MOAB grapplers win gold at NAGA state championships
by Chris Goltermann
By CHRIS GOLTERMANN
Athletes representing MOAB Fighting Concepts in Newnan had a steady hold of more than their opponents at last weekend’s North American Grappling Association Georgia Championships at Drew High School in Riverdale.
Most also left with at least one gold medal in their hands.
Six grapplers from MOAB finished first in respective divisions in “gi,” “no-gi” and kids divisions. A “gi,” also known as a kimono is in reference to the attire worn in martial arts or judo competitions.
Athletes were split between Beginner, Novice, Intermediate and Expert divisions in Fly, Bantam, Feather, Light, Light-Heavy, Cruiser and Heavyweight categories.
“[They] trained hard for this competition and the results really showed,” said MOAB owner and head coach Tim Stout of the group. Stout was joined by assistant Doug Usher in training the team for the event.
Gold medalists included Garrett Klinger, a standout wrestler at East Coweta who has also earned a large amount of success in MMA competition. Klinger captured first place and a championship belt in the Teen GI Expert Light Heavyweight 13-14 division with a top score of 120 points, in addition to posting the same total while winning the Teen No-Gi Expert Light Heavyweight 15-year-old category.
Devyn Villafane, who competed in Newnan High’s wrestling program last season, also won gold in addition to a championship belt in both Gi and No-Gi Expert Divisions while competing in the Cruiser 15-16 division while scoring 120 points in both efforts.
Others earning multiple golds among kids divisions included Jake McCullough while competing in the Kids Beginner 140-155 pound class among 13 year-olds in both gi and no-gi categories.
Vance Windin also won gold in the Teen GI Intermediate Light Heavyweight 14-15 division.
Among women’s divisions, Angel Rutherford won the No-Gi Expert Light Heavyweight category with 120 points while also earning a championship belt.
Competing in the directors division, John Higgins finished first in the Beginner Middleweight class and second in the Intermediate class.