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Vidalia Indians Qualify Four for the Class AA State Tournament
Monday, 10 February 2014

February 10--In the unofficial team score kept at the Class AA East Sectionals, the Vidalia Indian Wrestling team finished fifth behind fourteen time state champions Jefferson, Social Circle, Toombs County, and Greater Atlanta Christian School.  The Indians passed other area teams that had placed higher than them at the traditional tournament; Jeff Davis (2nd), Fitzgerald (3rd), and East Laurens (tie 4th).

“Even though the team scores did not count, it was great to see our guys near the top with the others in the state that have placed high at the state tournament for the past several years,” Coach James Ferry said. 

Out of the six Indians that qualified for the East Sectionals Tournament, four qualified for the state tournament with one other as an alternate. 

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VHS Indian Wrestlers L-R: Devin Johnson, Daniel Copeland, Tyler Campbell, Shakeem Lassiter

Devin Johnson continued his fantastic second season of wrestling with a second place finish at 182 pounds. Devin pinned MacFarlane of Riverside Military in the first period and then defeated Porter, sixth place at the state tournament last year, of Jefferson. Johnson was defeated by Gaffney of Toombs in the finals. 

Daniel Copeland at 195 pounds continued his magnificent senior year with a second place finish by defeating Haynes of Social Circle 23-9 and Lester of Jefferson 7-4. Copeland lost to Rogers of Toombs in the finals.

“It is great to be going back to the state tournament again this year,” stated Copeland.  He continued, “I am looking for more than fifth place this year.  We have worked very hard this season. I only have to put together two great days.”

Tyler Campbell at 145 pounds earned a spot at the state tournament by starting his tournament with a 12-8 victory over Snyder from Great Atlanta Christian School. Campbell lost to Dollar of Jefferson in the semifinals but came back to defeat Ingram of Berrian County 6-5 in the consolation semifinals. He lost to Engstrom of Social Circle in the consolation finals.

Shakeem Lassiter at 285 pounds also placed fourth earning himself a spot at the state tournament. He began his tournament with a loss to Eric Wilson of Social Circle in an ultimate tie breaker match.  Lassiter than defeated Chambers of Oglethorpe County by pin and Bedford of MCA by 1 point in another ultimate tie breaker match.  Coker of Greater Atlanta Christian School defeat Lassiter 5-2 in the consolation finals.

Darnell Hendley at 152 pounds opened his tournament with a third period pin over Timokhim from Riverside Military School. He lost to McLeod from Toombs in the semifinals and Boobas of Jefferson in the consolation semifinals.  Hendley bounced back to claim fifth place and an alternate spot by defeating Timokhim again, this time by the score 15-1.

Jawaun Miller also competed for the Indians.  He lost to tournament champion Lackey of Social Circle and Area I champion King of Fitzgerald.

“It was a great season. The best advice I can give young wrestlers is stay on the team no matter what for all four years.  You could be really great,” stated Miller after the match. “We are proud of the season Juwaun put together. He was the deciding match in many dual meets and he pulled out the victory. He is a game time player,” stated Coach Bobby Blount. 

 
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