ONE FEATHER STAFF REPORT
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Six Cherokee Braves placed at the 7th Annual King of the Mountain Wrestling Tournament hosted at Towns County High School in Hiawassee, Ga. on Dec. 3-4. Will Bird took 1st place in the 189lb. weight division and John Roper took 2nd place in the 171lb. division. Other Braves placing included: Colby Yanez, 3rd place, 145lb.; Tavi Rivera 3rd place, 160lb.; Michael Montelongo, 4th place, 275lb.; and Levi Swearengin, 4th place 119lb.
Bird won his division with wins over Sean Callihan (Fannin County), Manolo Hernandez (Lumpkin County), Sawyer Dillard (Hiwassee Dam), and Lee Sisson (Washington Wilkes).
Roper won three matches to get to the finals including: a decision win over Will Lawson (Washington Wilkes), a fall win over Miguel Pena (Riverside Military Acad.), and a decision win over Evan Kells (Dawson County). He lost in the finals in a decision to Shane Doster of North Hall.
On his way to a Bronze Medal, Yanez went 4-1 on the tournament. He defeated Andrew Lovinggood (Dawson County) twice – once with a fall and once with a decision. Ivan Morris (North Hall) was disqualified in their match, and Yanez won a decision in the consolation finals over Aaron Salazar (Lumpkin County). Yanez’s lone loss in the tournament came on a fall to John Riddle (Pickens County).
Rivera also brought home a Bronze Medal and went 4-1 on the tournament. He had falls over Lincolne Blede (Fannin County), Lucas Hayes (Hiwassee Dam), and Keaton Toal (Dawson County). Rivera got a fall on Tyler Hoffman (Towns County) in the consulation finals, and his only loss in the tournament came in the semifinals on a fall to Cody Wilson (North Hall).
After starting out with a loss by fall to Michael Flanagan (Lumpkin County), Montelongo got it going and took a 4th place medal after going 4-2 on the tournament. He won his second match by forfeit over Josh Hale (Stephens County) and then won his next two by falls over William Pavin-Asher (Riverside Military Academy) and Adam Hataway (Fannin County). He won his next match by forfeit over Tray Hampton (Pickens County) and then lost by a fall in the consolation finals to Sam Wahnetah, an EBCI tribal member from Andrews High School.
Swearengin also took a 4th place medal by going 4-2 in the tournament. He started with a decision win over Clay Williamson (North Hall) followed by a loss by fall to James Evans (Dawson County). He then won his next three by a fall over Ryan Dockery (Murphy), a fall over Vonya Baldwin (Towns County), and by forfeit over Christopher Harvey (Riverside Military Acad.). Swearengin again met Williamson in the consoluation finals. This time though, Williamson edged Swearengin by an 8-6 decision in overtime.
Results from other Braves wrestlers are as follows:
- Justin Parris, 130lb. – fall (loss) to Daniel Riggs (Hiwassee Dam), major decision (win) over Hunter Pilling (Stephens County), fall (loss) to Damarcus Grant (Washington Wilkes)
- Thomas Lossiah, 135lb. – fall (win) over Tyler Jones (Franklin), fall (loss) to David Wood (Dawson County), fall (loss) to Nathan Weaver (Pickens County)
- Wesley Long, 140lb. – fall (loss) to Josh Berry (Lumpkin County), win by forfeit over Fletcher Klossing (Pickens County), fall (loss) to Cody Newman (Hayesville)
- Jessica McCoy, 152lb. – fall (loss) to Colten Ledford (Franklin), fall (loss) to Mitch Franklin (Stephens County)