The Commerce High School wrestling squad earned a strong seventh-place finish at the “Sham Slam” traditional wrestling tournament at Habersham Central High School last weekend.
The tournament featured competition from some of Georgia’s top-ranked teams including AAAAAA state duals champions Archer, AAA champions Banks County and AA champions Jefferson.
Commerce was the lone single-A school in competition, yet was able to place in the top 10 of the 26 teams competing.
“This was an absolute hammer of a tournament – no doubt the toughest in the state of Georgia,” said Commerce head coach Kendall Love. “I was very pleased with our finish, considering.”
Commerce only brought 11 wrestlers to the tournament and was missing competitors in three weight classes.
Of the CHS wrestlers, three placed in the top 10 in their respective brackets.
Chance McClure, who remains undefeated on the season, placed first in the 220 lb. weight class and received the “most outstanding wrestler award.”
Josh Westmoreland placed fourth in the 138 lb. weight class and Jake Tate placed sixth in the 145 lb. weight class.
“There were several state placers who didn’t even place in this tournament,” said Love. “It was kind of a good indication of where we stand. We had several guys that were one match away from placing. I was very pleased with the effort. It was a good test for us.”
The Tigers will head south to Toombs County this weekend for an invitational tournament.
“We are going to wrestle some teams we haven’t really seen all year,” added Love. “It’s kind of a different style of wrestling down there. We see a lot of the class-A schools that we will match up with at sectionals, so its good to see what the competition will be like and what to expect at that point.”
The Tigers will host the Area 4-A tournament Feb. 1-2. The Tigers expect the same stern competition they faced during duals with Holy Innocents’ and Athens Christian.
“I think we are starting to turn the corner a little bit in a lot of weight classes,” said Love. “I think we will be ready when Area rolls around, and we will try to push as many as we can through sectionals and on to state.”