NEW WAVERLY — When the Bulldogs pack up to head to the Region III wrestling tournament, they’ll be needing a bus for their gear and wrestlers.

Those are the spoils for the New Waverly boys and girls wrestlers after a successful day at the District 11-5A wrestling tournament, which was held at New Waverly High School on Wednesday.

In total, 12 Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs, plus two alternates, will be headed to Bryan next week for the regional tournament with opportunities to advance to the state tourney.

Also advancing in the junior varsity tournament will be Marcus Mills and Jacob Abraham.

“It was really exciting,” said senior Hugh Offutt, who won the boys 195-pound district title. “It was really fun, just being able to do this. This is our third year. A lot of these schools have been wrestling a lot longer than us, so for us to do this good is really great.”

Four Bulldogs won district varsity championships. Two Dogs finished second and two of the New Waverly girls also were runners-up.

The New Waverly boys finished the tournament with 151 points, second to only Kingwood Park.

“All in all, everybody on the team had some of their best matches today,” New Waverly head coach Dean Schaub said. “Last year, we took three to regionals and this year, we’re taking 14 (varsity wrestlers). I’m very pleased. It’s a very good feeling.”

Also winning titles for New Waverly were Michael Robertson in the 106-pound weight division, Langston Mayrant in the 170 class and Ja’Lyn Jenkins in the 285-pound division.

The championship was the culmination for years worth of hard work for Offutt, a senior, who has been with the Bulldogs’ wrestling program since its inception in the fall of 2014.

In his title bout, Offutt trailed Humble’s Cedric Williams 11-8 after the first round. However, the New Waverly senior was able to turn the tables and pin his opponent 49 seconds into the second round.

“While the match is going on, half the time I can’t really hear what everyone says. I’m just doing what I can,” Offutt said. “That was probably the best match I’ve ever wrestled. Even when I was down, I didn’t really care. I was going to win. That’s all that mattered.”

Bulldogs Joseph Boettcher and Dyson Schaub were also wrestling for district titles, but came up short.

Alex Dublin also finished third in the 220 division and Tyler Summers took fourth in the 113 class to clinch spots in the regional tournament.

Jakob Ballard took fifth in the 160 division and will be an alternate at the region tourney.

“We’re going to go in (to the regional tournament) strong. I think we’re ready,” New Waverly’s coach said. “We’ve prepared. We’ve given them all the ammo they need. A lot of them fired a lot of shots today and they’ll have plenty more in Bryan.”

Though they had just four competing, the Lady Dogs put on a strong performance. Bailee Chambers and Rachel Drake wrestled in championship bouts for their respective 95 and 102 divisions and each finished second.

Drake and Kingwood Park’s Lex Harris wrestled into the final minute of the third round before Drake was pinned with 41 seconds remaining.

“I knew it was going to be a tough match going in,” Drake said of her title bout. “I was not upset with the loss because I have improved since the last time. I wrestled my hardest.”

Julie Griebel and Sadie Maddin took third in the 110 and 115 division, respectively.

Kiley Lane was fifth in the 185 class and will be an alternate.

“I’m very pleased with our girls,” Dean Schaub said. “Other than Rachel or Bailee, all of our girls are first-year wrestlers. Sadie moved up a weight class and is very strong. Rachel is one of our starting basketball players, so we get her (for wrestling) one day a week and she did pretty good for it being just her second year.

“Julie’s a freshman, so she’s real young. Kylie wrestled her best match today. I was pleased with the girls.”

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Gene Schallenberg is the Sports Editor for The Huntsville Item.

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