Dodge Wrestlers Place at Big Kids State | Community Spirit
Mannella is 4X State Champ; Wrestlers Place
The 2013 Georgia Big Kids State Wrestling tournament was recently held at Park View High School in Liliburn, GA. Several Dodge County wrestlers took to the mats to battle in 24-man brackets against the best of the best in the state. At 74 lbs in the 12U class, Vincent Mannella easily worked his way through the bracket scoring two wins by tech-fall (more than 10 points) and one by pin to earn his fourth trip to the state finals.
Taking on a previous state champion in the final bout, Mannella knew a fourth state title would not come easy. After four minutes of serious wrestling, Mannella earned a tight 3-2 victory and his fourth state wrestling championship in as many years; a feat accomplished by only a very few wrestlers in the United States. Christian Grauberger, a two-time state placer, was battling in the 80 lbs, 12U class against a loaded bracket of seasoned wrestlers.
Winning his opening bout by a score of 2-0, it would be an up-hill battle to make it to the finals. In the semi-final round, Grauberger would face a huge task in taking on a past Triple Crown Winner and state champion who beat him earlier this season.
From the first whistle, Grauberger was determined to avenge his loss and continued to pressure his opponent. When the dust settled, Grauberger had built a commanding lead of 9-0 and earned his first trip the state wrestling finals. In the final bout, he would take on another difficult challenge in defeating a past four-time state champion.
Grauberger lost a very close match 4-0 to win the silver medal. In the 75 lbs, 14U bracket, Crosse Bearden made easy work of his opponents in the preliminary rounds and would face off against a past state champion and Triple Crown Winner as well in the semi-finals.
Scoreless into the third period, Bearden was turning heads all over the gym as he gave as much as he got in a gut wrenching battle between two amazing wrestlers. In the third period, with the score even at 0-0, the official awarded Bearden’s opponent a stalling call and one point.
With seconds ticking away on the clock Bearden was forced to let his opponent up, which cost him another point, making the score 2-0. Before Bearden could score a takedown, time expired and Bearden’s dreams of getting to the finals was over.
He would go on to win his next match as well as win the consolation finals match to bring home a third place medal.
Jared Cannon, wrestling in his first state tournament, won two matches and lost two and fell just shy of the medal rounds. Camron McCloud, after missing most of the middle school season due to an injury battled through missing the medal stand by one match and recording two wins and two losses.
This Saturday, six more Dodge County Jr. Grapplers will compete in the Georgia Little Kids State tournament in Pickens, GA.