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Bainbridge wrestling off to strong start

The Bainbridge High School wrestling team competed in the Cam Brown Invitational at Florida High School last weekend. It was the first match of the year, and the team did not disappoint, according to coach Chad Smith.

The Bearcats came in third out of 11 teams.

Kendall Glover dominated his 138-pound class and came in first place. Arkeavious Marshall went 5-1 to finish 2nd, 9th grader Malcolm Spann wrestled well at 106-pounds was and finished 3rd, 10th grader Lawson Singleton finished 3rd in 113-pounds, Brian Chinell wrestled at 152 and was impressive with a 3rd place finish, Hunter Harris of the 160 class finished 3rd, newcomer Bryan Washington finished 2nd in the 170 class and newcomer Jontavious Pearson finished 3rd at heavyweight.

“I was really impressed with Kendall Glover,” said Smith. “He has been in the weight room since the end of last year preparing for his senior year and it has shown.”

Smith added that he was proud of the team as a whole, considering the level of competition Bainbridge competes against every week.

“We compete against other wrestlers who have been doing the sport since the age of 5, but we do not start until seventh grade,” said Smith. “That shows how hard our guys compete and practice. This is our first year with a city wrestling youth program, so we hope that the parents of the youth sign them up and give it a try. That should greatly benefit us in the coming years.”

The Bainbridge J.V. wrestling team placed first last Saturday at the meet.

First year 9th grade female Katelynn Patterson competed in the 113 class in the boys division for her first tournament and went 0-2, but gave great effort, according to Smith.

Second-year female wrestler and senior Renee Fillingame went 1-1 beating one of her male opponents, second year 10th grader Kooper Kearns went 2-0 at 152, Brian Pugh a 9th grade 160 went 1-1, Sebron Chinell went 2-0 as a 9th grader and the younger brother of senior Brian Chinell, Noah Phillips, went 2-0 at 182. Josh Fillingame went 2-0, who is also a 9th grader and brother of senior Renee Fillingame and last year’s region champ Randy Fillingame, Shaun Pearson went 2-0 as a 9th grader and he is the son of 2001 graduate and whom wrestled on the first BHS wrestling team with me. Senior Adam Pascual, a senior, went 2-0 and will be a varsity starter moving forward at 145lbs. Another female, Albren Love, competed as a 9th grader in the male 152 division and gave great effort. Thomas Neal wrestled at 220 and went 0-2.

“It give me pure joy to have so many 9th grade wrestlers,” said Smith. “We usually lose 80 percent of 8th grade wrestlers that move to the 9th grade due to various reasons but these wrestlers stuck with it and we will be better as a team for it in the future. There is some real talent on this JV squad.”

Bainbridge’s next match was Tuesday against Dothan and North Bay High School, followed by a two-day 9 match dual tournament in Cook County on Friday and Saturday.