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Bryan Benton Archive

2014-15 Season 

GHSA Traditional State Wrestling Tournament

Jamar gets his state championship

 Jamar Smith executes a state championship pin

In 2014 Toombs County's Jamar Smith was denied his first GHSA State Championship because of an illegal slam in the title match at the Toombs County Middle School Gym. 358 days later, in the Macon Centreplex, the senior ended a perfect 47-0 season with the perfect result- a first round pin with just two seconds left on the clock.

Smith is the 13th Toombs County Bulldog to win a state champsionship.The Dawgs have won at least one state title in each of the last four years and they have totaled seven championships during this span. Watch Jamar win state Video  and watch and listen to Jamar break down his state championship victory Video  Watch some Sights and Sounds from Macon Video

Smith opened up his match with McNair's Derek Clayton with a short feeling out period and then he collected two points for a take down. From the top position Smith was able to get Clayton on his back and then he stuck him for his seventh first round pin in eight matches of the sectionals and state.       

Bryson- from JV to 2nd in state

 Bryson Smith finishes second in state

One of the most amazing stories in the Macon Centreplex was the rise of Toombs County's  Bryson Smith. Due to the strength of the Bulldog wrestling program, in 2014, in his weight class Bryson was relegated to the junior varsity squad. But, in his senior season the tall 195 pound wrestler got his chance to compete on the varsity level and he went 47-12. He was an Area 1 champion. finished sixth at the tough AAA East Sectional and after a string of upsets at the GHSA State Tourney Bryson finished second in the state.  

Rockmart's Marlon Morales won the state championship and improved his record to 54-6 with a first round pin of Smith.

Friday- Bryson Smith and Jamar Smith both won their semifinal matches and the two cousins will each wrestle for a GHSA State Championship on Saturday afternoon at the Macon Centreplex.

Bryson was the first Bulldog to compete on Mat 5 and his match with Elbert County's A.J. Edmond was scoreless for nearly the first two periods. Bryson earned a point for an escape then fell behind 2-1 and then he received a point because his opponent was stalling and another for an escape to win the match 3-2.

After a 14-5 win in the quarterfinals, Jamar Smith reverted to his recent form and pinned Ringold's Jesse Wade just 34 seconds into the first period. Jamar scored two early points and then it was lights out as Smith improved his record to 46-0. The second day began with the consolation round and four Bulldogs trying to stay in the tourney. Chase Corbin (152) edged Calhoun's Christian East 7-6 to advance and then Chase lost to Zak Evans 3-1 to end his senior season with a 42-17 record.

Jose Delgado (120) lost to Banks County's Cory Turner 7-2 ending his senior season with a 23-14 record.

Justin Hall (126) was pinned in the second period ending his sophomore season with a 27-13 record.

Cole Dowd (182) was pinned in the first round ending his senior season with a 20-13 record.   

Thursday- Cousins Jamar and Bryson Smith both advanced into the semifinals at the GHSA Traditional State Tournament at the Macon Centreplex. in the opening round, Jamar (220 pounds) continued his dominating run through the sectional and state tourney with a pin, 51 seconds into the first period of Zion Hester from Coahulla Creek and then in the quarterfinals he outscored Pepperell's Deonte Morgan 14-5.

Bryson Smith (195) beat Jasaad Graves (Spencer High) 11-5 in the first round and then in the quarterfinals he pulled out a 5-4 victory over Southwest Macon's Dalvin Andrews.

Jose Delgado, Justin Hall, Chase Corbin and Cole Dowd all lost in their first round matches and they will move in to consolation bracket.  

Jose Delgado (120) lost Spencer's Deandre Jackson 12-2. Delgado (23-3) will meet Banks County's Corey Turner (25-11) in the consolation bracket.

Justin Hall (126) was pinned 1:16 into the second round by Sonoraville's Kyle Chastain. Justin (27-12) takes on Central Macon's Oliver Phillips (34-8) in the consolation bracket.

Chase Corbin (152) was a 20-5 loser to McNair's Jamaal Deng. Corbin (41-16) faces Calhoun's Christian East (20-8) in the consolation bracket.

Cole Dowd (182) lost a 6-4 decision to McNair's Justin Corley. Dowd (20-12) draws Harrison Pettigrew (28-8) from Savannah Arts in the consolation bracket.

Jamar Smith is a sectional champ again

Saturday- Jamar won his second GHSA State Sectional Championship and the undefeated senior (43-0) will lead five of his teammates to the Macon Centreplex for the state tournament. Surviving a tough GHSA East Sectional, in Madison, are 120 pound Jose Delgado,126 pound Justin Hall, 152 pound Chase Corbin, 182 pound Cole Dowd and 195 pound Bryson Smith. Jamar is the only Bulldog with state tourney experience. Last year he finished second. In 2014 six Bulldogs also qualifed for state and all six were sectional champs. Four won state championships. 

Jamar dominated the 220 pound weight class, winning all four of his matches with first period pins. Smith was only on the mat for a total of four minites and seven seconds. His pins were executed in 25 seconds, 1:24, 1:05 and 1:13 in the first place match.

Bryson Smith  (195) pinned his first opponent on Saturday in just 46 seconds and then the senior lost 7-2 and 4-1 to place sixth. His record is 44-11.

Senior Cole Dowd (182) started his Saturday in the consolation bracket and he won 15-4, lost by a first round pin and then won his seventh place match with a second round pin improving his record, in his first varsity season to 20-11.

Senior Chase Corbin (152) lost his first Saturday match in the winners bracket 12-7. In the consolation bracket he won 9-2, lost 10-2 and then won his seventh place match with a second round pin. Chase is 41-15.

Sophomore Justin Hall (126) received a bye in the consolation bracket to open his Saturday. On the mat he won 9-5, was pinned in the first round and then lost his seventh place match 4-0. Hall is 27-11.

Senior Jose Delgado (120) began his Saturday in the consolation bracket winning with a second round pin and then he lost 1-0 to send him to the seventh pace match.

Dallas Coursey, Alfredo Gonzalez, Devin Matthews, Carson Roberts, Luke Anderson, 170 pound Jose Delgado and Jonathan Quintero all lost a second match early on Saturday and failed to make the top eight and they did not qualify for state. 

Friday- All 13 Toombs County wrestlers who made the trip to Madison for the GHSA East Sectionals are still in contention to earn a trip to the state tourney in Macon. Although, Bryson Smith and Jamar Smith are the only two Dawgs still in the winner's bracket after the first two rounds.

Bryson, wrestling in the 195 pound weight class, improved his senior season record to 44-8 by winning his two matches with pins- in the third period in the opeing round and 46 seconds into the first period in the second round. Smith will wrestle Gavin Brown in the semifinals on Saturday. Brown (Dawson High) is also a senior and he has a 47-3 record. The other semifinal will match junior A.J. Edmond (34-5) from Elbert County versus sophomore Zach Matthews (45-7) from Lumpkin County.

Jamar Smith remained undefeated in his senior season and pushed his record to 41-0 with a pair of quick pins. He stuck his first round opponent in 25 seconds and his second rounder in 1:24. Smith will square off against Jefferson senior Michael Paolozzi (21-6) in the semifinals. The other side of the bracket will pit junior Justin Cantrell (30-8) from Lumpkin County against Dodge County senior Jerald Gay and his 25-10 record.

106- Dallas Coursey lost by a first round pin and then got a bye in the consolation bracket.

120- Jose Delgado had a bye in the first round and lost 8-0 to Jackson County in the second round.

126- Justin Hall was pinned in the third round and then got a bye in the consolation bracket.

132- Alfredo Gonzalez won 7-2 in the first round and lost 6-5 in the second.

138- Devin Matthews won with a first round pin and then lost 6-1 in the second round.

145- Carson Roberts lost by a pin in the second round and stayed alive with second round pin in the consolation round.

152- Chase Corbin won with a second round pin and then lost 12-7.

160- Luke Anderson won with a second round pin and then was pinned in the first period.

170- Jose Delgado was pinned in the first round and won a consolation bracket match with a second period pin.

182- Cole Dowd pinned his first round opponent in 46 seconds and then was pinned in the first round.

285- Jonathan Quinterro was pinned in the first round and then advanced in the consolation bracket with a forfeit

Dawgs go 14-for-14

All the Area 1 champs are going to sectionals

 2015 Toombs County Bulldogs- the AAA Area 1 Champs 

Senior Jamar Smith wins area with a pin in his last match in the TCMS Gym

There were 14 Toombs County wrestlers competing, in the 14 weight classes, in the AAA Area 1 Traditional Tournament at the Toombs County Middle School Gym and all 14 qualified for the sectional tourney by finishing in the top four- a first for the TCHS program. Watch Highlights

The Bulldogs had four area champions including two seniors. Jamar Smith won his third area title remained undefeated in his senior season with a first round pin in his last match in the TCMS Gym and his cousin Bryson Smith won his first area championship in a comeback late in regulation. Bryson earned a point for an escape at the end of the third two-minute round and then won the match with takedown in overtime.  

Little Jose Delgado and Chase Corbin each won their first area championship. Delgado by points and Corbin by a forfeit. In all seven Bulldogs wrestled for first place. J.J. Arredondo, Justin Hall and Alfredo Gonzalez all lost in the championship round and finished second. Dallas Coursey, Carson Roberts and Devin Matthews won their third place matches while Luke Anderson, Cole Dowd, Jose Delgado and Johnathan Quintero wrestled for third and lost and they will go to sectionals as a number four seed.

Big Wrestling Weekend at TCMS

Shorthanded Dawgs 6th in Bulldog Sweet Onion  

Missing four wrestlers including undefeated Jamar Smith, who was taking his SAT, the Toombs County Bulldogs finished sixth out of 28 teams in their own Bulldog Sweet Onion Tournament. West Laurens took first place, Jackson County was second, Morgan County third, Fitzgerald fourth, Pierce County fifth and Vidalia was seventh. Individually for TCHS, J.J. Arredondo and Bryson Smith placed second and Justin Hall, Chase Corbin and Johnathan Quintero were fourth

Toombs Goes 2-0 in 3 Rivers

A big wrestling weekend opened up in the Toombs County Middle School Gym with the renewal of an old wrestling tradition- the Three Rivers. Montgomery County, Appling County and Jeff Davis County joined the Bulldogs for some dual action. TCHS wrestled and defeated Montgomery County 58-12 and Jeff Davis 63-15. Including the state duals, the Bulldogs now have a 19-5 record in dual action. Watch Highlights

The Toombs County Middle School wrestlers traveled to West Laurens and beat East Laurens 94-20 and Dublin 96-24. The Bullpups next competition will be the season ending MGMSAA Tournament on January 29 at East Laurens. 

GHSA AAA State Team Duals in Macon

Dawgs finish in AAA Top 6

The Smiths stick the Greenwave

 Bryson Smith smothers his Spencer opponent with a pin 

 Cousin Jamar Smith follows with a first round pin

Day 3- Saturday- Toombs County Bulldog wrestling head coach Bradley Benton said before the start of thr AAA GHSA State Team Duals, in the Macon Centreplex, that his goal for his young 2014-15 team was to finish in the top six. Last season a more experienced and senior laden team finished fourth in Double A. Only four wrestlers from that team were in the lineup when the Bulldogs took on Spencer in the consolation semifinals. Watch Highlights

Spencer opened up a 27-15 lead before the Bulldogs rallied with their big guys. Cole Dowd, Bryson Smith and Jamar Smith reeled off three straight pins and pulled the Bulldogs to within three points at 36-33. The Greenwave finished strong winning a match by points and with a pin to defeat TCHS 42-33. J.J. Arredondo and Justin Hall each pinned their opponent at the beginning of the dual to tie the score at 12. Carson Roberts won his match by points to help stop Spencer's run through the middleweights.

In other action, Jefferson whipped Sonoraville 51-22 to win it's first AAA State Title. The Dragons won six straight AA championships from 2009-14 and before that seven straight in Single A. Lumpkin County nipped Spencer 33-32 to take third place. Lumpkin County beat Oconee County 33-27 in the other consolation semifinal.      

Day 2- Friday- The third seeded Toombs County Bulldog wrestlers lost a heartbreaker in the quarterfinal round of the GHSA AAA State Team Duals in the Macon Centreplex. TCHS lost by one single point to Oconee County 34-33. However, later in the day TCHS came out on top of a one-point decision. The Dawgs nipped Banks County 35-34 in the consolation bracket. Toombs also beat Appling County 50-26 in a prior match in the consolation bracket.

Jefferson beat Spencer 59-18 and Sonoraville knocked off Oconee 34-29 in the two semifinal matches.

In other quarterfinal action, Jefferson took care of Rockmart 54-14, Spencer slipped by Lumpkin County 35-34 and Sonoravile blew by Banks County 39-22. 

Day 1- Thursday- The Toombs County Bulldog wrestling team opened up with a 49-30 victory over Southwest Macon in the first round of the Triple A bracket of the GHSA State Duals in Macon.  Listen to coach Bradley Benton Audio

The first Bulldog to win in the dual was senior Jamar Smith at 220 pounds. Smith earned a pin and so did freshman Johnathan Quintero at 285. Gage Clark won by points at 113, J.J. Arredondo with a pin at 120 and Jose Delgado also had a pin at 126. Carson Roberts won a big match, by points, in the 145 pound weight class and Chase Corbin followed with a pin at 152. Luke Anderson clinched the victory with a major decision at 160 and Cole Dowd ended the match with a pin at 182.  

In other AAA action in the Bulldogs' side of the bracket, Oconee beat Westminster 40-25, Sonoraville knocked off Pepperell 41-38 and Banks County routed Glen Hills 78-6.

On the other side- Jefferson took care of McNair 54-21, Rockmart edged Calhoun 37-28, Lumpkin County whipped Westside-Augusta 57-12 and Spencer defeated Appling County 51-24.  

TCHS takes on the BIG schools

For the second straight year the Toombs County Bulldog wrestling team traveled to Woodward Academy, in College Park, to compete in the War Eagle Classic. The Dawgs had six wrestlers finish in the top six in their weight class and the team fnished eighth overall. Jamar Smith (220 pounds) remained undefeated and won his weight class after finishing second at that event last year. For the second straight year J.J. Arredondo (113) placed third. Chase Corbin (160) improved on a sixth place finish in 2013 by taking third place and Bryson Smith (195) also finished third. Lavell Holland (120) was fifth and Raphael Florez sixth.

In the junior varisty division Johnathan Quinterro and Alfredo Gonzalez finished first and Ervin Mincey second.

Dawgs finish 3rd in Viking Invitational

Jamar Smith kept his senior season record perfect with a quick first period pin over an opponent from Dodge County to lead the Toombs County Bulldog wrestling team to a third place finish in the Viking Invitational at Soperton. Smith, competing in the 220 pound weight class, was the only Bulldog to wrestle for an indivdual title.

The Bulldogs had three third place finishers- freshman Lavell Holland and Bryson Smith each won their third place match with a pin and Raphael Florez took third with a forfeit. Dallas Coursey, Blaine Burkett, Devin Matthews and Johnathan Quintero all placed fourth. Watch Highlights

West Laurens finished first and Jeff Davis placed second.

The week before the Bulldogs finished second, just a couple of points behind West Laurens, in the Raider Invitational. J.J. Arredondo was the only Dawg to win his weight class. 

Bulldogs double up on Ware Co. & win JD Duals again

 Justin Hall pins a Ware County Gator

 Richawn McLeod pins a tall Gator

In 2013, with four eventual state champion seniors, the Toombs County Bulldog wrestling team won the Jeff Davis Duals by beating Ware County in the championshp round avenging a loss to the Gators in their first match of the tourney. After winning two of five dual matches in their 2014-15 season opening trip to South Effingham, the Bulldogs rolled through the eighth annual JD Duals without losing a match and in the finals they doubled up on Ware County beating the Gators 52-26. Watch Highlights  Listen to head coach Bradley Benton Audio  Y-101 Story

Toombs County also entered a junior varsity team in the tourney and those younger Dawgs finished eighth out of the 18 teams which participated.

On Friday, in pool play, Toombs County beat Montgomery County 72-9, Savannah Christian 69-9, Glynn Academy (Team 2) 84-0 and Jeff Davis 46-25. On Saturday the Dawgs knocked off West Laurens 45-31, Coffee County 64-18, McIntosh County Academy 75-6 and Telfair County 78-6.

TCHS Holiday Wrestling

The Toombs County wrestling teams were busy competing during the Thanksgiving holiday week. The middle school Bullpups won the third annual Battle in the Swamp at Ware County. Toombs went 5-0 defeating Pierce County, Jeff Davis, Waycross, Ware County #2 and then ended the event nipping Ware County #1 62-61 in the championship match. The high school Bulldogs opened up their season going 2-3 in the Turkey Duals at South Effingham High School.

The Bulldogs beat South Effingham 60-21 and Benedictine 84-0. TCHS lost to Battery Creek (defending state champ from South Carolina) by nine points, Effingham County by 12 and they were defeated soundly by Camden County. Senior Jamar Smith was the only Dawg to go 5-0. Jamar wrestled at both 220 pounds and as a heavyweight. He beat his opponent from Camden County 7-2. J.J. Arredondo went 4-1, losing to a defending state champ from Effingham County. Other standouts included Jose Delgado (4-1), freshman Gage Clark (3-2) and senior Bryson Smith, who won two matches wrestling up as a heavyweight.

2013-14 Season  

TCHS Wrestling Banquet

The Toombs County wrestling celebrated it's amazing 2013-14 season with an Awards Banquet at Chatter's Restaurant on March 4. The Bulldogs finished no worst than third at any regular season event. They won the Jeff Davis Duals and the Bulldog Sweet Onion. TCHS also won both the Area 1 Dual and Traditional Tourneys and finshed fourth in both state meets producing a school record four individual champions- Solomon McLeod, Erion Gaffney, J.D. Rogers and Eric Hester. Fifteen individual awards were handed out at the banquet.

Kevin Hill Sportsmanshp  Adam Bruno 
Future Award  Justin Hall 
JV Award  Bryson Smith 
Bulldog Pride  Chase Corbin 
Most Improved  Richawn McLeod 
Breakout Wrestler  Jose Delgado 
Perserverance  Nathan Belch 
Rookie of the Year  J.J. Arredondo 
Big Nasty Big Man  Eric Hester 
Kalin Wilhite Hammer  Erion Gaffney 
Buck Benton Grinder  J.D. Rogers 
Bryan Benton Technician  Solomon McLeod 
Demery Hawkins Dominator  Jamar Smith 
Brad Bell Volunteer Service  Kelly Panick 
Service Award  Robbie and Denise Rogers 

Pictured above- Left to Right- Top Row- Adam Bruno, Eric Hester and Erion Gaffney. Bottom Row- J.D. Rogers, Manny Hernandez and Solomon McLeod.

Super 6 Soar on Special Night

J.D. Rogers wins his state championshp with a pin 

As a Toombs County Bulldog wrestler Bradley Benton won two state championships. As a first year head coach, at his alma mater, he doubled that output in one special night at the Toombs County Middle School Gym. Solomon McLeod, Erion Gaffney, J.D. Rogers and Eric Hester all won state championships for the first time as seniors. And underclassmen junior Jamar Smith finished second and freshman J.J. Arredondo battled back through the consolation round, after a first round 8-6 loss, and placed third. The Bulldogs finished fourth in the Double A team standings, 9.5 points out of third. Jefferson was first, Bremen second, Social Circle third, GAC fifth and Vidalia sixth.

Watch the Bulldogs win their state championships  Solomon McLeod  Erion Gaffney  J.D. Rogers  Eric Hester

Watch J.J Arredondo finish third in the 106 pound weight  You Tube

Watch the Bulldogs win their semifinal matches  Erion Gaffney  J.D. Rogers  Eric Hester  Jamar Smith plus Finals  Solomon McLeod

Watch the Bulldogs win their quarterfinal matches  J.D. Rogers  Erion Gaffney  Solomon McLeod  

Thanks to Salain Meadows for her video work and Bill Benton for handling the interviews

152 Pounds- Solomon McLeod was a dominant wrestler in his senior season. He finished with a 57-2 record. Solomon lost a match before Thanksgiving in a dual meet at Effingham County and another in the championship round of the Sweet Onion to J.J. Alfau, who won a Class A state championship for Turner County in the 152 pound weight class.

Solomon, who wrestlers in a style that represents a cat pouncing on his prey, rolled through state. He pinned (1st period) Jaquan Zeno, from Chattahochee, in the quarterfinal round and defeated Artero Perez, from Cook, 20-7 in the semifinals. Soloman defeated Jefferson's Zach Boobas 11-6 in the finals.

Last year, in his first season with Bulldogs, after transfering from Vidalia, McLeod finished third. "My focus was on take downs," McLeod said. "Just keep rebuilding and focus on the next match and keep wrestling hard. Coach Benton, (Adam) Hightower and (Robbie) Rogers worked us hard and the wrestling got us better."   

182 pounds- Erion Gaffney was motivated to win a state championship by the memories and dissapointment of not making it to the podium in what was a dominant junior season prior to going to state. Gaffney wrapped up his high school career with a 54-3 record in his senior season. Erion, who is known for pinning his opponents quickly, recorded a pin in the first round over Brooks Layson from Lovett. Then he racked up the points in the next two rounds- beating North East Macon's Eddie Gibson 10-2 and Bremen's Darron Boxley 20-6 in the finals.

"Last year I could have won my first state title and I folded on it and I have been working for it," Gaffney said. Erion at first was disapointed that the event had been postponed and eventually moved from the Gwinnett Center to high school sites around the state. However, on his home turf he always has a motto. "I just refuse to lose in front of the home crowd, I just can't do it."

Boxley was 61-4 coming into the finals and was the favorite to win by many in the wrestling world. "Everybody was saying he was going to win. I just went out there and showed them because actions speak louder than words." 

195 Pounds- J.D. Rogers has been seeking the ultimate prize for years. As a kid's wrestler he once won an important belt by doing well in a series of events across the state of Georgia. However, in high school his best finish at state was fourth last season. There always seemed to be somebody older and more experienced than J.D.  But, not in 2013-14. Rogers, despite wrestling in the 195 pound class against competition that was usually bigger than he was, went 48-4.

Rogers opened up state with a first period pin of Dakota Wilerson from Model. In the semifinals J.D. beat Jefferson's Deshon Lester 6-2. Rogers ended his high school career with a late third period pin of Clayton Thornbury from Murray County. 

285 pounds- Eric Hester, when he wrestled aggressively, was always different than most of the other heavyweights. Most big guys just want to bump and grind for six minutes leading to low scoring matches. An aggessive Hester is athletic enough to pile up the points or win with a pin. Eric scored 24 points in three wins at sectionals. At state he pinned his first opponent (Darby Henegan from Lovett) 1:33 into the first round. The he won his next two matches by a combined score of 12-3. Hester took care of D.J. Coker, from GAC, 7-1 in the semifinals and then he defeated Vidalia's Shakeem Lassiter 5-2 in an all Toombs County final.   

Dawgs go 6-for-6 at Sectionals

 Jamar Smith finishes first with a second period pin

The Toombs County Bulldog wrestling team went six-for-six in the final round of the GHSA State Sectionals at Dublin High. All six Dawgs will be number one seeds at state. No other Toombs County wrestler qualified for the trip to the Gwinnett Center.

Freshman J.J. Arrendondo won the 106 pound weight class with a decisive 7-0 win. Senior Soloman McLeod was also dominant in the 152 pound division as he won 10-3. Erion Gaffney, 182 pounds, defeated his Vidalia Indian rival, Devin Johnson, with a pin early in the second period. The two have faced each other for first place three straight Saturdays with Gaffney winning the last two with pins. Erion is now a two-time sectional champ.

J.D. Rogers, 195 pounds, won his first sectional title with a late first period pin of a Vidalia wrestler. Jamar Smith won the 220 pound divsion with a second period pin and heavyweight Eric Hester wrapped up the tourney with a 6-0 win over East Laurens. Hester scored 24 points in three wins.   

Watch the Bulldogs  J.J. Arredondo   Solomon McLeod   Erion Gaffney   J.D. Rogers   Jamar Smith   Eric Hester

Raphael Florez and Nathan Belch finished fifth and are first alternates in case of an injury to a top four wrestler. Noah Moore and Jose Delgado competed for the first time at sectionals and did not win a match. Many Hernandez was unable to compete due to an injury to his ribs.  

Bulldog wrestlers rule Area 1

Four Big Pins in a row

 Erion Gaffney starts it off with a dramatic pin

 J.D. Rogers follows with a 1st period pin

 Jamar Smith continues the run with a quick 1st period pin 

 Eric Hester makes it four straight TCHS pins

In early January the Toombs County Bulldog wrestling team won the Area 1 Dual Tournament at Jeff Davis. On the first day of February the Dawgs dominated the Area 1 Traditional Tourney in the TCMS Gym. Toombs qualified eight wrestlers for the finals and they scored seven area champs- three more than last year. Watch Highlights You Tube

Solomon McLeod and Erion Gaffney both repeated as area champions. Gaffney's win at 182 pounds brought the house to life. His pin of a Vidalia wrestler, who beat him at last weeks Sweet Onion, was followed by pins by J.D. Rogers, Jamar Smith and Eric Hester. J.J. Arrredondo and Raphael Florez also are first time area champions. Nathan Belch finished second, Jose Delgado was third and Noah Moore and Manny Hernandez fourth. All are going to sectionals in Dublin. The Bulldogs qualified 11 for sectionals- four more than last season.

TCHS coach Bradley Benton talks about the tourney SoundCloud

Watch Jose Delgado  Manny Hernandez  Noah Moore

Bulldogs stay on top and win Sweet Onion

Brad Bell, who gave so many 

hours to the Sweet Onion Tourney, was honored 

 Bulldogs hold off West Laurens and win the Sweet Onion

 J.D. Rogers pins a Raider for Brad Bell

A week after they lost by one point to West Laurens in the Irish Invitational in Dublin after leading by 37, the Toombs County Bulldogs stayed on top of the standings at their Sweet Onion Tournament and this time they defeated the Raiders 211.50 to 206 to win first place. Turner County was third, Jeff Davis fourth and Vidalia fifth.

The Bulldogs had three first place finishers- J.J. Arredondo, J.D. Rogers and Jamar Smith. Arredondo won 21-9 and Rogers and Smith took care of their matches with pins. Rafael Florez, Justin Hall, Soloman McLeod all finished second. Eric Hester was third and Jose Delgado fourth. The Toombs County Junior Varsity team placed 14th out of the 27 varsity and junior varsity teams which competed in the two day tourney.

The Tournament honored Brad Bell on Day 1. Bell dedicated many, many hours to this tourney over the years and this was the first one staged since his death on Thanksgiving Day 2013. 

Watch highlights of Arrdondo, Rogers and Smith winning their matches You Tube

Dawgs wind up 2nd in Dublin

 Erion Gaffney uses his arms and legs for a pin

 Jamar Smith cinches up for his pin

The Toombs County Bulldogs wrestling team entered the finals of the Irish Invitational in Dublin leading second place West Laurens by 37 points. Although, Toombs had seven wrestlers going for first place, they only had four winners allowing West Laurens to surge past the Bulldogs by one point. J.J. Arredondo, Soloman McLeod, Erion Gaffney and Jamar Smith all finished first. McLeod won his match 19-3 and the other three Bulldogs pinned their opponents. J.D. Rogers and Eric Hester finished second losing by points and Nathan Belch was pinned and placed second. Blaine Burkett was fourth. Watch Highlights You Tube  

Seeded 4th, Dawgs finish 4th

ties best finish at GHSA Duals

 Justin Hall comes up with short time pin versus Lovett 

 Jamar Smith executes painful pin against Lovett

The Toombs County wrestling team, the Area 1 champion, was seeded fourth in the Double A bracket of the GHSA State Duals. That was perception. The Bulldogs proved they were the fourth best team in the state on the mat by defeating Spencer and Lovett, while losing to Jefferson and Social Circle. This is the second time in school history the Bulldogs have finished second in the state duals. Watch highlights from Macon You Tube

On Saturday the Bulldogs got off to a fast start against Lovett. J.J. Arredondo opened with a pin and then Justin Hall, who trailed 10-0 in the waining seconds, shocked the Macon Centreplex by pinning his opponent right before the end of the match. The Bulldogs built off that early momentum and opened up a  24-9 lead and they defeated Lovett 48-27. Diego Lira, Nathan Belch, Soloman McLeod, J.D. Rogers, Jamar Smith and Eric Hester all won by pinning their opponents to the mat.

In the third place match Social Circle jumped to a 33-0 lead before McLeod won his match 8-1. Erion Gaffney pinned his opponent, Rogers won by a forfeit and then Smith and Hester also recorded pins as the Bulldogs lost 45-29 to place fourth.

Bulldogs battle "Mighty" Jefferson 

The Jefferson High School wrestling program has won 13 straight GHSA Traditional and 12 straight Dual State Championships including titles in both categories last year. The Dragons are expected to win and in duals by a wide margin. However, that wasn't what happened when they met Toombs County in the semifinals of the Class AA GHSA State Duals. Jefferson won. But, the score was a close one- 47-34. The Bulldogs won six of the 14 matches with five by pins and they only yielded one pin. A pin is worth six points and a win by points is three or four depending upon the margin. Coach Bradley Benton talks about the first day of the tourney SoundCloud

Erion Gaffney, J.D. Rogers, Jamar Smith, Eric Hester and Diego Lira all won their matches with a pin. Soloman McLeod was a winner by points.

The Bulldogs took care of business in the quarterfinals pinning eight Spencer wrestlers in a one-sided 57-18 victory. Smith was the first Bulldog to wrestle in the Centreplex and the junior pinned his opponent. Hester was next and he won a match in which his opponent was running from him and he was given six points- the same number you get for a pin. The lineup went back to the smaller weights and J.J. Arredondo won by a pin as did Justin Hall, Nathan Belch, Soloman McLeod, Jose Delgado and Rogers. Gaffney won his match 9-7. 

Bulldogs rule Area 1, Macon bound

The Toombs County Bulldogs wrestling team earned a trip to Macon for the GHSA State Duals by winning three matches on the second day of the Area 1 Dual Tournament at Jeff Davis. Toombs beat East Laurens 54-24 in the championship round. Earlier in the day TCHS knocked off Dublin 66-17 in the quarterfinals and Fitzgerald 56-24 in the semifinals.

The championship match versus East Laurens began with the 160 pound weight class and TCHS senior Soloman McLeod took care of business with a quick pin, just 28 seconds in to the first period. Jose Delgado won by a forfeit and then Erion Gaffney, J.D. Rogers, Jamar Smith, Eric Hester and J.J. Arredondo all pinned their opponents. Rogers stuck his in the second period while the other four all took care of business in the first period. Watch Highlights You Tube  You Tube    

Dawgs beat JD on 1st day of Area Duals

 Justin Hall pins his JD opponent in 1st period

The Toombs County Bulldogs opened up in the Area Duals Wrestling Tournament with a 59-12 win over Jeff Davis at the TCMS Gym. J.J. Arredondo won the most exciting match of the dual with a 15-13 victory in overtime. Erion Gaffney pinned his opponent in 20 seconds. Jeffrey Neesmith, Justin Hall, Soloman McLeod, J.D. Rogers and Eric Hester all won with a pin. Watch Highlights You Tube     

TCHS Wrestlers rule in Augusta

The Toombs County wrestling team domintated the one-day Battle of the Border in Augusta. The Bulldogs racked up 274 points and defeated second place Morgan County by 111 points. Morgan County finished fourth at last years Triple GHSA State Duals. 14 Bulldogs placed in the top four and five won their divisions- Chase Corbin, Soloman McLeod, Erion Gaffney, Jamar Smith and Eric Hester. Second place finishers were Jeffrey Nesmith and Justin Hall. Nathan Belch, Rashawn McLeod, Bryson Smith and Noah Moore, J.J. Arredondo placed third and Jose Delgado and Adam Bruno (junior varsity) fourth. Listen to coach Bradley Benton talk about the first place Dawgs Audio

Dawgs battle Big Schools

Saturday- The Toombs County Bulldogs moved up two places and finished third at the War Eagle Invitational at Woodward Academy in College Park. Eight Bulldog wrestlers made it to the final round. Soloman McLeod and Erion Gaffney finished first and J.D. Rogers, Jamar Smith and Eric Hester were second. J.J. Arredondo placed third, Blaine Burkett was fifth and Chase Corbin sixth. 4A Cass was the top team and 4A West Laurens was second. Toombs County and Lovett were the only 2A teams in the 11 team tourney. 

Friday- After the first day of the War Eagle Invitational at Woodward Academy, the Toombs County Bulldogs were in fifth place with 119 points. The Dawgs lead, Lovett, the only other Double A school participating, by 22 points. 4A Cass is in first place with 149 points, 4A West Laurens (139) is in second, 4A Marist (134) is third and 6A Marietta (124.5) is fourth.

Thirteen of the fourteen Bulldogs made it to the final eight and three are seeded first with 5-0 records. Erion Gaffney and J.D. Rogers have pinned all of their opponents and Soloman McLeod has pinned four in his five victories. Eric Hester and Jamar Smith are both 4-1 and are seeded second.   

Bulldogs are 2nd at West Laurens

 Jamar Smith pins a West Laurens Raider

 J.D. Rogers also pins a Raider

Soloman McLeod, Erion Gaffney, J.D. Rogers and Jamar Smith all qualified for the finals at the Raider Invitational at West Laurens and all four won their championship matches to wrap up a second place team finish for the Toombs County Bulldog wrestling team. Eric Hester, JJ Arredondo and Justin Hall finished third and Jamie Villegas, J.D. Braddy and Joe Cowart placed fourth. McLeod was the most outstanding wrestler in the larger weights. Watch Highlights You Tube  

Bulldogs beat Ware & win Jacket Duals

Nathan Belch and JJ Arredondo avenged losses to Ware County in pool competition and Erion Gafney, Jamar Smith, Eric Hester, Soloman McLeod and Chase Corbin all won their matches to help the Toombs County Bulldogs beat Quad A Ware County 42-33 in the championship round of the Jacket Duals at Jeff Davis High School. Watch Highlights You Tube

The Bulldogs were on their game on the second day of action. TCHS beat Dodge County 84-0, Cook County 44-27, Jeff Davis 48-24 and Vidalia 69-9 to move them in to the finals. Listen to Bill Benton's interviews Audio

Toombs went 3-1 on day one. The Bulldogs lost their first match to Ware 35-32 and then they dominated their next three opponents. They beat Jeff Davis #2 82-0, West Laurens #2 67-0 and Telfair County 67-12.

Bulldog wrestlers open season

finishing second at Effingham

 Jamar Smith Most Outstanding

The Toombs County wrestling team opened the season by winning four of five dual matches and finishing in second place at the Turkey Duals at Effingham County. The Bulldogs biggest win was over 5A Effingham County 43-26. Toombs also defeated Southeast Bulloch 66-12, Camden Team C 60-9 and South Effingham 45-30. The Dawgs only loss was to 6A Camden Team A 61-15, which finished first.

Junior Jamar Smith was voted the outstanding wrestler of the entire one-day tourney. Jamar, who didn't wrestle the second half of last season, proved he wasn't rusty by going 5-0 with victories all recorded in the first period. Seniors J.D. Rogers, Soloman McLeod and Eric Hester each went 4-1.   

Listen to Jamar, J.D. and Eric Audio

Former Dawg leads TCHS wrestlers into new season

 Head coach Brantley Benton (right) watches Nathan Belch at practice 

Bradley Benton, a former Toombs County wrestler and  two-time state champ, is the new wrestling coach at his alma mater and he is working with a room full of wrestlers. Forty Bulldogs are getting ready for the 2013-14 season which begins on November 27 at South Effingham with the Turkey Duals. Three state placers return from a team that finished third in Double A behind Jefferson and Bremen. Last season Soloman McLeod and Eric Hester fnished third at state and J.D. Rogers fourth. Check out this Bulldog wrestling preview  You Tube   

2012-13 Season 

Xavier Horne is a State Champion

 Xavier Horne takes control of his championship match 

Toombs County's Xavier Horne defeated Dublin's Matt Horne 11-2 to win the 195 pound championship. Xavier pinned opponents from Model and Fitzgerald to make it to the finals. The two Horne's were suppose to meet in the championship matches of the Area 1 and East Sectional Tourneys. However, the Dublin wrestler had to pull out of each match due to injury. Xavier has now defeated his Dublin rival five times this season and his record is 39-2 for his senior season. Watch Xavier win his title and listen to him and head coach Travis Ellington discuss the match Video

Xavier had a specific game plan for this final match between the two rivals, "They studied me and basically I have a nasty Hi-C (high crotch move). So, basically I just had to move in the first couple of periods and kind of get him back to his original stance so that it would open it up." Xavier had a 3-1 lead in the second period and then in the third he grabbed his opponents good leg and got him down to the mat. "I felt really good as soon as I got that sweep and I got my two (points)," said Xavier. "I had both of his legs pinned down to the mat so I am getting my back points and he was trying to bail out. But, at that point my adrenaline is kicking in and I am trying with all my might to pin him."    

Xavier joins an exclusive club of Toombs County wrestlers who have won at least one state championship including Derrick Mincey (twice), Ricky Wilson, Bradley Benton (twice), Brian Benton (four time champ), Demery Hawkins (twice) and Kalin Wilhite. Last year Horne was a state placer, for the first time, at 170 pounds. He finished fifth. "It felt great to win it," said Xavier. "But then it really didn't feel real. I wasn't as tired as I thought I would be. I was going for my son and everything and for everything else I had striving for me." Head coach Travis Ellington added, "For Xavier to win a state championship I was ecstatic. He has been through alot and he works hard and I was just excited that he had the opportunity to win a state championship and have his picture up on the wall here at Toombs County High School."    

The Bulldogs finished third in Double A behind Jefferson and Bremem and one point ahead of Social Circle.

In other Saturday action- Eric Hester and Solomon McLeod both finished third in state, J.D. Rogers placed fourth and Mark Terrell fifth. Hester pinned a Heard County wrestler and then won third place by beating Social Circle 6-2. McCloud took third place with back-to-back 7-4 wins over Fitzgerald and Social Circle. Rogers placed fourth by pinning a Murray County opponent and then losing his third straight two-point decision to Walter McElroy (Fitzgerald) and this time the score was 5-3. Terrell lost to GAC 2-1 and then edged Lovett 10-7 to take fifth. 

Mark Terrell, Solomon McLeod, J.D. Rogers all won in the first round and then lost in the semifinals. Terrell won his first match 11-3 over a wrestler from Model and then lost to Jefferson 4-0. McLeod defeated Westminster 5-3 and then was pinned by Bremen. Rogers defeated Heard County 4-3 and then lost to Jefferson 9-7.

Eric Hester lost to Spencer 3-2 and then defeated Kendrick 7-3. Erion Gaffney lost to Bremen 14-9 and and then was pinned by Jefferson.

 The Champ- Xavier Horne and head coach Travis Ellington

 Erion Gaffney, J.D. Rogers and Solomon McLeod with 3rd place trophy

Six Dawgs are going to state

Erion Gaffney seals the deal with his 36th pin 

 Eric Hester wraps up 3rd place pinning an Indian

Six Toombs County Bulldog wrestlers earned a trip to Macon for the GHSA State Tournament by winning at least two matches at the East Sectional in Dublin. Erion Gaffney and Xavier Horne finished first, Solomon McLeod was second and Mark Terrell, J.D. Rogers and Eric Hester placed third. Watch Highlights You Tube

Gaffney, an Area 1 champion, won all three of his matches with a pin including his 170 pound championship match versus Mikey Moran from Washington-Wilkes. "I got up 5-0 and got on top of him and ran my special move and I just stuck him," said Gaffney as he recorded his team-high 36th pin of the season. Erion is 39-5 in his junior season.

Horne, who was also an Area 1 champion at 195 pounds, didn't have to wrestle for his championship. For the second straight week his opponent (Matt Horne) from Dublin elected not to compete due to injury, Xavier had a tough semifinal match. He edged Carl Salter, of Fitzgerald, 3-2. "He was a sophomore and he came out on fire. I made a couple of mistakes and about pinned myself. But, I came out on top," said the senior who is 36-2.

In the 152 pound weight class McLeod (43-4) breezed in to the finals with a majority decision victory and a pin. In the first place match he faced Jake Sherman (Jefferson), a third place finisher at state at 160 pounds last season. Sherman was the winner by a technical decision.

At 138 pounds Terrell (38-9) lost his semifinal match to Trent Scates (GAC) 5-4. However, in the consolation bracket he won 5-4 over Kody Phillips (Jeff Davis) and then took third place with a 7-3 win. Meanwhile, Rodgers (182 pounds) lost another close match, in the semi's, to a quality opponent. Jace McColskey, from powerhouse Jefferson, won 11-10. J.D. rallied and took third place with a 3-1 victory over Berrien's Ivan Herrera. Rogers is 43-4 and all of his losses have been by less than three points.

The final match of the event was the third place heavyweight match between county rivals, Hester (33-8) took on Vidalia's Shakeem Lassiter. Eric pinned him to end a long day for all the wrestlers.  

Four Dawgs are Area Champs

 Erion Gaffney wraps up area title with pin

Four Toombs County wrestlers won area titles and seven Bulldogs qualified for the GHSA State Sectionals at the Toombs County Middle School Gym. Mark Terrell, Solomon McLeod, Erion Gaffney and Xavier Horne all were area champs. J.D. Rogers and Eric Hester both finished second and Nathan Belch was third. Toombs finished second in the area behind Fitzgerald. Watch Highlights You Tube

Mark Terrell earned the first TCHS title at 138 pounds. "I just wrestled hard and fought until the end of the match," said the senior, who won his second area championship. At 152 pounds all Solomon McLeod had to do was take the mat. His opponent was unable to wrestle do to a knee injury. For the former Vidalia Indian this was his first area title. "This was my goal ever since I came here, I'm finally happy," said McLeod.

In the 170 pound championship match Toombs County's Erion Gaffney was aggressive and wound up with another win by a pin. "I told myself that this year that I was going to start off on fire and keep going until the end and I am leading the team in pins right now with 33 pins," said Gaffney, who placed second in the area last season. Xavier Horne won his second straight area championship. Last season he was the 170 pound champ and this season he moved up and finished first at 195 pounds. Horne's match was tied 1-1 when his opponent suffered an injury and was unable to continue. "I wrestled him a couple of times this year and a lot last year, so I quess he picked up on my techniques," said Horne. "I tried to move him around as much as I could. But, before I could actually get any work in he got teched."

For the third time this season J.D. Rogers met Walter McElroy- his rival from Fitzgerald. In the first two meetings McElroy won 9-7 in overtime at the Area Duals and 9-6 last week at the Bulldog Sweet Onion semifinals. In this battle for the area 182 pound title, Rogers changed his strategy and after taking a 1-0 lead in the second period he wound up losing 3-1. "I knew I had to go out there and be physical and I came pretty close," said the junior, who has lost in the area championships, to a senior, three straight times. "I am a little upset, third time is suppose to be the charm. But, I guess it's not."

Freshman Nathan Belch won his third place match despite falling behind 5-0 to his opponent from Dublin. A football tackle turned the match around, "I had to do what I had to do. I had to have the will to win," said Belch. "I football tackled him and got on top of him and I almost had him pinned." Belch outscored his opponent 11-1 during one stretch.  

Two Dawgs surge to Sweet Onion titles

 Eric Hester turns his match around in the third period 

Erion Gaffney nearly wins with a pin 

When the second and final day of the Sweet Onion Wrestling Tournament ended, two Toombs County Bulldogs were individual champions and the Dawgs were the fourth placed team in the ultra-competitive event staged at the TCMS Gym. Watch Highlights You Tube

The first Bulldog to win a title was Erion Gaffney at 170 pounds. Erion piled up the points as he defeated his opponent from Swainsboro 16-6 and he came clse to pinning him four differnet times. "I just kept my head up and tried to improve on last years fourth place finish at the Sweet Onion," said Gaffney. "I am just so determined when I wrestle at home. We have had two tournaments (The Christmas Brawl) and I have finished first in both of them."

The final match of the tourney featured the heavyweights and Toombs County's Eric Hester was giving up some pounds to his opponent from West Laurens. Nobody scored in the first period and then Hester fell behind 2-1 in the second. However,  in the third period Hester turned the match around by scoring three points in a short period of time to win the match 7-2. "I just wrestled smart and kept my head in it and never let myself loose my train of thought," said Hester. "He lost his balance and I attacked and that's what got me the victory." 

Xavier Horne also made it to the finals, however, he lost and finished second. J.D. Rogers lost another close match to a wrestler from Fitzgerald. J.D. lost to him in overtime in the Area Duals and by a 9-7 score in this event. Rogers rallied and won a 6-5 decision over a Crisp County Cougar. "I've been watching him today and after I lost my first one today in the semi's I knew I had to come out here and win," said Rogers. Solomon McLeod also finished third and Rafael Florez placed fourth.

Dawgs 3rd in Dublin- Three Toombs County High School wrestlers finished first at the Shamrock Shuffle in Dublin. Solomon McLeod, J.D. Rogers and Xavier Horne all won their weight classes. Dre Mayweather, Mark Terrell and Erion Gaffney all placed third and Eric Hester fourth. West Laurens won the event and South Effingham was second

Dawg wrestlers finish 3rd in Area Duals

The Toombs County Bulldogs finished third out of 14 teams in the Area 2 Duals at Jeff Davis. Unfortunately for TCHS, only the top two teams advance to Macon for the GHSA State Duals.

Toombs was seeded third and received a first round bye. In the second round the Bulldogs defeated Benedictine 46-27. Next TCHS lost a close match to Fitzgerald 32-30. The Dawgs beat Jeff Davis 49-29 and Dublin 48-33.

The Bulldogs top wrestlers included: Mark Terrell (138 and 145 pounds) 4-0 with four pins, Solomon McLeod (160) 4-0 with two pins, Xavier Horne (195) 4-0 with three pins, Jamar Smith (220 and 285) 4 0 with two pins, Eric Hester (285) 3-0 with two pins, Erion Gaffney 3-1 with three pins and J.D. Rogers 3-1 with three pins

Six Bulldogs are champs

 Jamar Smith ends his match with a pin

The Toombs County Bulldogs placed eight wrestlers in the finals and won six weight classes as they finished second to Pierce County in their own Christmas Brawl. The Bears tallied 274 points and the Bulldogs had 244.5. Jeff Davis (182) finished third and Appling County (117) fourth.

Mark Terrell (138 pounds), Solomon McLeod (160), Erion Gaffney (170), J.D. Rogers (182), Xavier Horne (195) and Jamar Smith (220) all finished first. Terrell, McLeod, Gaffney, Horne and Smith all won with pins. Rogers won his match 13-4. Watch Highlights You Tube

J.D. Braddy (145), wrestling in his first final, finished second as did heavyweight Eric Hester. Dre Mayweather (120), Nathan Belch (126) and Lance Joyner (170) placed third. Watch Mayweather and Belch You Tube

TCHS takes 2nd at Viking Invitational

 Jamar Smith wins with a pin in the semifinals

After two fourth place finishes at the Jeff Davis Duals and the Raider Invitational, the Toombs County Bulldog wrestling team finished second, behind West Laurens, at the Viking Invitational at Soperton. Toombs placed five wrestlers in the finals and one in a third place match. Watch Highlights You Tube

The first Bulldog champion was Solomon McLeod at 160 pounds. McLeod grappled with a much taller wrestler from Burke County and he wanted to win gold for the first time since transferring from Vidalia to Toombs, "I keep pressuring him and I just wanted it'" said McLeod after his 9-3 victory. "I did one of those head hunt things and I got his head."

J.D. Rogers also had to take on a tall opponent from Ware County and the two wrestled a close match that Rogers won 6-4. "He tried to do an inside trip and it didn't work out for him," said Rogers. "I watched him in the semi's and I saw it coming and I just capitalized and took a great shot at him and got on top of him."

Xavier Horne took the mat after J.D.'s victory and the senior easily pinned his opponent from East Laurens less than a minute in to the opening round. Jamar Smith was matched against a strong wrestler from East Laurens and he suffered his first loss of the season. In a low scoring championship match, Jamar was leading 1-0 in the third period. Suddenly he found himself on his back and he was stunned by a quick pin. Mark Terrell lost by points in his championship match to a West Laurens Raider.

Eric Hester lost a close match in the heavyweight semifinal. However, the junior bounced back and took third place with a third period pin of a Jeff Davis Yellow Jacket. "I was patient throughout this whole tournament and that's the thing I have to do against all these bigger guys," said Hester, who was taking on wrestlers fifty pounds heavier than him. "I waited for my opportunity and took advantage of it and got on top of him."  

TCHS Wrestling season is underway

The Toombs County High School wrestling team opened up the season with two fourth place finishes at Jeff Davis and West Laurens. The tournament in Hazlehurst was a dual event (team versus team) and West Laurens was a traditional style event.

The Bulldogs had two individual winners in the Raider Invitational and both were wrestling up in a higher weight class. J.D. Rogers improved his record to 16-0 by winning the 182 pound division. "I knew I was going to be a little outmatched because I weighed in at 168 pounds," said Rogers. "My semifinal match I had a kid from Chattooga and it was a good match and I beat a long kid from Flagler (a Florida high school). Rogers, a junior, says he used to be the bigger guy throwing kids around, however, when he is wrestling up he has to avoid that same thing happening to him. "I have to remember they can throw you so you have to have good hips and just stay in their face the whole match and it will wear down on them eventually and in the third period you just have to give all you have."

The second Bulldog to win a weight class at West Laurens was Jamar Smith. The sophomore won all of his matches by pinning his opponents in the first or second round. "I guess it's strength and practice in the training room and getting my work done," said Smith. "I just sit back and see what they are going to do to me first and if they are waiting I just go and take them." Smith is currently wrestling up at 220 pounds and he says one move has helped him with his bigger opponents. "The throw has helped me. This weekend I used it three times and pinned all three in the first period."

The Bulldogs also had a several of wrestlers who made it to the finals and finished second. Mark Terrell, Solomon McLeod, Erion Gaffney and Eric Hester all placed second. West Laurens finished first, Flagler was second and Elbert County third.

2011-12 Season  

TCHS wrestlers place 3rd, 4th & 5th

 Kalin Wilhite, Xavier Horne and Jamar Smith all medaled at the GHSA State Wrestling Tournament at the Gwinnett Center. Wilhite, a senior, pinned Nate Long from Lakeview-FT. Oglethorpe and Corey Erdoes from Lovett to finish third in the 182 pound weight class. Wilhite finished fifth at 145 pounds as a freshman, second at 160 as a sophomore and was a state champ at 160 as a junior. Kalin wraps up his senior season with a 59-2 record. He was 63-1 as a junior.

Freshman Jamar Smith (195 pounds) won four straight matches in the consolation bracket to finish fourth. Jamar lost a 6-5 decision to Patrick Emerson from Lovett in the third place match. Jamar was 42-10 in his rookie season.

Junior Xavier Horne (170 pounds) placed at state for the first time. Horne lost his first consolation match to SEB's Hunter Ferguson by a 9-5 decision and then he claimed fifth place with a third round pin of Ktaro Ca

7 Matdogs qualify for state

 Kalin Wilhite takes a 4-1 lead in his marquee match up 

 J.D. Rogers pins to take third place

Austin Farrow nearly pins an Appling Co. Pirate  

Seven Toombs County Bulldog wrestlers qualified for state tourney at the Gwinnett Center. Kalin Wilhite and Xavier Horne finished second, J.D. Rodgers third, Jamar Smith fourth, Mark Terrell fifth, Erion Gaffney sixth and Austin Farrow seventh at the Double A State Sectionals in Dublin. Watch highlights video

Wilhite met a Jefferson wrestler from his past. In his sophomore season Kalin took on Forrest Przybysz for a state championship. Przybysz won a close and controversial match 10-6. In the finals of the 182 pound division in Dublin all eyes were on the battle between two state champs meeting for the first time in two seasons. Kalin took a 4-1 lead, "I took him down with a leg sweep and caught him on his back and got a quick one. Two for a takedown and two near fall points," said Wilhite. Both competitors preferred to wrestle this match on their feet and Wilhite maintained his three point lead until the final 45 seconds when Przybysz turned the match quickly in to a 6-4 win. "I shouldn't haven't gotten caught like I did, I just didn't defend well in that final shot. Overall it wasn't the greatest match in the world." The loss was the first of the season for the senior. Coincidentally, last year Wilhite also suffered his first lost at sectionals and he finished third and then went on to win a state championship. "I'll be fine. I'll just have to wrestle back through the other side and then maybe will meet again in the finals," said Wilhite.  

J.D. Rogers improved on his eighth place sectionals finish in his freshman season by winning third pace in his sophomore season. Rogers built up a 9-1 lead and then near the end of the match he pinned his opponent in the 152 pound weight class. "I didn't realize I was up by that much," said Rogers. "I'm really happy to finish third instead of eighth like last season, so I can get a good match in the first round at state."

For the second straight tournament Mark Terrell piled up a bunch of points in his final match. Terrell scored 23 to win his first area title and then topped that by racking up a personal best 26 points against an opponent from Dawson in a technical fall victory that gave him fifth place in the 132 pound division. "I kept taking him down and letting him up and throwing to his back," said the super quick Terrell.  

MatDogs repeat as Area 2 Champs

 Jamar Smith pins and wins his first Area 2 title 

 Juan Alvarez takes 3rd with a quick pin

The Toombs County Bulldog wrestling team defended their Area 2 traditional championship by beating Appling County by nine points. The Bulldogs qualified 11 wrestlers for sectionals in Dublin and they won five individual weight classes. Austin Farrow (106 pounds), Mark Terrell (132 pounds), Xavier Horne (170 pounds), Kalin Wilhite (182 pounds) and Jamar Smith (195 pounds) are all area champions. J.D. Rogers (152 pounds) and Erion Gaffney (160 pounds) placed second. Jamie Cruz (120 pounds), Juan Alvarez (145 pounds) and Eric Hester (220 pounds) all won consolation final matches and finished third and Vallente Guerrero (285 pounds) made it to sectionals by finishing fourth. Watch highlights You Tube and check out all of the results

Three Dawgs win Sweet Onion Titles

Kalin lifts West Laurens's Demetrius Green

Jamar Smith pins Brian Whitfield from Commerce 

J.D. Rogers, Kalin Wilhite and Jamar Smith each won individual titles to help lead the Toombs County Bulldogs to a fifth place finish in the Bulldog Sweet Onion Wrestling Tournament.

Rogers (152 pounds) was the first Bulldog to win a title as he pinned Fitzgerald's Octavious Rivera with ten seconds remaining in the third and final period. "I had already wrestled him before and if I can pin him once then I can pin him again," said Rodgers. "I was down the whole match and late in the third period I was down by two. I had been working the switch the whole time and I finally got it in. I rolled him over and stuck him." Rogers also pinned Alphonso Williams from Burke County and defeated Vidalia's Solomon McLeod 7-0 to improve his record to 33-14 in his sophomore season.

Kalin Wilhite remained undefeated (49-0) in his senior season by winning three matches. Willhite defeated Chris Mack of South Effingham 17-1 and pinned Carlton Holmes from Burke County. That advanced the defending state champion to the finals in the 182 pound weight class. Kalin took care of business by beating West Laurens's Demetrius Green 8-3. "It was a battle of wills," said Wilhite. "He's so strong, last week at Dublin it was a 3-0 match, one escape and one takedown. It was a lot different than the last match."

Jamar Smith, competing in the 195 pound weight class, pinned all three of his opponents- Evan Joyner from Turner County, Tyler Smith of South Effingham and Brian Whitfield representing Commerce in the final. The freshman ended the championship match quickly by taking down Whitfield with a thump. Whitfield made a noticeable grunt when he hit the mat and Smith said he knew it was over, "I knew I had him right where I wanted him. He was hurt and he was down and I was going to hold him there." Smith is 34-8 on the season.

The Bulldogs had two fourth place finishers -Austin Farrow 106 pounds and Erion Gaffney, wrestling up a weight class, at 160 pounds. Watch highlights You Tube

Bulldogs are Area 3 Dual champs

Despite being on his back a couple of times, Jamie Cruz avoided being pinned allowing the Toombs County Bulldogs to nip Appling County 36-35 in the championship match of the Area 3 Duals at Darian. Toombs also won the area title last year on the mats at McIntosh County Academy. The Bulldogs will be a number one seed at the GHSA State Duals, in Macon, on January 13 and 14. Toombs will meet Dublin in the first round on Friday.

Lance Joyner, a sophomore competing at 170 pounds, like Cruz also wrestled a match in which he could not be pinned. "I just fought through it, I decided I couldn't be pinned so we wouldn't lose the championship," said Joyner, who lost 6-4. "It was extremely hard, he was strong and a really good wrestler." J.D.Rogers, who dropped from 170 pounds to 160, won his match. "It went really good, it was so intense because we were down and we had to start getting sticks or we are going to be out of it because their lighter weights are really good and you just got to keep fighting through it."

The Bulldogs defeated Jeff Davis at 10 a.m. and then didn't wrestle again until 3 p.m. Head coach Travis Ellington said, "I can't say enough about how they wrestled against the competition. We had a couple of kids that just battled the whole time. Jamie Cruz was tremendous. In a dual meet there is a lot of strategy and we try to look for the best match ups to score the most points. Our leaders like Kalin Wilhite and Juan Alvarez, our seniors, and our underclassmen like J.D. Rogers and Xavier Horne and Jamar Smith, all had a great tournament. I just can't say enough about all the guys."     

Bulldog Duals- Day 2

Erion Gaffney squashes a Jeff Davis Yellow Jacket with a pin 

Juan Alvarez takes control by grabbing a leg and the midsection  

On the second and final day of the Bulldog Christmas Duals at the Toombs County Middle School Gym the Toombs County Bulldogs went 3-1 and then advanced to the semifinals of the championship bracket. TCHS defeated Jeff Davis 41-27 in the quarterfinals before losing to Effingham County 48-27 in the semifinals. Earlier in the day, Toombs beat Appling County 48-22, Washington Wilkes 45-20 and Dublin by a forfeit. They lost to Effingham 42-33. Watch highlights of the Bulldogs semifinal match up with Effingham You Tube   

Bulldog Duals- Day 1


Xavier Horne works Jackson opponent on the mat  


 and on his feet in 6-3 win


Jamie Cruz smothers his Fitzgerald opponent 


 and then pins him in the first round

On the first day of the second annual Bulldog Christmas Duals at the Toombs County Middle School Gym the Toombs County Bulldogs went 3-1 and are in fourth place. The Bulldogs defeated Telfair County, Jeff Davis and Fitzgerald and they lost to Jackson. Watch highlights You Tube

2010-11 Season 

GHSA State Wrestling Tourney

Willhite is a State Champ!

Kalin Willhite wins his first state championship 

 Kalin and his father Kelly celebrate a big night

Hadden finishes 2nd in state at 103 pounds

 Tyler Hadden is on top of Kaden Scoggins

Bulldogs finish third in Double A

Saturday- Kalin Willhite came very close to winning a state championship as a sophomore. He lost a close 10-6 decision to Forrest Przybysz of Jefferson in 2010. This season Kalin dedicated himself to not only getting back to the title match, but to winning. Mission accomplished. Willhite defeated GAC's Zach Fuererbach 8-5 to improve his 2011 record to 63-1. His only loss of the season was at sectionals and he avenged that in the third place match. Y-101 Story

Watch Kalin win his state championship Video Watch the rest of Kalin's matches 1st Round  Quarterfinals  Semifinals

Tyler Hadden lost to Kaden Scoggins (Armuchee) 14-4 in the 103 pound Double A State Championship match. Tyler, 60-2, adds his second place finish to two third place finishes in 2009 and 2010. In the consolation bracket (140 pounds) Hakeem Mobley defeated Caleb Massey (Dade County) 5-4 and then he lost to Layton West Sonoraville 8-6 and he finishes fourth in the state. Mark Terrell (125 pounds) lost to Jordan Worthy (Pepperell) 4-0. Xavier Horne (189 pounds) lost to Bailey Ross (Morgan County) 8-1 and to Patrick Emerson (Lovett) 5-2. Kenneth McClendon (285 pounds) lost to Ben Lanier (Dublin) and Destry Walker (Cook County by pins and he finishes sixth in state.  

Toombs County finished third in Double A. Jefferson was first with 196.50, Sonoraville second with 177, the Bulldogs third with 84.50 and Lovett fourth with 82. Dublin in eighth place was the only other South Georgia team in the top 10. TCHS also finished third in 2009.   

Friday- Tyler Hadden defeated Calhoun's Carter Edwards 10-0 to move into the championship round of the 103 pound division.

Junior Kalin Willhite earned his second straight birth in the 160 pound title match by defeating Curtis Greenway of Banks County 7-2. Hakeem Mobley (140 pounds) was pinned by Brandon Siffles of Chattooga in his semifinal match. Mobley, 51-6, will wrestle for third place. 

Hakeem Mobley advanced to the semi's with a pin of Justin Brewer of Jackson County High School. Kalin Willhite is also into the semi's with a 9-3 victory over Oscar Sandoval of Monticello. Tyler Hadden moved into the semifinals with a 20-5 technical fall victory over Stephen Jenkins of Elbert County. The semifinals begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. Hadden talks on Y-101 Radio about his first two matches Audio

Kenneth McClendon lost a tough match in the quarterfinals 2-1 to Jack Howard of Blessed Trinity. McClendon rebounded by defeating Appling County's Zach Wright 4-2. Xavier Horne also lost in the quarters to Dim Aguero, of Buford, by a pin. Horne lost to Bailey Ross of Morgan County 8-1 in the consolations.

J.D. Rogers lost in the consolation quarterfinals and his first state tourney has ended. Sonoraville's Paul McKnight pinned Rogers. J.D. won his first match in the consolation bracket beating Ronald Lucas, of Swainsboro, 6-5. J.D. trailed 4-0 and 5-3. Lucas was hit with three stalling calls costing him three points including one with 10 seconds left in the match that won it for Rogers. Holden Plante lost to Rich Niehaus, of Lovett, by a pin. Manny Hernandez lost to Ryan Kis by a pin.

Thursday- At the opening day of the GHSA Traditional Wrestlng State Tournament the following Toombs County Bulldogs won their opening match- Tyler Hadden (pin), Mark Terrell (pin), Hakeem Mobley (pin), Kalin Willhite (pin), Xavier Horne (pin) and Kenneth McClendon (3-1). These Bulldogs lost their first match- Holden Plante (pin) Manny Hernandez (pin) and J.D. Rogers (default).

Nine Bulldogs are going to state

Hadden is 103 pound Sectional B champ


Leading 4-0 in the first period 


Tyler Hadden pins a Dublin Irish 

Hakeem Mobley graps a leg and finishes second 

Kalin Willhite avenges his only lost of 2010-11 with OT win

Nine Toombs County wrestlers qualified for the state tourney at the Double A State Sectionals in Dublin. Tyler Hadden pinned his opponent from Dublin and he is the 103 pound Sectional B champion going to state. Hakeem Mobley and Kenneth McClendon both lost in their championship matches and they will go to state seeded second. Kalin Willhite avenged his only loss of the season defeating his opponent from Morgan County in overtime. Kalin was pinned by that wrestler on Friday. Mark Terrell lost in his third place match. J.D. Rogers pinned his opponent in a seventh place match. Xavier Horne lost in his fifth place match. Holden Plante and Manny Hernandez are also going to state. Toombs County finished third behind Jefferson County and Morgan County. Nine is the most wrestlers Toombs County has qualified for state since the sport added the sectionals to the schedule. Watch Highlights Video

Bulldogs rule the Area Tradional Tourney

Junior Kalin Willhite is a three-time area champion 

Hakeem Mobley wins his second straight area title 

The Toombs County Bulldogs qualified a dozen wrestlers for the sectionals while winning the Area Traditional Tournament at the TCMS Gym. Seven Bulldogs made it to the finals and four were area champs- Tyler Hadden and Kalin Willhite became three-time area champions, Hakeem Mobley won his second straight area title and Matthew Powell, thanks to a quick pin, won his first area championship. Mark Terrell, J.D. Rogers and Kenneth McClendon finished second, Holden Plante and Xavier Horne were third and freshmen Manny Hernandez, Cameron Conner and James Ethredge all qualifed for sectionals by finishing fourth. Watch Highlights Video  Watch Plante and Horne win their third place matches Video   

TCHS storms back to win Bulldog Sweet Onion


TCHS wins it's first big tourney of 2011  


Kalin Willhite is an Outstanding Wrestler  

The Toombs County High School wrestling team overcame a 14 point deficit, after the first day of the Bulldog Sweet Onion Tournament, and they overtook West Laurens to win the title in the 18 team event in Lyons. The Bulldogs accomplished this by placing six wrestlers in the finals and two in the consolation finals. Tyler Hadden (103 pounds), Mark Terrell (125 pounds) and Kalin Willhite (160 pounds) all finished first. Hakeem Mobley (140 pounds), J.D. Rogers (171 pounds) and Kenneth McClendon (285 pounds) all placed second. Michael Drake (152 pounds) finished third and Holden Plante (112 pounds) was fourth. Watch Highlights Video  Watch some highlights from the first day Video

The Matdogs win the Region 2 Duals

The Toombs County wrestling team traveled to McIntosh County on Saturday, January 8, to wrestle in the Region 2AA Dual wrestling tournament. The Matdogs came away with their second Dual Championship in the last three years. The Matdogs came in as the number one seed and drew host McIntosh County in the second round after receiving a bye in round one.

The Dogs set the tone for the day by blasting the host team 54-26. Winning with pins for the Matdogs were Holden Plante, Tyler Hadden, Manny Hernandez, Hakeem Mobley, Garrett Gray, Matthew Powell, Kalin Willhite, JD Rogers, and Kenneth McClendon. Coach Kevin Hill had this to say about the first win, "It was not a great draw having to wrestle McIntosh early. We felt like they could be the second best team in the area. But our guys came out focused and wrestled great. We won nine matches with pins and that put a lot of bonus points on the board."

Pierce County came out of the other side of the bracket by upsetting Appling County. The Matdogs again dominated the match winning the 2AA Championship by a score of 52-18. Winners for the Matdogs were Hadden, Plante, Hernandez, Terrell, Mobley, Gray, Powell, Willhite, Hester, and McClendon. Coach Hill had this to say about the tournament, "I am extremely proud of our team. We really worked hard over the holidays. Our wrestlers had the opportunity to wrestle twenty-four matches over the break and it really paid off. Anytime you get a region championship it really feels good, but to win when you start six freshmen really makes this one special. This is the first time all year we had everyone in the line-up at the right weights and it really looked good. We have a great mix of older guys who set the tone and the younger guys have really grown up. We tell them they aren't freshmen after Christmas."

This story was submitted by Rhonda Benton. Thank you.

Floridians take 1st annual Bulldog Duals

James Ethredge (red) is all tangled up with a Telfair Trojan 

The team that traveled the furthest won the first annual Bulldog Duals at the TCMS gym. Lakewood High School, from Bradenton, Florida, went 9-1 with 56 pins and edged out Dublin for the top spot. South Effingham was third, Blessed Trinity fourth, Chesterfield, South Carolina fifth and the Toombs County Bulldogs were sixth with a 6-4 record. Watch some second day Bulldog action  Video  

TCHS holiday sports

Hakeem Mobley grabs a leg & pins an East Laurens Falcon  

Mark Terrell also pins a Falcon in a quick match 

The Bulldog Duals wrapped up it's first day at the TCMS Gym and the host team went 2-3. The Bulldogs defeated East Laurens and Jeff Davis and they lost to Blessed Trinity, Lakewood, Florida and Dublin. Holden Plante and Hakeem Mobley were each 5-0 with four pins and Kalin Willhite and Tyler Hadden 5-0 with  three pins. Kenneth McClendon was 3-2 with two pins and J.D. Rogers 3-2 with one pin. Watch Highlights Video     

'Tis the season for wrestling 

Hakeem Mobley graps a leg in a 6-3 win 

TCMS wrestler forces the peace sign  

The Toombs County wrestling teams opened up their home schedule versus Coffee County and Dublin. The Bulldogs improved their record to 9-2 in dual matches by beating Coffee 58-14 and Dublin 39-36. Watch highlights of TCHS wrestlers- Michael Drake, Kalin Willhite, J.D. Rogers, Kenneth McClendon, Holden Plante and Tyler Hadden and watch TCMS wrestler Jamar Smith Video

2009-10 Season

Area Champs- Hadden, Vasquez

Mobley and Willhite


Hakeem Mobley 140 pounds 


 Kalin Willhite 160 pounds

The Toombs County Bulldogs produced four area champs and finished third at the area traditional tournament at the TCMS Gym. Tyler Hadden, Johnathan Vasquez, Hakeem Mobley and Kalin Willhite all won individual titles. Mark Terrell and Mathew Powell were second and Dylan Rollins and Kenneth McClendon third. Watch McClendon, a first year wrestler, throw his opponent down and turn him with a power-half Video   

Mobley wins Bulldog Sweet Onion title

Hakeem Mobley slips out of this hold and wins 12-9  

Tombs County's Hakeem Mobley wrestled aggressively and effectively and defeated his opponent from Commerce 12-9 to win his weight class at the second annual Bulldog Sweet Onion Invitational at the Toombs County Middle School Gym. Tyler Hadden and Johnathan Vasquez finished second, Kalin Wilhite and Mark Terrell were third and Matthew Powell and Dylan Rollins were fourth. Watch Highlights Final Day  First Day 

Big wrestling weekend

Kalin Willhite works his East Laurens opponent in Area 3 Duals 

Toombs County battle- Griffin Gillis vs. Tyrease Kent (top) 

The Toombs County Middle School gym is the site of two big wrestling tournaments this weekend. On Friday The Toombs County Bulldogs played host to the Area 3 Duals. Toombs lost to East Laurens and beat Vidalia and finished third. Dublin knocked off East Laurens in the championship match and both of those teams will move on to the State Duals in Macon. Watch highlights of the Bulldogs versus East Laurens Video

On Saturday the fifth leg of the Tour of Georgia made a stop at TCMS. Wrestlers from around the state were competing. The little guys wrestled in the morning and the middle school boys hit the mat in the afternoon. J.D. Rogers won two gold medals and remained undefeated with just one leg of the Tour of Georgia remaining. Check out all of the results  Watch Highlights Video  

2008-09 Season

Two champs & 3rd place

Benton wins 4th title, Hawkins takes 2nd

In what was an historic night for Toombs County High School wrestling, the Bulldogs produced two state champs and a school best third place finish in Double A. Bryan Benton made history by winning his fourth state title. Benton opened up a 7-1 lead over Cam Thurmond of Jefferson and he won the match 11-3, just one week after losing to Thurmond 4-2 in the East Sectional finals. Watch highlights Video   

Demery Hawkins, who made the finals four straight years, won his second state title by wrestling a smooth, efficient match and he defeated Jefferson's Patrick Allen 12-4. Watch highlights Video  

Scottie Roach, who wrestled for the championship of the 171 pound weight class, executed an early take down and opened up a 2-0 lead. However, Zac Crosby of Jefferson won the match. Watch highlights Video  

Tyler Hadden finished third in the 102 pound weight class and Kalin Willhite (145 pounds) and Neal Rodgers (285 pounds) each finished fifth. GHSA State Tourney Slide Show


Bryan Benton wins his fourth  


Demery Hawkins back on top 

3rd Place Dawgs- (L to R) Kevin Hill, Scottie Roach, Jonathan Vasquez, Davey Parker, Demery Hawkins, Neal Rodgers, Tyler Hadden (on Neal's shoulders), Bryan Benton, Kalin Willhite, Bill Benton and Travis Ellington 

Friday report

Bryan Benton, Scottie Roach and Demery Hawkins will all three wrestle on Saturday night for individual state titles at the Gwinnett Center near Atlanta. Benton (135 pounds), who is trying to win his fourth state title, beat Austin Brooks of North Oconee 13-4 in a majority decision. Benton will meet Cam Thurmond of Jefferson for the title. Demery Hawkins (215 pounds) will go for his second state title after his 9-3 win over Banks County's Matthew Patton. Demery will wrestle Patrick Allen of Jefferson for the title. Scottie Roach at 171 pounds will be trying to win his first state title when he wrestles Jefferson's Zac Crosby. Scottie was a 3-1 winner in the semifinals over Jordan's Chris Caldwell. The finals begin on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Three Bulldogs were defeated in the semifinals and will try to make it back through the consolations to wrestle for third place. At 103 pounds Tyler Hadden lost to Lovett's Rich Neihas 7-3. Freshman Kalin Wilhite (145 pounds) dropped a 7-2 decision to Lovett's Daniel Domanico and Neal Rodgers (286 pounds) lost to Cotton Reig of Riverside Military. Davey Parker lost in the second round of the consolation bracket. Jonathan Vasquez lost in the third round of the consolations 9-4 to Dustin Townsend of Sonoraville.

The Bulldogs are in third place in Double A with 96.5 points. Jefferson is first with 188.5 points, Lovett is second with 126 and Henry County is 5.5 points behind the Bulldogs in fourth place.

Earlier on Friday  

For the first time in school history six Toombs County High School wrestlers have earned a birth in the semifinal round of the GHSA State Tournament. Bryan Benton, Kalin Willhite, Tyler Hadden, Scottie Roach, Demery Hawkins and Neal Rodgers all won in the quarterfinals. Jonathan Vasquez lost in the quarterfinals and Davey Parker, who lost in the round of 16, won his first match in the wrestle backs. Y-101 Story    

Eight Bulldogs are going to state

Eight Toombs County Bulldogs qualified for state at the East Sectional Tournament at Jefferson. Demery Hawkins (215 pounds) was the Bulldogs' only sectional champ. Tyler Hadden and Neal Rodgers finished second. Bryan Benton, who finished third, lost in the semifinals 4-2. Also qualifying for state were Jonathan Vazquez (3rd), Scottie Roach (3rd), Kalin Willhite (4th) and Davey Parker (6th). Coach Kevin Hill talks about the weekend Audio  Y-101 Story

Bulldogs are Area Champs again


Bryan Benton wins 135 pound Area 3 Title  


Kalin Willhite pins opponent 

The Toombs County Bulldogs added a traditional Area 3 championship to an Area Dual title that they won earlier in the season. The Bulldogs had six individual area champions- Tyler Hadden, Davey Parker, Bryan Benton, Kalin Willhite, Demery Hawkins and Neal Rodgers. Jonathan Vazquez, Triderek Hunt and Scottie Roach finished second and Hakeem Mobley was third. In all 12 Bulldogs will move on to sectionals. Watch highlights Video   

Bryan breaks Bradley's record

and wins another Sweet Onion Title

The Bentons have set the wrestling standard at Toombs County High School. First it was Bradley who won 202 matches for the Bulldogs and won state titles. On Saturday, in the semifinals of the 140 pound division of the Sweet Onion Bulldog Invitational, Bryan beat Luis Verduzco 8-3 to win his 203rd match and break his brother's school record. Later in the day Bryan wrapped up another Sweet Onion title with a 3-2 overtime victory over South Effingham's Robbie Collum. Benton, a three-time state champ has won 95.3% of his matches and has 204 and 10 record with 126 pins. Bill Benton talks about both of his son's accomplishments Audio

The Bulldogs finished third in the event behind first place Commerce and second place West Laurens. Toombs County's Jonathan Vazquez won the 125 pound division with a pin and Scottie Roach took the 171 pound weight class with a 5-3 win over West Lauren's Johnny Smith. Neal Rodgers lost in the 285 pound finals and Demery Hawkins defaulted in the 215 pound weight class due to an injury. Tyler Hadden (103 pounds) and Davey Parker (112 pounds) both finished third.       

Bulldogs eek out Shamrock Shuffle title

The Bulldogs take home fourth 1st place trophy  


Jonathan Vazquez  


 Demery Hawkins


 Bryan Benton

One single point separated Toombs County from West Laurens at the Shamrock Shuffle Wrestling Tournament in Dublin. The Bulldogs outscored the Raiders 195-194 to win their fourth tourney of the season. The Bulldogs had three individual champions- Johnathan Vazquez, Bryan Benton and Demery Hawkins. Four Bulldogs finished second- Tyler Hadden, Triderek Hunt, Davey Parker and Scottie Roach. Lonzo Skinner and Kalin Willhite both finished third. Y-101 Story   

Bulldogs win Area Duals, down Irish 47-21

 Lonzo Skinner


 Bryan Benton


 Dalton Parker


 Kalin Willhite


 Scottie Roach


 Neal Rodgers


 Johnathan Vazquez


 Hakeem Mobley

The Toombs County High School wrestling team beat Dublin 47-21 to take the Area Dual title on Friday at the TCMS Gym. Y-101 Story Watch highlights of all the winning Bulldogs Part 1  Part 2

Hakeem Mobley, who Bryan Benton called Toombs County's most outstanding wrestler against Dublin, celebrates the Bulldogs' second Area Dual championship in the last three years.    

Bulldogs finish sixth in Valdosta, Benton wins at 140 lbs.

The Toombs County High School wrestling team finished sixth, out of 23 teams, at the Valdosta Wildcat Tourney. The Double A Bulldogs, who finished eighth at this tourney last year, were once again the highest placing small school in an event dominated by large schools. Oviedo High School out of Orlando, Florida was the winner. Oviedo is a state champion quality program that has produced several national level wrestlers. The Lions had a four year run as state champions stopped by a third place last season and the team was 16-1 entering the Valdosta Tourney. Valdosta (5A), Tift County (5A), Heritage (4A) and Lowndes County (5A) all finished above Toombs County.

Senior Bryan Benton was Toombs County's only individual winner. The three-time state champion won the 140 pound division. Last year Benton won the 135 pound weight class at Valdosta. Y-101 Story   

Bulldogs wrestlers finish 2nd

The Toombs County wrestling team finished second at the Eastern Band Cherokee Invitational Duals in Cherokee, North Carolina. The Bulldogs, who went 5-0 in pool play on day one, were 2-2 in crossover action and they lost to two big schools from Georgia- Northwest Whitfield and Berkmar. Bryan went 9-0 and was named the most outstanding wrestler and Kalin Wilhite was also 9-0. Audio  

Bulldog wrestlers 1st at Viking Invitational 

Demery Hawkins wins 


Bryan Benton pins 

The Toombs County High School wrestling team, which won its first event at West Laurens last weekend, finished first at the Viking Invitational in Soperton. On Friday the Bulldogs won nine of their 13 matches in the first round, 11 of 13 in the second and 12 of 13 in the third round. Eight Bulldogs made it to the finals on Saturday and three were individual champions- Triderek Hunt, Bryan Benton and Demery Hawkins. Second place finishers were- Tyler Hadden, Johnathan Vazquez, Kalin Willhite, Scottie Roach and Neal Rodgers. Y-101 Story  Watch highlights of Benton and Hawkins championship matches Video  Watch two exciting matches decided at the end featuring Kalin Wilhite and Scottie Roach and then watch Matthew Powell win his third pace match Video

Bulldogs wrestlers win WL Raider Invitational

        Team Results
Toombs          274.5 points
Dublin                  268 points
East Jackson    267.5 points
West Laurens      223 points
Chattooga        164.5 points

          1st Place
Scottie Roach      171 lbs
Demery Hawkins  215 lbs

       2nd Place
Tyler Hadden       103 lbs
Bryan Benton       145 lbs

             3rd Place
Jonathan Vazquez    125 lbs
Kalin Willhite             152 lbs
Neal Rodgers           275 lbs
              4th Place
Triderek Hunt       119 lbs
Dalton Parker       140 lbs

The Toombs County Bulldog wrestling team finished first in their first event of the season. The Bulldogs, who placed third at last years Raider Invitational at West Laurens, won this years event by 6 1/2 points over arch-wrestling rival Dublin. Listen to Scottie Roach and Demery Hawkins talk about their individual wins at West Laurens Y-101 Story Tyler Hadden, Neal Rodgers, Kalin Willhite and Triderek Hunt talk about their high finishes Y-101 Story      

College wrestlers teach tactics to local youth

Four instructors with college wrestling experience are working with local wrestlers at a camp at Toombs County Middle School. Witt Durden (pictured left), a Dublin native who wrestled at the University of Oklahoma and finished third at the NCAA Tournament, is working with the DiCarlo brothers and Bradley Benton, from Anderson University, to teach tactics to little kids in the morning and high school wrestlers in the afternoon. Y-101 Story  Watch action from the camp and an interview with Durden  Video  

Benton wins his third state title

Benton controls title match

Bryan (red) on the podium

Wrestling video from the State Tourney

135 pound state championship match- Bryan Benton versus Wes Rampley Video

215 pound state championship match- Demery Hawkins versus Kelby Smith Video 

 Benton's first round match versus Lafayette's Seth Taylor, Bryan wins 11-4  Video      

Toombs County High School junior wrestler Bryan Benton beat Wes Rampley of Armuchee 22-7 to win his third straight state championship. Benton, competing in the 135 pound division, finished the season with a 65-0 record and is 166-9 for his career. Demery Hawkins also wrestled for a state championship, but he lost to Wesleyan's Kelby Smith 9-7 in the title match. Hawkins, who won a state championship last season at 189 pounds, went 56-1 this season wrestling mostly in the 215 pound division. Triderek Hunt (112 pounds) lost to Ricky Chanel of Rockmart in the fifth place match. The Bulldogs finished in seventh place out of the 56 Double A teams participating. Y-101 Story

Seven Bulldog wrestlers qualify for state

Demery Hawkins pins a Tiger

Bulldogs with their 2nd place trophy 

The Toombs County Bulldogs will send seven wrestlers to state next weekend after a second place finish in the Area 2AA Tournament at the Toombs County Middle School gym. The Bulldogs had two individual champions and both remained undefeated for the season. Bryan Benton took the 135 pound weight class and Demery Hawkins ruled at 215 pounds. Both won with quick first round pins. Tyler Hadden, Case Schofill, Triderek Hunt and Cedric Hilton each finished second and Jonathan Vasquez was third. Watch action of Benton, Hilton and Hawkins wrestling in the finals Video  Watch video of Benton and Hadden wrestling in the second round Video     

Bulldogs 4th at Sweet Onion

The Toombs County Bulldogs finished fourth at the Sweet Onion Invitational at Vidalia High. Bryan Benton won at 135 pounds and was voted the Most Outstanding Wrestler. Watch Demery Hawkins (pictured right) win at 215 pounds. Video

Bulldogs bring home Three Rivers trophy

The Toombs County wrestling team traveled down to Baxley and beat Appling County 51-27 and Vidalia 51-18 to bring home the Three Rivers trophy. In the Appling victory TCHS won seven straight matches, including six by a pin. Y-101 Story  

 Bulldog wrestlers beat Treutlen and Fitzgerald

Triderek Hunt 

Bryan Benton 

Jonathan Vasquez 

Case Schofill 

The Toombs County Bulldog wrestling team played host to Treutlen and Fitzgerald and beat both schools. Watch highlights of five matches  Video  

Bulldog wrestlers finish first in Dublin

The Toombs County wrestling team finished first in a one day tournament in Dublin. Bryan Benton went 3-0, on two pins and a technical decision, and was named the most outstanding wrestler. Demery Hawkins was 3-0 on three pins. Benton and Hawkins remain undefeated. Coach Kevin Hill talks to Y-101 about the results Audio  

Bryan Benton beats LaFayette wrestler

Bulldogs split at State Dual  

The Toombs County wrestling team lost its opening round match in the State Dual Meet in Macon 51-27 to LaFayette, the number one ranked Double A team. The Bulldogs will wrestle Cook County on Saturday. Coach Kevin Hill talks about day one of the tourney Audio  On Saturday the Bulldogs beat Cook County 37-31, however, the threat of bad weather ended the event early and the Bulldogs did not get to wrestle for third place. Coach Hill talks about Day 2 Audio  

Bulldogs qualify for state by finishing second in area duals 

Bryan Benton 

 Demery Hawkins

 Vince Jones

 Case Schofill

The Toombs County wrestling team is going back to the state dual tournament after finishing second in the area duals held in the Toombs County Middle School gym. The Bulldogs beat Pierce County, Washington-Wilkes and Appling County easily and then they wrestled Dublin for the area title. The Irish pulled out a 36-30 decision over the Bulldogs, avenging a loss to TCHS in last season's area championship match. Watch highlights of the title match Video 1 Video 2

TCHS vs. Pierce County Video   

 Bulldog wrestlers exceed goal by finishing 8th in Valdosta

Demery Hawkins (left) and Bryan Benton (above) are winners

The Toombs County wrestling team had a goal of a top 10 finish at the Wildcat Invitational in Valdosta. The Bulldogs exceeded that goal with an eighth place finish and they were the highest placing small school in the 23 team event. Seven Bulldogs scored points as TCHS won 19 of 29 matches. Bryan Benton won the 135 pound division with a 6-4 win over Stewert Drew of Coffee and Demery Hawkins pinned all four of his opponents in taking the 215 pound weight class. Benton is 38-0 and Hawkins 34-0. Coach Kevin Hill discusses the event. Audio  

 Bulldog wrestlers finish 4th in North Carolina

Bulldogs finish 4th

Demery Hawkins is the MVP

The Toombs County wrestling team finished fourth out of 14 teams at a dual event in Cherokee, North Carolina. The Bulldogs won seven or their 10 matches and Demery Hawkins and Bryan Benton each went 10-0. Hawkins was named the tournament's MVP. 

 The Bulldog wrestlers went 4-1 in Friday’s action.  The Dogs defeated Hayesville, NC (AA) 43-36 in the first round of the tournament.  Toombs County faced Pisgah, NC (AAA) in the second round and won 39-33.  Round three pitted the Dogs against NW Whitfield #2, GA (AAAA) and the Dogs cruised to a 50-12 victory.  Toombs County defeated North Henderson, NC (AAA) 45-33 in round four.  NW Whitfield #1 gave the Dogs their first loss of the tournament in round five 53-19.

Toombs County went 3-2 on Saturday to capture fourth place.  Toombs County got the day off to a good start by defeating Swain, NC (AA) 60-18.  The Toombs wrestlers wrestled their best dual of the tournament in Round two on Saturday and defeated Dobyns-Bennett, TN (AAA) 42-33.  The Toombs wrestlers secured a trip to the medal round by defeating Cherokee, NC (AA) 48-34.  The Dogs lost to Enka, NC (AAA) 56-24 and Greenville, TN (AAA) 62-15 to take fourth place.

Leading wrestlers for the Bulldogs were:  Bryan Benton 10-0, Demery Hawkins 10-0, Triderek Hunt 8-2, George Dykes 8-2, Cedric Hilton 6-4, Stacy Cheshire 5-3, Jonathan Vazquez 5-5, Lawrence Bagley 5-5, Hakeem Mobley 4-6, Tyler Hadden 4-6, Josh Allen and Vince Jones also had wins for Toombs County.  Coach Kevin Hill talks about the event  Audio

 Bulldog wrestlers split against tough competition

The Toombs County wrestling team split a pair of home matches against two tough opponents. The Bulldogs beat Cook County 39-34 and lost to West Laurens, the defending Triple A state champion, 42-36. The Bulldogs, who were missing four starters, got key victories against Cook County from Bryan Benton (6-4 victory over Jernardo Harris) and Lawrence Bagley, Stacy Chesire, Triderek Hunt, and Demery Hawkins, who all won by a pin. Against West Laurens Hunt, Benton, Hawkins, Cedric Hilton, Tyler Hadden and Vince Jones all won with pins. Watch the Bulldogs wrestle West Laurens Video  Y-101 Audio Story  Coach Kevin Hill talks about the split Audio          

 Bulldogs win Viking Invitational

The Toombs County high School wrestling team finished first in the Viking Invitational in Soperton and three Bulldogs were individual winners. Bryan Benton, Demery Hawkins and Lawrence Bagley each won their division. Y-101 Audio Story

 Toombs County wrestlers sweep first home event

The Toombs County High School and Middle School each beat Swainsboro and Vidalia in the first home action of the season. The Bulldogs beat Swainsboro 51-30 and then edged rival Vidalia 39-33. The Bulldogs trailed the Indians by six points going to the 215 pound class. Demery Hawkins pinned his opponent to tie the match and then first year senior wrestler Vince Jones won it with a first round pin in the heavyweight division. The Bullpups won easily in their two matches and you can watch some of the action from the Swainsboro matchup on Toombs Now.  Video

 TCHS finishes 3rd as Benton and Hawkins win easily

The Toombs County High School wrestling team placed third at the Raider Invitational behind 5A South Cobb and the host school, 3A West Laurens. Bryan Benton dropped down a weight class and won the 140 pound division by pinning five of his seven opponents. Demery Hawkins claimed the 215 pound division with seven pins. Hawkins was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler in the higher weight classes. Cedric Hilton finished second at 189 pounds and Tyler Hadden and Case Schofill placed third.  Y-101 Audio Story  

 TCHS wrestlers open up their season

Toombs County High School opened its wrestling season by finishing fourth in a tournament in Swainsboro. The Bulldogs, who were missing defending state champ Demery Hawkins, were the highest finishing Double A school in the 14 team event. Bryan Benton and Case Schofill each won their weight divisions. Y-101 Audio Story   

Toombs County split a pair of matches in Dublin. The Bulldogs beat Dublin 54-29 and they lost to Effingham County 38-36. Coach Kevin Hill talks about the start of the season. Audio  

 Wrestling season is here

The Toombs County High School wrestling team, coming off a fourth place finish in the state in both the duals and traditional, returns two state champs from last season. Bryan Benton, a two time state champion, and Demery Hawkins, the state champ at 189 pounds, are back along with several other Bulldog wrestlers who did well at state last season. Watch the Bulldogs practice. Video  TCHS wrestlers talk Audio

2007 TCHS Wrestling Photo Gallery

Eastern Band Cherokee Invitational


Bulldogs finish 4th out of 14 teams


Demery Hawkins is the MVP

Viking Invitational


Swainsboro Tournament


Jonathan Vasquez, Case Schofill, Bryan Benton and Cedric Hilton


Left to right: Lawrence Bagley, Davey Parker, Trey Wingate, Gabriel Winston, Kalin Wilhite


Bryan Benton


Case Schofill