Although describing this past weekend’s George Mulligan Memorial tournament at Bay High School as “the highest of highs, (and) lowest of lows,” Wewahitchka boys wrestling coach Tracy Malcolm mostly concentrated on the highs that his grapplers accomplished.
With several of his wrestlers not able to compete and a few others eliminated early, Malcolm said that “we were in need of someone stepping up, and . . . Zeke Cooper answered the call.”
Cooper, a seventh grader in his first year of wrestling competition, managed to “scratch his way” on Friday night into Saturday’s competition in his 106 lb category and finished 14th in the 32-man bracket.
Malcolm said that he was “in awe of his season.”
Two Gator grapplers finished at the top of their respective podiums at the end of the day.
Jake Parker, seeded fourth in the 120 lb class, “finally knocked the monkey off his back in a win three years in the making,” said Malcolm, as Parker pinned his final opponent in 3:32.
At 160 lb, Conner Roberts “dominated his bracket from start to finish.” In the finals, he won a 4-1 decision over a Florida High wrestler, “his likely regional finals opponent,” according to Malcolm.
With a meet at Wakulla on January 27-28, and a final regular season meet at Chiles the first weekend in February, “a few of our wrestlers are peaking at just the right time.”
The Lady Gators also competed at the Mulligan Memorial tournament, with girls coach Jay Rushing noting that it “wasn’t our best showing, (but) we still managed to bring home some hardware.”
Angel Williams and Kameron Easter both earned a bronze medal, and Mia Beatty finished fourth in her weight class.