Jason Moore says he believes this is the year Butler will make its mark on the high school wrestling scene. Wednesday's match against Glenn Hills is a good indication of how far Moore's program has come in three years.
The Bulldogs flexed their muscles over the visiting Spartans, winning the two-way match 82-0.
"They're awesome," Glenn Hills coach Mark McCall said. "We're a relatively new program, and our wrestlers - with the exception of two - are inexperienced. But we're doing all right with some inexperienced wrestlers."
Moore can relate to McCall. When the sport first was introduced in Richmond County three years ago, Butler strived to attract wrestlers just to be competitive. The interest level has grown, and the Bulldogs wrestling team consists of more than 35 wrestlers.
"We've taken our lumps over the last few years, going out of town to wrestle in places like Atlanta and Dublin," Moore said. "We wrestled some of the top teams in the state."
In Wednesday's match, the only Bulldog who didn't pin his opponent was Brandon Johnson, who dueled with Glenn Hills' Steve Borawski for three rounds in the 103-pound class before winning 16-3.
Two of the more interesting victories for Butler were in the 160- and 171-pound classes. It seemed Cornelius Griffin (160) and Brian Kaufman (171) raced to see who could pin their opponent the fastest.
Griffin pinned Glenn Hills' Adam Gangl just 15 minutes into their match at the 1:45 mark of the first round. Meanwhile, Kaufman pinned Josh Simmons in the 171-pound class with 1:44 left in the first round.
Patrick Harper (135), Luis Vazquez (140), Kenny Myers (152), Jonna Lee (189) and Justin Crank (275) won their matches by forfeit.
Wednesday's victory improved the Bulldogs to 14-5 overall and kept them undefeated against other Augusta schools.
"Wrestling is picking up in Augusta," Moore said. "These guys need exposure. (Glenn Hills) is kind of where we were a few years ago. A lot of it is getting experience."
Reach Tim Morse at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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