Wrestlers to converge on Tifton for BDI

The Tift County Blue Devil Wrestling team is holding their 23rd annual Blue Devil Invitational Saturday, December 6th at the Tift County High School Gymnasium. The Blue Devils will host 16 teams including region rivals such as Lowndes County, Valdosta and Lee County.  For the fifth year the Invitational will be held in honor of 2010 graduate Devon Smith.

Jake Pratt works to pin a Thomas County Central wrestler during the tri-meet held Tuesday. Tift won both, and looks to extend the streak Saturday at the 23rd Annual BDI. Photo: Erin Parker/SGSN

Jake Pratt works to pin a Thomas County Central wrestler during the tri-meet held Tuesday. Tift won both, and looks to extend the streak Saturday at the 23rd Annual BDI. Photo: Erin Parker/SGSN

This year will be the first time the Devils have held their tournament in December, due to losing a month out of the wrestling season. Blue Devils Coach, Shawn Watson, a 14 year veteran to the BDI, he has high hopes for his team this year. “I am hoping to stay in the hunt right along with teams like Lowndes, Valdosta and Lee.” Watson Said. He has a high expectation for his entire team, including wrestlers Rayder Schemmel, wrestling at 160, and Quen Cambell, wrestling at 132. Cambell is currently ranked seventh in the state for his weight class. Practice and hard work are important in his success but Cambell also looks to his teammates, like Schemmel and Jake Pratt for getting hyped before a big match. After a tough loss last year against Reggie Dennis from Valdosta, Cambell is hoping for a match up with him at the BDI along with a tough competitor, Hunter Kelly, from Berrien County.

The Devils have come a long way since the Swamp Duals in Ware County at the beginning of the 2014-2015 season and are continuing to work on improving and getting where they need to be in their weight percent plans. The Blue Devil Invitational is also looking for some improving and expanding within the next few years. Watson is hoping to add more teams from around Georgia and possibly teams from out of state. While adding teams would not only bring more practice and competition for the wrestlers it was also add possibility to expanding the BDI to a two day tournament starting on Friday and ending on Saturday.

The Blue Devil Invitational will begin at 9:00 AM Saturday and will last all day. While there will be plenty going on Saturday night for Tifton and the surrounding communities as they celebrate the holidays, Tiftonites will get a unique chance during the day to watch some of the best Greco-Roman wrestling in south Georgia during the BDI.

 

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