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BA pins RTCA
codi johnson
Bulloch Academy wrestler Codi Johnson locks up Zain Anderson of Roberts Toombs Christian Academy Thursday at BA. - photo by RAHN HUTCHESON/Special to the Herald
    That’s the best way to describe a Greco-Roman wrestling match and those individuals who participate in the sport.
    “Wrestling is arguably the toughest sport in the world,” Bulloch Academy head wrestling coach Andy Tomlin said after his Gators dominated grapplers from Robert Toombs Christian Academy Thursday night. “It’s very fast, very intense and very physically demanding.”
    Only six Crusaders made the journey from Lyons and just one left the Bulloch Academy gym with a win after squaring off with the Gators for three, two-minute periods. Bulloch Academy is the only school in Bulloch County with a wrestling program.
    Bulloch Academy junior Nathan Brown had the most dominate win of the match in the 189-pound classification. Brown used his quickness and low center of gravity to pin Anthony Gibbs with 26 seconds left in the first period. Both Brown and Gibbs each had a takedown but Gibbs had a reversal. As the period wound down, Brown had a near-fall then the pin for the win.
    Gator junior David Poole had the upset of the night, pinning top-seeded Malone Hart in the 171-pound division.
    “Hart is Class AA’s top seeded wrestler and won the Class A/AA invitational at David Emanuel,” said Tomlin.
Poole, who sat out last weekend’s meet with a shoulder injury, scored on a takedown and a near-fall in the first two minutes. In the second period, the Gator had a near-fall then pinned Hart with 1:37 remaining.
    The quickest victory of the night went to BA eighth grader Codi Johnson in the 152-pound division. It took just eight seconds of the opening period for him to gain a takedown, a near-fall and then a pin on opponent Zain Anderson.
    Bulloch’s Taylor Lanier got out of some early trouble against Josh Owens in the 145-pound classification. The junior reversed an Owens takedown midway through the first quarter then had a near-fall and finally pinned the Crusader with 53 seconds left.
    Eli Strickland, one of the most experienced wrestlers on the Gator squad, seemed evenly matched against John Owens in the 160-pound division. Strickland took down Owens early but the RTCA wrestler escaped and then wrapped up Strickland for a takedown.
    The Gator junior reversed it by the end of the period. But by the middle of the second period, Strickland, who has only been beaten twice this season, was in control. He had a takedown and finally the pin at the 1:31 mark of the period.
    In the 215-pound division, RTCA’s Adam Dowd pinned Kyle Ellis with 46 seconds left in the third period for the lone Crusader win.
    “Strength, quickness, technique and intensity are the keys to dominate your opponent,” said Tomlin. “Our objective is to teach the guys to outwrestle their opponents and gain a pinfall if possible. They guys have been training and conditioning since the first of December and Coach (Travers) Xanthos and I are very pleased with their accomplishments.”
    Bulloch Academy travels to Monticello Saturday for the Region 3 Traditional Tournament (individual competition) and then hosts the Region 3 Duals (team competition) on Jan. 29 in the BA gymnasium.