Bearcat Wrestling Season caps off season with Traditional Region Championship
Published 9:31 am Wednesday, February 22, 2023
The month of February was a busy one for the Bainbridge High School wrestlers as they competed in back to back to back weekends as they aimed to finish the season as one of Georgia’s best wrestling programs. With wins against Shaw, Cairo and other region opponents, the 2023 Bearcats became the first team in Bainbridge history to take home a Traditional Region Championship.
On February 6, the Bearcats competed in the Traditional Region Championship meet where they saw five wrestlers earn top finishes and a first place team finish. The Bearcats dominated the match as they totaled 201 points to secure a first place team finish. Shaw came in second with 140.0 points, Hardaway finished third with 139.0 points followed by Cairo at 122 and Westover School at 40.0.
First place finishers for the Bearcats included Malcolm Spann, Michael Rich, Josh Fillingame who has earned a region championship for the third time, Brian Pugh and Bradley Marshburn. The Bearcats weren’t done with those top finishes as Brian Sanders, Layton Burris, Alex Pearson and Kagan Castro saw second place finishes, Izavious Scott and Zachary Burdick earned a third place finish and Khaled Mullins earned a fourth place finish.
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On the Lady Cats side, Cameron Marshburn has quietly had one of the most successful seasons in Bainbridge female wrestling history as she capped her season off with a fourth place finish in the Traditional Region Championship.
After the Region Championship, the brackets were cut down from the top 32 wrestlers in each weight group, to the remaining 12. By placing in the top 6, in either Group A or Group B, the last 12 wrestlers in each weight class competed for a State Championship in their respective bracket. Brian Pugh represented the Bearcats as Group A’s number one seed, followed by Josh Fillingame as Group A’s two seed, Malcolm Spann as Group A’s fifth seed and Alex Pearson as Group A’s sixth seed.
Although the Bearcats season came to an end, 2022-23 was a massive step in the building of the Bearcat wrestling program. Not only did the team find success with two Region Championships and individuals setting new PR’s each week, but with events like the Bearcat Invitational, the community’s eyes have been opened to the wrestling community and future wrestling events in the offseason are sure to draw a showing from the next generation. “From my coaches to my wrestlers, everyone has grinded out some long hours,” said Head Coach Paul Coleman. With that being stated, we can look back at this season and know it was worth it. We can say we are Region Champions, and that is definitely something that we all should be proud of. We have the Bainbridge Youth Wrestling Program practicing Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is already one summer tournament scheduled for June, as we will start the out of season program in March. The out of season program and summer tournament(s) will be great opportunities for anyone that is wanting to try wrestling. I would like to make this Bainbridge Wrestling Program a team that is always in the conversation of being competitive, and a championship caliber team season after season.”