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Four West Brunswick wrestlers won championships Saturday, Dec. 7, in leading the Trojans to a first-place finish in the annual Caleb Hawkins Memorial Wrestling Tournament at West Brunswick High School.
North Brunswick had two champions and finished third in the seven-team tournament.
The Trojans’ winners were sophomore Jordan Hernandez at 106 pounds, junior Jyquan Green at 113 pounds, sophomore Michael Nelson at 145 pounds and junior Joe Gore at heavyweight.
North’s winners were freshman Patrick Burton at 138 pounds and Evin Bellamy at 182 pounds.
West coach Jimmy Caraway said Hernandez started slowly but eventually followed instructions during the matches.
“He started listening and started focusing on what he needed to do,” Caraway said. “I was proud of him for that.”
Green usually wrestles at 120 pounds but had to drop down a class to fill in for an absent teammate.
“He looked good in that finals match,” Caraway said. “He looked like the old Jyquan.”
Nelson was part of a three-way tie for firs at 145 pounds. He was awarded first on the basis of most points scored for his team (two pins and a decision).
“That was a tough weight class,” Caraway said.
Gore showed he may be force in future matches.
“He wrestled well,” Caraway said, noting that Gore was getting wrestling shape after playing football this fall.
West had five second-place finishers: Caleb Jasper at 113 pounds, Campbell Alspaugh at 132 pounds, David Frazier at 138 pounds, Sterlin Fullerton at 160 pounds and Nathan Gilbert at 220 pounds.
Finishing third were Chris Golden at 170 pounds, Michael Dobbins at 182 pounds and Dakota Smith at 195 pounds.
In the team event, West scored 197 points. The Trojans placed in the top three in 12 of the 14 weight classes. Conference foe Ashley High School was second (120) and Lumberton third (108). North was fourth at 103 points. Also scoring for North were freshman Tyrone Watson, second at 170 pounds, and Anthony Walker, third at 152 pounds.
Other teams were Purnell Swett, Clinton and St. Pauls.
Caraway and assistant Bob Bell began the tournament in 2009 in honor of Caleb Hawkins, a three-sport athlete at West who died in May 2009 of injuries suffered in a car wreck in which he was a passenger. Part of the proceeds from the tournament go toward the Caleb Hawkins Memorial Scholarship, awarded to a West Brunswick student-athlete on Senior Awards Day in May.
West had nine champions in the junior varsity tournament: Matthew Tippett at 106, Khalid Matthews at 120, Trevor Wilson at 126, Malik Gore at 132, Damarius Gore at 138-145, Aubrey Creighton at 172, Daniel McRainey at 195, McCall at 220 and Jordan Smith at heavyweight. For North, Joshua McCauley won at 160 pounds