The Valdosta Daily Times
For the second year in a row, Matthew Moody is a state champion.
Moody won his second straight state wrestling championship on Saturday at the Macon Coliseum. Moody, who wrestles for Lowndes, defeated Zach Wright from Archer 6-3 in the finals of the 152-pound Class 6A state tournament.
Moody, a junior, has not lost a match since his freshman year. He went 40-0 last season and 45-0 this season. His overall record in three years at Lowndes is 138-6.
Last year, Moody was the Class 5A state champion at 145 pounds. He is the only wrestler from Lowndes to win two state championships this century.
“He had a great tournament. He’s had a great year,” Lowndes head coach Spencer Graybeal said. “He’s just an all-around great kid. He wrestles real hard. He works hard every day in practice.”
Moody was one of three Vikings to place in the state tournament. Lowndes’ Austin Ogburn placed fifth in the 195-pound state tournament, while Davis Ison came in sixth at 132 pounds.
The three state placers helped Lowndes finish eighth at the state tournament, with 50.5 points.
“I’m extremely proud of them,” Graybeal said. “They fought hard. We had two guys place that hadn’t placed before. (Moody, Ogburn and Ison) are all coming back next year. We set some goals, and we got there, and I’m just as happy as I can be for them.”
Archer, which had four individual champions, was the Class 6A state team champions. Longtime wrestling power Collins Hill was second, with two state champs and 118.5 points, while Camden County placed third with 117.5 points.
Valdosta finished 15th in the 6A standings with 33 points, and had two state placers.
“I’m happy to come away with two state placers,” Valdosta head coach Benjy Scarbor said.
Clarence Williams of Valdosta finished second in the 145-pound weight class. Williams made it to the finals before losing to Thomas Bullard of Archer. Williams finished the season with a 59-6 record.
“Overall, I think he’ll be proud of his career at Valdosta. (He earned) three region titles and a state runner-up,” Scarbor said.
Valdosta’s Reginald Dennis finished fifth at 120 pounds. Dennis reached the semifinals of the tournament on Friday, before losing to eventual state champion Ryan Milhoff of Collins Hill, then moved into the consolation bracket, where he wound up fifth.
Scarbor said the Wildcats have improved tremendously since the beginning of the season.
Moody and Colquitt County’s Travis Register (who finished first at 220 pounds) were the two state champions from Region 1-6A.
Berrien’s Hunter Kelley also won a state championship on Saturday in Macon.
Hunter won the 120-pound Class AA state championship. He defeated Christopher Harvey of Riverside Military Academy 8-6 in the finals.
Kelley finished the 2012-13 season with a perfect 35-0 record.
Berrien finished 15th in the team standings at the AA state tournament. Cook was 27th.
Cook’s Raheem Coxfield finished fifth in the 170-pound weight class.