“It is the first time we actually placed in our tournament, so I am proud of that,” Lincoln head coach Brian Kelly said. I couldn’t be happier how they performed. A couple guys got their first medal.”
Weaver won the tournament with 238 points; Cleburne County finished second with 144 points; Lincoln finished third with 136 points, and Susan Moore finished fourth with 135 points.
Jamario Howard defeated Jacob Howard of Weaver 4-3 in the 145-pound weight class. The score was tied in the final seconds, but Jamario Howard was able to escape from a hold to earn the winning points.
“It was crazy,” Howard said after the match. “I looked at the coach and he told me that I had a short time left. I knew I had to make something happen. I don’t know how I did it. I escaped from his hold with 8 seconds left and he couldn’t take me down with the remaining 8 seconds, so I won it. I didn’t want to go into overtime. It is always good to beat your rival.”
This is the third time that they have faced each other in three days. Jamario Howard lost the first match on Thursday, but he was able to win on Friday and Saturday. Kelly believes that if both wrestlers stay in the same division they will face each other in Huntsville.
“He has wrestled him three times and has been fortunate to win two times,” Kelley said. “All three matches have been tough matches; none of them have been easy. They both fought hard; they both challenge each other. It wouldn’t surprise me, if they stay in the same weight class, if they meet up at the state finals.
Jamario Howard earned Most Valuable Wrestler for the tournament.
“When all the other coaches vote for you as Most Valuable Wrestler it really tells you what the other coaches think of Jamario,” Kelly said.
Lincoln’s Devonte Peeler defeated Alabama School for the Blind’s Benjamin Workman in the 160-pound weight class. This is Peeler’s first tournament win.
“This is my first time winning first place in a tournament,” Peeler said. “I tried to control the match and try not to get pinned. I tried to get a pin, but it didn’t work. It is very exciting to win first place at the Golden Bear Classic.”
Jonathan Higginbotham finished fourth in the 182-pound weight class. He had a 3-1 record on Saturday.
Micah Gaston finished second in the 285-pound weight class. He lost in the finals to Exavyer Jackson from Piedmont. Austin Blanton finished third in the 285-pound weight class.
Curtis Taylor finished third in the 170-pound weight class for ASB. Wesley Baker finished third in the 220-pound weight class for ASB.