Tucker takes 189-pound title

By Anthony Rhoads

Forest Park's Chris Tucker entered the South Metro Invitational Tournament undefeated and he kept his unbeaten streak alive by winning the championship in the 189-pound division.

After winning the South Metro, he is now 11-0 on the season.

"It was what I thought it would be," Forest Park head coach Jim Elliott said. "I felt like if he did what he needed to do, he would win it."

Last year, Tucker finished second at the South Metro.

Vannara Pom also placed for Forest Park as he finished sixth at 171.

Forest Park finished 20th in the team standings with 59.5 points.

Forest Park will wrestle in the Panther Invitational this weekend at Starr's Mill High School.

"It will be a tough tournament," Elliott said. "We want to wrestle tough competition so we can hopefully prepare for state later in the season."

Jonesboro had four wrestlers place at the South Metro including David Ramirez (sixth, 135), Daniel Cazenave (third, 160), Jamie Gose (fourth, 171) and Rocky Lee (sixth, 275). Lee didn't wrestler in the finals because of a sore shoulder and had to forfeit the match.

Union Grove won the tournament with 263 points, 17 ahead of Starr's Mill. Henry County came in third.

"I think it's something else," Union Grove head coach Joey DiNino said. "To win a tournament of this magnitude speaks volumes for this group of kids. I'm just extremely proud of how every individual performed. They work hard and that's what it takes. I told these guys it's a tournament to earn some bragging rights."

Union Grove placed nine wrestlers including Candler Woods winning at 152 pounds and Wil Carter winning at 171. It was Woods' second-straight South Metro individual championship.

"It is big," Woods said. "This year was a little tougher for me but I made a goal to win and I won."

Four Union Grove wrestlers placed second, including Justin McDonald (103), Blake Skelton (130), Rory Harris (145) and Corey Batchelor (215). It was Harris' first loss of the season.

Other Union Grove placers included Barry Otwell (third, 112), Marcus Smith (fifth, 140), Adam Cash (fourth, 189) and Doug Dixon (275).

"It's awesome for us to win as a team," Woods said. "It feels really good to win."