Former Tara wrestler Charles Bowah was an example for all
February 28th, 2018| Written by: Editor | Photos courtesy of Cody Hesser, the Advocate, Mark Harter and the Editor



The Louisiana wrestling community has lost yet another valuable member.

Charles Bowah, 20, a 2016 graduate of Tara High School, was found shot to death Monday morning.  Police have arrested a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old and have charged them with first degree murder.

Charles Bowah at his graduation from Tara High School in 2016 and in his post-high school National Guard uniform

In his senior year of 2016, Bowah wrestled on the first Tara team to participate in the state championships since 2013.  Compiling a record of 15-10, Bowah pinned his first two opponent in the Division II 170 lbs. state championships before falling to a defending Division II state champion.  In the consolation rounds, Bowah registered another pin and placed fourth for the Trojans.  Bowah was also a member of the Tara Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps.  Of his 10 losses in the 2015-16 season, four of them came from defending or soon-to-be state champions in both Division I and Division II.  Two of those wins were over sophomore Dane Harter of St. Michael, who won the Louisiana Classic, the Ken Cole and the Louisiana Division II state championship in 2018.  Suffice to say he was a very good wrestler, which is often the case when trained by legendary coach Phil Bode.

“Charles…was an all-around good guy,” said Bode.  “He had volunteered to work with younger wrestlers and rarely even raised his voice [when training them].   In all the time I knew him, Charles was kind, thoughtful and generous when it came to helping other people.  May he forever rest in peace.”

After graduating from Tara, Bowah enlisted in the Army National Guard and was based in Baton Rouge.  He served with the National Guard during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and was training to be a medical assistant.

A candlelight vigil was held in Bowah honor at 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening at the Allstar Wrestling Club.

Below: Photographs from the 2016 LHSAA State Wrestling Championships in Bossier City, Louisiana

2016 State Championships

2016 State Championships

Bowah was killed one day after his 20th birthday.

The Tara graduate is not alone among Baton Rouge wrestlers who have been taken in their prime.

Garrett Hunter Minard, 21, died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident on March 9th, 2015.  Garrett wrestled for Live Oak from 2007 - 2011, compiling a career record of 119 wins vs. 70 losses.  Garrett placed fourth in Division II at 119 lbs. in 2009, 6th in Division I at 130 lbs. in 2010 and 4th in Division I at 130 lbs. in 2011. 

On October 2nd, 2013, in the beginning of the 2013-14 season, the Eagles lost eighth-grader Phillip Bilski, 14, to another accident.  The team dedicated the 2013-14 season to Phillip and placed second in the Division II state championships.

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