The Beacon Middle School wrestling team is locked and loaded for a strong season. All 16 weight classes are filled, with plenty left over to wrestle exhibition. The high school program is beginning to reap the benefits of thriving teams at Beacon and Mariner.
This February, Cape will host the state wrestling championships for the third straight year. The New Little Big House is the perfect venue for competitors and spectators, and it offers plenty of parking and an abundance of local restaurants.
Smyrna brought its 10-year win streak to Beacon Dec. 18 and its young wresters were locked in a battle - they are seldom challenged - leading 24-21 before putting the hammer down and winning 60-24.
“I love coming down to Beacon to wrestle because they have great athletes who are well coached and give us a run for our money,” said Smyrna coach Matt Bivens. “Our goal each season is to go undefeated and make sure every kid in the program develops into a better wrestler. We want all our kids to have opportunities.”
Beacon was trailing in the match 19-0 before Aarin Burton squeezed a pin for six points. Aarin is the son of former Cape linebacker Haywood Burton and is related to the Gibbs clan on his mother’s side. His uncles Joe and Tyrone were both state champions, Tyrone three times.
Chad Melson, 76 pounds, recorded a pin and his first varsity win, which included three matches over three weeks. He closed the gap to 19-12.
Beacon's Anthony Caruso pinned his man, closing the score to 19-18. Jacob Crenshaw and Tim Kelley earned decisions.