The Upson Lee wrestling squad has had a wonderful season so far under new head coach Tim Bosworth. with their only team loss coming to State Champions Northgate from Class 5A. The Knights hosted their first home match of the season on Monday night, welcoming Americus-Sumter and Mary Persons.
After the Upson Lee Middle School wrestling team stayed undefeated by defeating Americus-Sumter, the varsity Knights took their turn. The Knights easily cruised to a 78-6 victory, winning every match but one. According to Bosworth, the Knights could be in for a big season.
“I got started with the guys during summer workouts and the first thing that stood out was their work ethic,” Bosworth said. “Even during off season workouts they were working harder than most athletes do during the season. I think that speaks highly of the work Coach Logan has put into them and why we are off to a 5-1 start to the season. Being my first year, it is hard to tell exactly where we are as a program, as I have not been able to see all of the competition we will face. Judging from what I have seen so far this year, I expect us to make some noise at the dual tournaments this year. We were one point short of advancing to state as a team last year. We are using that as a bit of motivation to push us over the hump this year. The future looks bright also. Our JV squad has done very well in their tournaments this year. We have averaged around 10 medals per tournament and won the Pike County Invitational tournament last weekend.”
In the match with Americus-Sumter the Knights won many matches by pin, including Domonique Stuckey (138), Bo Cummings (195), Demarquez Carter (220), Cole Walker (285), and David Draime (120).
The Knights also nearly shutout Mary Persons, who surprisingly is in their first season as a team. For the first time in school history, the Upson Lee Knights have a female on the varsity squad. Katen Green (106) pounds, took down her opponent in the first round, and easily pinned him, giving Upson Lee six points. The Knights also got victories from Stuckey, Maxwell Duncan, Chandler Smith, Matthew Delli-Gatti, Jacob Hood, Bo Cummings, Demarquez Carter, and Cole Walker.
Upson Lee will participate in the South Metro Tournament this weekend, facing some of the best competition in the area.
According to Bosworth, he expects the Knights to compete well, and is looking for some big things from some of his key wreslters.
“Our biggest strength goes back to our work ethic and personality,” Bosworth said. “We work hard day in and day out to become better. We go out on the mat each night expecting to win every match. We have some strong leadership from the upper classmen and a strong desire to get those two points from last year that would have qualified us for state. We have several individual state qualifiers from last year and we fully expect them to make a return trip this year, and hopefully we will be able to take some new guys with them. Our captains; Bo Cummings, Maxwell Duncan, and Colby Schadenberg are three that we expect to make it while they push others to get there too. Lazavier Moore and Keyontae “Baby D” Robinson are qualifiers from last year who we hope to see back in contention for a title. In addition, we hope to see others like Matthew Delli-Gatti and Dominique Stuckey wrestle at Gwinnett Center in February. I hope I haven’t left anybody out, but like I said earlier, our goal is to put all of our guys in a position to qualify.”
Brandon Mallory is serving as a community coach for the Knights this season, and has been a staple in the program for many years.
“Anything I say about Coach Mallory would be insufficient to convey his worth to me and the program,” Bosworth said. “Brandon is an invaluable asset. Anybody that can take a cager from Indiana and turn him into a grappler has to be pretty good. He does a great job teaching the techniques to the team as well as to Coach Hale and myself. He has helped to reinforce the knowledge I had as well as teaching me new moves and strategies on the mat and how to use them. The guys respect him and deservedly so. His relationship with them extends far beyond the mat into their personal lives. He is a great coach, teacher, and mentor.”
Checkout Tuesday’s edition of The Times for reports on the South Metro Tournament.
Wes McCard can be contacted at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @WesMc21.