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WRESTLING: Six area grapplers win individual state titles

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MACON — The Gordon Lee Trojans carried the mantle for the northwest Georgia area during the State Traditional tournament at the Macon Centreplex this weekend.

Gordon Lee put seven in the finals, won three individual titles, and amassed 187 points to win the Class 1A team championship. Holy Innocents’ (171) finished second, followed by Commerce (104), Athens Christian (84) and George Walton Academy (75) in the top five. Darlington (63.5) was eighth and Trion (30) finished 13th overall.

Jonathan Ragsdale (113), Alex Spires (138), and Will Jacks (145) all won titles for the Trojans. Ragsdale dominated Holy Innocents’ John Hiles, 25-10, to win his second state title in as many tries. Spires became a three-time champion with a 12-8 comeback win over Treutlen’s Tyler Heath, and Jacks won his first state title with an 11-4 victory over Holy Innocents’ Liam Quigley.

Stihl Lance (106), Blake Clayton (120), Shane Farmer (182), and Corey Jewell (195) were all runners-up for Gordon Lee. Dylan Skipper (132) finished in third place. Mika Clark (126) took fourth, while Sydney Rhinehart (152), Clayton Reeves (170), and Dallas Goodlet (220) all stood sixth on the podium.

Darlington’s Jule Peek claimed the 126-pound title with a 5-1 win over Commerce’s Michael Patton, and teammate Hayden Cook took the 170-pound title with 13-5 win over Commerce’s Trent Reddish. Jordan Beck (152) rallied to finish third.

Chandler Lathem was third for Trion at 160 pounds. Dustin Thrasher (138) took fifth and Henri Ambrocio (106) was sixth.

Class AA

For the third straight year, Chattooga High School claimed an individual state championship.

This year it was J.J. Blankenship, completing a 53-0 senior season with a 6-4 overtime win over Corey Morgan of Bremen in the 126-pound finals.

Blankenship, who was second in state at 120 pounds a year ago, gave up a takedown with two seconds left in the third period, which tied the score, 4-4. But he would waste little time in the extra session, scoring a takedown 12 seconds into overtime to pull out the win.

Hayden Burdick also reached the podium, placing sixth for the Indians at 132 pounds.

Blankenship follows in the footsteps of Brandon Siffles, who won the 140-pound title for the Indians in 2011 and the 152-pound title in his senior season last year.

Chattooga finished 12th in the team standings with 27 points. Armuchee was one spot behind with 25 points. Braylen Scoggins (113) placed third, while Thad Moore (152) was fifth.

Calhoun’s Donnell Anthony came up short in his quest for a second state title as he finished fourth at 160 pounds. The Jackets were 25th overall with 10 points, while a sixth-place finish at 145 pounds by Tyler Chastain gave Coosa fourth points and tied them for 29th place.

Jefferson won its 13th state traditional title in a row, and its 17th overall, collecting 192 points to 133.5 for runner-up Bremen. Toombs County (69), Social Circle (68), and Greater Atlanta Christian (64) rounded out the top five.

Jefferson has also won 12 consecutive State Duals titles, winning every year since the GHSA began holding the tournaments in 2002.

Class AAA

The Rockmart and Sonoraville finished in a tie for sixth place in Class 3A with 50 points each.

Rockmart’s Dennis Wolfe was runner-up at 138 pounds, losing 17-3 to Oconee County’s Jake Hodges, who finished the season unbeaten at 66-0.

Marlon Morales (160) was fourth, while Jason Wolfe (120) and Nick Forsyth (126) each placed fifth.

For Sonoraville, Cody Kuhn made it to the finals at 152 pounds, but was pinned by Demarko Dixon of Appling County in 4:26.

Kyle Chastain (113) was fourth and Matt Charles (132) placed fifth for the Firebirds.

Adairsville tied for 15th place with 26 points and had three medalists. Hayden Randolph (126) was third, Chance Bishop (132) was fourth, and Charlie Silvers (220) was sixth.

Ringgold had two wrestlers on the podium. Sam Shepard was runner-up to McNair’s Khalil Williams at 120 pounds. Williams became McNair’s first-ever state wrestling champion as he won by pin in 2:40. Jesse Wade took fifth at 285 pounds to help the Tigers finish 17th with 25.5 points.

Nate Long was the lone medalist for LFO as he took third at 195 points. Long earned the Warriors’ 14 points, tying them for 22nd place overall.

Woodward Academy won the team title with 138 points, followed in the top five by Oconee County (101), Banks County (88), Buford (84.5), and Morgan County (76.5). It was the fourth traditional state title for Woodward, who won championships in 1969, 1971, and 1972.

Class AAAA

The Heritage Generals put two wrestlers in the finals, but both had to settle for silver.

Isaiah Knight (113) was pinned in 1:23 by Greg Hilliard of Lumpkin County, while Michael Moore (182) lost a 6-0 decision to Carrollton’s Travis Joyce.

Tyler Hill (120) took fifth place for the Generals, while Jacob Stephens (138) finished sixth.

LaFayette got third-place finishes from Sam Lemons (132) and Britton Gilbert (138), while Caleb Mariakis (113) took fifth.

Jordan Watkins of Cedartown saw his bid for a second straight state title thwarted by Kenneth Brinson of Marist, who won a 6-2 decision in the 195-pound finals. Fellow Bulldog Jonas Ritter (160) placed fourth.

Heritage finished sixth in the team standings with 62.5 points. LaFayette was eighth with 57 points, and Cedartown tied for 13th place with 37 points.

Gilmer won their fourth traditional title and their first since 2011. The Bobcats had two champions and nine total medalists as they wound up with 182.5 points. Carrollton (161) and Alexander (146.5) both had three individual champions. West Laurens (111.5) and Marist (75) filled out the top five.


Rome finished in 27th place with 25.5 points on the strength of a fourth-place finish by Elijah Kerr-Brown at 160 pounds, and a sixth-place showing by Triston Payne at 132 pounds.

Pope three-peated as traditional champions by collecting 215.5 points. The Greyhounds had five champions and 10 total medalists as they lapped the field. Ware County (99) was a distant second, followed by Ola (80), Creekview (75), and Whitewater (69).


As expected, Archer High School won its first state traditional championship by dominating the state’s highest classification. The Tigers finished with four champions, 12 medalists, and 250 points, more than double the point total of Collins Hill (118.5), who edged Camden County (117.5) for second place. Roswell (59) nipped North Gwinnett (58) for fourth.