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Gators gunning for more success
BA Wrestling
Bulloch Academy wrestling coach Eric Dodson puts his team through a practice Monday afternoon. The Gators travel to Southland Academy Friday and Saturday for the Glory Days Invitational. - photo by JOSH AUBREY

The Bulloch Academy wrestling team will be looking to capture the school’s sixth consecutive GISA state championship next month in Americus. 

“It’s taken our kids a little while to get from football shape to wrestling shape,” said Bulloch Academy coach Eric Dodson. “A few weeks back we finally progressed to getting into technique. Now we are really seeing our guys come into their own.”

The Gators return two individual state champions in Jake Wasdin, and Harrison Wren, and are coming off a meet victory this past weekend at the Trinity Invitational in Dublin.

“We came out strong last week in Dublin on the first day,” Dodson said. “The good thing is we were also able to finish things off on Saturday in the tournament bracket. I talked to the guys about finding their max effort, and they came through with it.”

Individually aside from the two returning state champions in Wasdin (172 lbs.) and Wren (145 lbs), Dodson has also been impressed by freshman Sullivan Ryan (106  lbs.), eighth grader Garrett Sapp (113 pounds) and senior Riley Joyce (170 lbs.).

“I’m so thankful to have some great assistant coaches to help me out,” Dodson said. “Coach Terry Micourt, Daniel Hendrix and Jake Nelson for helping me out. Those guys have taken control with our bigger wrestlers, giving me the chance to work with the kids in the lighter weight groups.”

“I feel like between our younger guys. and our experienced ones we have the ability to win every weight class,” Dodson said. “The key is to get these guys to know how good they are, and what to do out there.”

The next big tournament, as the Gators prepare for region and state, is the Glory Days Invitational this Friday and Saturday in Americus. The tournament features nearly 30 teams from throughout the state, and should give the Gators a great indication of where they stand with the state meet looming in early February.

“This tournament will have a great field,” Dodson said. “This is a varsity only tournament, and I will be taking only our best wrestlers. It will be similar to Trinity’s tournament in that it will be a Round Robin format on Friday, and then a tournament bracket on Saturday. It will be a prep to who we will take to region, and state.”

The tournament gets underway Friday with weigh in at 5:00 and the Round Robin begins at 6:00. The tournament bracket begins Saturday at 9 a.m., and should conclude around 4 p.m.