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Wrestlers strong in Region tournament

Coach David Kirkland’s Bainbridge High School Bearcats wrestling team finished a strong fifth last Saturday in the Region 1AAAA Tournament at Lee County High School in Leesburg.

“I am very proud of our team,” coach Kirkland said. “Despite having two wrestlers who did not show, two who did not make weight and one who had a death in the family, the team still finished high in the rankings.

“I looked up and we had two guys in the finals and two other guys wrestling for third and fourth place,” Kirkland said. “This is the first time in about three years that we had two of our wrestlers in the finals at Region.

Cole Bulger, competing in the 119-pound class, lost to his Lee County opponent by a score of 7-0. The last time these two faced off , Bulger was defeated by pin.

“I know he had worked himself into a position to win through hard work. His opponent was a state-placer last year, and it showed that Bulger had worked hard by not allowing Lee County to pin him this time.”

Coach Kirkland said Bryan Ordonez, competing in the 135-pound class, was his most surprising wrestler. Ordonez faced off against the Harris County wrestler, who had only lost twice throughout this year.

Although Ordonez lost his match, 8-6, when it concluded the opposing coach’s remarked that it was undoubtedly their wrestler’s toughest match, Kirkland said.

Rounding out the Bearcats Sectional qualifiers were Lawrence Jones in the 285-pound class and Roberto Sierra in the 160-pound class.

This Friday and Saturday, Feb. 11 and 12, the qualifiers will be competing in the Sectional Tournament at Upson-Lee High School in Thomaston.

In order for a wrestler to qualify for state, he must place no lower than eighth at the Sectionals where 47 teams from around the state in Class AAAA will face off.