Graves High’s Speed wins Ft. Knox Wrestling Invitational
In a sport that rarely enjoys success in its infant years, the Graves County High School wrestling team is enjoying a rare opportunity of watching one of the state's top heavyweight wrestlers compete in Eagle blue in its first year.
Shane Speed came to GCHS this year with previous wrestling experience from Custer Park, IL. But with an injury-shortened season last year, and lingering injuries from Eagle football this year, few would have expected him to enjoy the success he has enjoyed to this point in the season.
At 244 pounds, he gives up as much as 40 pounds to some opponents in the heavyweight division of wrestling, but his quickness and agility had helped him earn a 19-0 record going into Saturday's Ft. Knox Invitational tournament.
Though not yet ranked in the state, Speed's success earned him the #1 seed in the tourney and a first round bye in the 12 man tourney. It took him only 28 seconds to pin his first opponent of the day, Magellan Malala, from J-Town. His semi-final match was a rematch against Christian County's James Day. After a near first round pin and amassing an early 5-0 lead, a mistake on a missed cradle of the Colonel heavyweight put Speed in a position of nearly being pinned, and gave Day opportunities to earn 4 points. Speed rebounding in the last period and held on for the 8-4 win to put him in the finals.
Central Hardin's Matt Daugherty, the tourney's #3 seed, who brought a 31-8 record into the tourney, earned his way to the finals with wins over Fairdale's Nate Peyton and Christian County's David Dawson.
Speed earned a quick 2 points in the first period, but gave up a point in the 2nd period, when Daugherty was able to earn an escape with 20 seconds remaining in the period. Speed was never able to work out of the down position in which he began the 3rd period and spent the entire period on the mat under the bigger Daugherty. But, Speed was able to grind out the 2 minutes and keep his opponent from pinning or scoring on him, and held on for the 2-1 win and the tournament heavyweight championship and extended his winning streak to 22.
Speed is not expected to have an opportunity to wrestle again until the Region 1 tourney, when the Eagles battle against the 12 other schools in wrestling's first region. That tournament will be hosted at Caldwell County on Saturday, February 11.
Graves County High School wrestler Shane Speed is shown accepting his medal and the winning tournament bracket for winning the heavyweight division of the Ft. Knox Invitational on Saturday, January 28. He is shown with the runner-up, Matt Daugherty of Central Hardin.