Cardinal Newman’s Talley Lattimore and James Williams, Heathwood Hall’s Preston Busbee and Hammond Bradford MacGillvary are the Midlands headliners at the SCISA state wrestling tournament, set to begin Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Heathwood Hall.
Lattimore and MacGillvary are both shooting for their fourth individual championships, while Busbee and Williams are gunning for their third state titles in the final outings of their careers. Busbee sports an 89-12 career record.
Lattimore is 23-2 at 135 pounds and 7-0 against SCISA competition this season. He was a champion at 103 in 2006, at 119 in 2007 and at 125 last season. MacGillvary, a junior, has three gold medals and silver on his resume. He started at a 112-pound champion as an eighth-grader in 2005, followed with a title at 119 in 200t and rebounded from a second-place finish at 130 in 2007 with a 135 title run last year. Busbee enters with a 34-1 record at 112. He claimed the 119 title last season after winning at 112 as a sophomore in 2007. He started his career with a consolation championship at 103 in 2006. Williams, 13-2, is looking for his third straight title. He ruled at 189 last season after picking up his first gold medal at 171 in 2007.
New crowned champion Cardinal Newman is looking for a big individual haul, as well. The cardinals enters the season finale with seven wrestlers that have undefeated records against SCISA opposition this season, and six men ranked No. 1 at their respective weight by scmat.com.
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“I am really happy with how hard the guys worked this season,” said CN coach Eric Goff. “We knew that we had a shot to win it all at the beginning of the year but I knew that we would have to show a lot of dedication throughout the season. Our guys were focused from start to finish and it showed up in every match we wrestled. We got some big wins against Airport, and Camden early in the season that really gave us some momentum going into SCISA competition. Our turnout for the team was tremendous and I am proud of each and every one of them. We have a lot of young talent that will hopefully get to make some noise next year.”
The Cardinals’ other top title contenders are Cole McCarter (26-1 at 103), Alex Geurin (24-4 at 130), Thomas Winstead (15-8 at 145), Joey DeAngelis (23-5 at 152), John Bolchoz (11-7 at 171), Jack Garrick (10-4 at 215) and Greg Regan (23-4 at 285).
McCarter was a third-place finisher at 103 as an eight-grader last season. Adam Touma, a three-time state place finisher who is entered at 160, but is still looking for his first championship. Touma was second at 140 in 2007, second at 130 in 2006 and third at 119 as an eight-grader in 2005. Bolchoz and Regan were state runner-ups at the same weights last season. Winstead was a consolation champ at 135 in 2007.
Geurin could have another interesting duel with Hammond’s Guy Castles in the 130 final. Castles, a state champion at 103 in 2007 and a second-place finisher at 112 last season, is ranked No. 1 by scmat.com. Geurin, a runner-up at 119 in 2008 and at 112 in 2007, is ranked No. 2. Geurin pinned Castles in last week’s SCISA championship match after nearly being pinned himself at one point.
Heathwood Hall has a chance for a nice bounty. Aside from Busbee, Charles Gray (119), Fripp Prioleau (125) and Jose Walker (145) are all ranked No. 1 by scmat.com.
MacGillvary, despite his impressive career resume, is ranked No. 2 at 140 behind Ahmad Dbouk of St. Joseph’s. Dbouk won back-to-back 130-pound titles in 2008 and 2007. Matthew Kay (112) and Reb Boyd (152) are Hammond’s other potential winners. Kay was the 103 winner a year ago, while Boyd was the consolation champ at 130 last season.