take them a little more time, but they are coming along,” said Beuglas. “Our top guys continue to wrestle well and score a lot of points for us (Ashton, Cambria, Corday, Stonecheck, Bergey, Darracott). Other guys are starting to wrestle better as well.”

“Corday’s was a tough loss.  He and the Valdosta kid are freshmen who were both Kids State Champs.  They never wrestled, their kid was always bigger than Nick. He had a 3-0 lead and got caught late in the match and pinned,” Beuglas added. “He made a mistake, but Nick is a tough kid and a smart wrestler, he will learn from it and be better for it moving forward.”

Buford will now prepare to go to Kansas City for the Stampede. Kansas City Stampede is one of the top 10 toughest tournaments in the country. Forty teams from 11 different states.

“We are only taking 10 guys. We are sending a few of our less experienced guys to JV this weekend.  Several are not ready for that kind of competition yet. I am hoping we can finish in the top 10, but it won’t be easy without 14 wrestlers,” Beuglas said. “Our top guys should all do well. Logan won it last year. Darracott was out with mono so having him will help us. Bergey finished second. It should be a great experience for those guys and expose them to a lot of college coaches.”


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