BY RAY VAN COR
The Greenville Standard
The Inaugural Wiregrass Open held this past Saturday got off to a great start and a rather large crowd adorned the bleachers at Enterprise High School gymnasium. Martial Art competitors in every style were in attendance from Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. The inaugural event seemed to flow without any major hiccups, competitors and fans were genuinely pleased at how the event was handled.
Local competitors from the Black Dragon Martial Arts School in Evergreen had an incredible outing, bringing home metals in every event they competed. The first time tournament goers Gabriella Copeland, Kaden Burg, Kiersten Copeland and Stephen Potts were exceptional. Gabriella and Kiersten had to compete against the guys in Point Fighting and still managed fourth place in the 15-16 year old division and Third place in the 13-14 year old Division while Burg took the Silver in the event.
Potts brought home the Silver in Weapons kata with the Creek Indian Knife fighting Kata. One of the judges was overheard to say, “It definitely slices and dices.” Potts and the Black Dragon group of Jacob Hardee, Carson House and Burg won the Gold in the Self-Defense category as the Creek Knife Kata was shown for practical application. Jacob Hardee Won the Gold for 16-17 Kata division and took the Silver for Point fighting. Hardee competed for the Championship for the money but came in second in Judging.
Event Director Lennis Darby said, “I was truly surprised at the turnout. When we scheduled the Wiregrass Open I didn’t realize there were two other major competitive events in New Orleans and Georgia that were scheduled for the same day. We’re truly thankful for the way our event turned out.”