Athens, GA—The Marion Military Institute wrestlers competed in eight weight classes and forfeited matches in three others at the Classic City Open at the Ramsey Center on the University of Georgia campus and still put a chokehold on the 10-team field. The Tigers finished with 50 points to win the tournament. The University of Georgia placed second with 37 points, and the University of Tennessee scored 28 points to take third.
To say that the Coaches Hazewinkel (Jim and Dave) were surprised by the tournament's outcome would be an understatement.
"We thought we would be doing good if we took third or fourth, but our guys really came through," said head coach Jim Hazewinkel.
But the real surprise was the performance of Joe Adams in the 184-pound weight class. He outclassed and outmaneuvered wrestlers from Georgia Southern University, Georgia Tech University, and the University of Alabama. That was surprise enough, but the real surprise was in how Adams produced the wins—all were pins, two in the first period and one in the second.
"Joe Adams did a phenomenal job," Hazewinkel said, "and it was a pleasant surprise that he pinned all three guys. He did an outstanding job. I was amazed."
Although Adams might not be blessed with raw wrestling talent, he has been blessed with other gifts.
"He works hard in practice, and he never gives up," Hazewinkel said. "He's the Wrestler of the Week!"
In fact, seven of the eight MMI wrestlers that competed on Saturday placed in their respective weight classes. Besides the four champions already mentioned, the three other wrestlers who performed well included Nick Villamel (125 lbs.) and Clayton Strange (133 lbs.), both of whom placed third, and Cameron Patisaul (149 lbs.), who notched a fourth-place finish.
The MMI wrestlers will now head to Florida A & M University in Tallahassee to participate in the Seminole Rattler Tournament on Saturday, February 13.