A pair of East Jackson wrestlers finished second place in their respective weight classes Saturday (Nov. 13) in the Panther Scramble at Jackson County. 11 Eagles made the trip to Hoschton.

Charlee Wheeler (106/113-lb.) and Noah Watts were the Eagles who finished in second. East Jackson’s day was bolstered by a third-place finish by Juan Zavala (152-lb.), a fourth-place finish by Tyler Crow (170-lb.), seventh-place finishes by Mitchell Craig (145-lb.) and Ethan Ardis (182-lb.); and an eighth-place finish by Timothy Hodges (138-lb.)

Wheeler’s day started slow with a pinfall loss to Grant Adams (Cartersville). But he quickly turned things around and pilled up four-straight wins. Wheeler defeated Owen Mabry (Apalachee) by a 9-7 decision; Jackson Bottoms (Jefferson) by pinfall; Miles Mason (Oglethorpe County) by a 19-4 technical fall; and Elora Waterman (Cartersville) by a 10-0 major decision.

Watts won both of his matches in pool D of the 132-lb. round-robin tournament. He beat Kanon Abercrombie (Union County) and Dang Nguyen (Apalachee) with first-round pinfalls. He advanced to the first-place tournament and continued his winning ways by besting Camden Geer (Cartersville) by an 8-0 major decision, and Hunter Block (Woodward Academy) by a 21-8 major decision. Chayton Tuck (Oglethorpe County) got the best of Watts in the last match to decide the winner.

Zavala won five of his six matches in the 152-lb. Elimination tournament. He defeated Anthony Arce (Jefferson) by pinfall in his opening match before losing to Kyle Frankel (Banks County) by a 7-0 decision.

Zavala responded with four-straight wins, culminating with a 4-1 decision win in a rematch with Frankel. The match earned him third place. Along the way, he defeated Chris Nelson (Evans) by a 4-0 decision; Shelby Agacinski (Union County) with a first-round pinfall; and Jamaze Hall (Elbert County) with a 15-3 major decision.

Crow started his day with pinfall wins over Huck Whisenhunt (Union County) and Houston Knott (Cartersville) to advance out of pool B in the 170-lb. round-robin tournament. Crow started the championship tournament with a win over Josh Majica-Smith (Evans) by an 18-8 major decision. However, he lost his next match to Brady Guild (Union County) and was unable to compete against Pater Souder (Woodward Academy).

Craig’s first match ended in a pinfall loss to Shane Watson (Oglethorpe County). He responded with a third-round pinfall win over Sawyer West (Elbert County). His next match ended with a pinfall loss to Ryan Seeb (Woodward Academy), sending him to the seventh-place match where he defeated Adams Hall (Lovett) by forfeit.

Ethan Ardis won his first match by pinfall against Peyton Hesselgrave (Banks County), but he lost his last three matches in pool A of the 182-lb. round-robin tournament. He advanced to the seventh place tournament, but all of his matches ended in a no-contest, giving him seventh.

Hodges won two of his five matches in the 138-lb. Elimination tournament. He had to forfeit the opener against Colson Lotts (Union County), sending him to the consolation bracket. He got past Jonathan Venagas (Apalachee) and Zander Rotko (Union County) via forfeits. Hie fell behind Dylan Ellis (Jefferson) 9-4 before having to forfeit and he was unable to wrestle against Tyler Jones (Winder-Barrow) in the seventh-place match.

The other Eagles who competed in the Panther Scramble were Justin Cassidy (145-lb.), Jazil Lester (160-lb.), Ben Vazquez (170-lb.) and Zach Henry (220-lb.).

East Jackson’s next tournament is Saturday (Nov. 20) at Elbert County.

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