Lakeland sending four to states

Published 10:10 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Lakeland High School will send four wrestlers to states following a solid performance last weekend.

The Cavs competed well in the 3A Region tournament last weekend and were able to get four wrestlers sent to the Class 3 state tournament. Dajuan Jacobs, Jordan Darden, Wilbert Doswell and Will Wescott have all advanced for Lakeland.

Jacobs finished second at 152, and Darden finished third at 195. Doswell and Wescott each finished fourth at 182 and 113, respectively.

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Sending four is the best Lakeland has done since Hoffman has been its coach.

“I am pleased with my kids’ performance, and I am happy with the results,” he said.

Competing in the Southeastern District, the Cavs don’t see any schools in their classification. They are constantly facing higher classifications. Hoffman believes that facing tougher teams in the district has helped prepare them for postseason time when Lakeland actually faces teams in its classification.

“Dealing with the SED, we saw some tough competition,” Hoffman said. “Our record wasn’t probably where it was supposed to be, but it pays off. We are seeing that tough competition and are being put in some positions where we have to fight until the end. Our kids are used to that, and that’s a big part of competing in the SED.”

To prepare for the state tournament, Hoffman has been going through live situations with his wrestlers. They are also continuing to build their conditioning and work their technique. Though the season may be over for some of his wrestlers, Hoffman encourages them to keep practicing, because he wants his state qualifiers to go against as many different styles as possible in practice. Those wrestlers can also get the benefit of seeing what it takes to prepare for the state tournament.

The Class 3 state meet will be held next week Feb. 16-17 at Churchland High School.