Local wrestlers punched their ticket to the state tournament during the recent sectionals round.
For South Effingham, nine wrestlers will be headed to Macon starting Wednesday, including Jacob Goldedez (106 lbs.), Anton Blanchard (113), Adam Napier (132), Zach Gerrald (145), Hunter Tindal (182), Malkolm Stephens (195), Shamar Padget (220)and Austin Blaske (285). Representing the Lady Mustangs is Jai Tindal, who is the No. 1 seed in Class AAAAA.
Blaske, also an offensive lineman for the Mustangs football team, is seeded third in just his second-year on the mat. He will make his first appearance at state and is looking forward to seeing familiar faces.
“I’m looking forward to having an opportunity to go against the best heavyweights in Georgia,” said Blaske. “I’m looking forward to going against my friends from New Hampstead, Statesboro and Ware (County).”
Still, it’s a business trip for South Effingham. And for Blaske, bringing home the heavyweight title would be a great way to end his senior season.
“It would be an amazing feeling to be a state champ not just for myself but for my school,” he said.
The Mustangs are keeping it simple in practice, staying loose and keeping the same schedule. They got this far by doing the same things week in and week out.
“In practice, we are just going to keep working hard like we have all season and prepare for this week,” Blaske said.
Bryce Vanderhoek (113), Hunter Holton (132), Brayden Bell (160) and Zekeil Walls (182) will represent Class AAAAAA Effingham County. Walls is 15-1 this season while Bell and Vanderhoek represent a strong group of underclassmen for the Rebels.
The traditional state tournament kicks off Wednesday with the Round of 16 at the Macon Centreplex.