The Buford wrestling team are the Southern Slam Invitational Champions. Special photo.

In the first travel event of the 2023-2024 season, the Buford Varsity Wrestling team comes away as the Southern Slam Invitational Champions. The event was held at Eastside High School in Taylors, SC on Dec. 1-2. 

Drew Gorman, the 138-pound weight class champion was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament. Special photo.

Buford finished first out of 43 teams with a score of 219.5, which was 14.5 points more than runner-up Baylor with 205 points. Rounding out the top five team finishers were Eastside (175), Mill Creek (160.5) and Mt. Pisgah (115.5).

The Wolves had three individual Champions ‐ sophomore DJ Clarke at 113, junior Drew Gorman at 138 and junior Albert Butler at 285. 

Clarke defeated Cooper Strickland (Belton-Honea Path) with a technical fall 18-2 to win the 113-pound weight class.

In the 138-pound weight class, Gorman beat Conner Beaudin (James F. Byrnes) with a technical fall 19-4.

Butler won the 285-pound weight class with a 3-1 decision over Garret Crowder (Dobyns Bennett)

Grayson Santee (second from the right) got his 100th career win during the tournament. Special photo.

Five more Wolves were place finishers. Senior Grayson Santee (165), junior Conor McCloskey (190) and senior Aaron Riner (215) were runners-up in their respective weight classes. Senior Gavin Pope (144) finished fourth and senior Hudson Danielson (150) came in sixth. 

During the event, Santee got his 100th career win. 

On Dec. 9, Buford will host the Aaron Kirkland Invitational at the Buford Arena. 

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