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Posted: December 10, 2013 9:49 p.m.

Redskins, Eagles rumble at Panther

The Social Circle High School wrestling team took first place at the Panther Invitational over the weekend.

The two-day event, hosted by Jackson County High School, included 25 teams and is one of the largest and most prestigious wrestling tournaments in the state.

Social Circle took first place overall, while Commerce and Jefferson finished finished second and third at the event, respectively.

Other teams at the event included Elbert County, Effingham County, Flowery Branch, Kennesaw Mountain, North Hall, Clarke Central, Athens Christian, Oconee County, Peachtree Ridge, East Hall, Eastside, Chestatee, Jackson County, North Gwinnett, Westside of Augusta, Troup, Heritage, Gainesville, Johns Creek, East Jackson, Hart County and Winder-Barrow.

The Redskins took 12 wrestlers to the tournament, missing their 106 and 220 weight classes. Social Circle had three wrestlers place second, including sophomores Reid Harris (126) and David Engstrom (145), as well as senior Eric Wilson (285).

Freshman Stevie Howard (120), senior Ryan Davis (132), freshman Cade Lackey (138) and senior Jeremy Tyson (170) all finished in third place for the Redskins.

Junior Aaron Forrester (152) placed fourth in his weight class, while sophomore Trey Paschal (113), senior Justin Givens (160) and junior Jimmy Haynes (195) all took sixth.

Coach Randy Prater was extremely happy with his team’s performance over the weekend and said that he was looking forward to seeing how his grapplers would handle a tournament of the Panther's size and stature.

“Going into the tournament with 25 teams and the quality of the teams at this event, I was hoping to finish in the top three, but I never thought that we would win," Prater said. "This is huge for our program.”

The Redskins led the tournament after the first day, with all 12 Social Circle wrestlers winning their first-round bouts with 11 of the 12 wins by pin fall.

In the semifinal round, six of the Redskins' grapplers lost, with the other six making their way through. In the consolation round, all six Social Circle wrestlers reached the consolation quarterfinals, where five won. Social Circle did not have any first-place finishers, while Commerce and Jefferson both had four first-place finishers apiece.

“We won the tournament in the wrestle backs, with only three in the finals, it was the other nine that won in the consolation rounds that put us out of reach of everyone else,” Prater said.

Social Circle returns to action Dec. 13 at the Morgan County Christmas Classic.

Eastside place two
The Eagles placed a pair of wrestlers at the Panther Invitational.

Senior Mitchell Troutman and sophomore Levi Leach finished second in their respective weight classes at the event.

Rams win
The Newton Rams traveled to North Oconee High School to take part in the North Oconee Team Duals, finishing first overall at the event. Newton placed first out of 10 total teams.

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