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    Bulldog wrestlers place high at ‘King of the Mats’ Open Tournament

    Bulldog wrestlers place high at ‘King of the Mats’ Open Tournament

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Christopher Blakeslee | Jackson Van Epps, a Fort Stewart Bulldog wrestler prepares to take down his opponent,...... read more read more

    FORT STEWART, Ga.- The Fort Stewart Bulldog Wrestling Team stormed the mats once again in an attempt to establish their dominance as the premier wrestling team in the area at Richmond Hill’s high school during the King of the Hill Open Wrestling Tournament, Feb. 1, 2013.

    Medals and individual glory were on the minds of the grapplers, with ages ranging from 4-12. The teams, represented from around the Coastal Empire, included wrestlers from South Effingham, Bulloch, Citadel, Camden, Effingham, Savannah Christian, Glynn Coastal, Richmond Hill and - of course - Fort Stewart.

    “We have a good team this year, a novice team, but one built on a solid foundation,” said Lt. Col. Geoffrey Van Epps, an assistant coach with the Fort Stewart Bulldogs and the commanding officer of 1-3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. “We’re a young team with a lot of heart, guts and determination. But there’s a lot of competition here today, so we shall see how it goes.”

    From the very first whistle being blown, the Bulldog's position of dominance was a long drawn-out battle, one met with fierce resistance from all the competitors.

    “I won my first match,” said Bulldog wrestler Gabriel Gonzalez , the son of Sgt. Joshua Gonzalez, a soldier assigned to 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1ABCT. “The competition is really tough today. None of the other kids want to lose. We're going to fight from the minute the whistle blows until the end.”

    While every child who competed showed the utmost level of respect and class for their opponents during their matches, the real winners of this tournament were the parents, coaches and fans. It was the audience who was treated to a rare, yet spectacular, display of athleticism, courage and determination by all the grapplers involved.

    Notable Bulldog placers include:
    6U Group 1: 2nd Malachi Blakeslee
    6U Group 4: 4th Joedan Wilson
    5th Brayden Slabinski
    8U Group 5: 2nd Anthony Blakeslee
    8U Group 6: 3rd Michael Gold
    8U Group 8: 3rd Gabriel Gonzalez
    8u Group 9: 4th Jose Rodriguez
    10U Group 11: 3rd J’calab Wilson
    10U Group 12: 4th Ryan Van Epps
    10U Group 13: 3rd Jackson Van Epps
    12U Group 16: 2rd Josh Rodriguez
    12-14U Group 19: 2nd Travelle Blakeslee
    12-14U Group 20: 3rd Travon Blakeslee



    Date Taken: 02.01.2014
    Date Posted: 02.12.2014 09:51
    Story ID: 120503
    Location: FORT STEWART, GA, US 

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