GHSA Traditional State Wrestling Championships return to Gwinnett

The 2016 GHSA Traditional State Wrestling Championships return to the Infinite Energy Arena (formerly Arena at Gwinnett Center) Thursday-Saturday to crown this year’s team champions as well as 84 individual state champions across Georgia’s six classifications.

In Class AAAAAA, Gwinnett County’s Archer looks to complete the program’s fourth consecutive season sweep. The Tigers qualified 11 wrestlers for state and four of the five individual state champions from a year ago are back. Quinn Miller is set to defend his 220-pound title, while state champions Daniel Bullard (182), Thomas Bullard (170) and Chris Diaz (145) each moved up a weight class.

Camden County edged Woodland-Bartow 213.5-127.0 for last year’s Class AAAAA title, which was the school’s first traditional crown. The Wildcats qualified wrestlers in all 14 weight classes for the second straight year, and five second-place finishers from 2015 lead the field.

Like Archer, Class AAAA’s Gilmer completed its third-straight sweep of titles at last year’s traditional meet. Defending champions Lucas Patterson (132), Matthew Waddell (170) and Levi Seabolt (285) return as three of the Bobcats’ dozen state qualifiers.

Class AAA Jefferson aims for the program’s 16th consecutive traditional state championship and 20th all-time traditional title. Dawson Bates (113), Mitchell McGhee (120), Tanner Thurmond (132) and Caleb Little (182) return as reigning champs, while newcomers like freshman Ian Statia (106) headline Jefferson’s 13 wrestlers competing this weekend.

The 16-wrestler brackets of Class AAA-AAAAAA shrink to fields of eight wrestlers in Class A-AA, which will favor Social Circle in Class AA as the Redskins look to sweep titles for a second consecutive year with wrestlers occupying 12 of the 14 weight classes. Chase Lackey aims for the 170-pound title this year and reigning champs James Corasaniti (138), Reid Harris (145), Cameron Paschal (160) and David Endstrom (195) are all back to lead the Redskins.

Defending Class A champion Commerce dominated last year’s field with 283 points as a wrestler finished in the top four of every weight class and a school-record eight wrestlers were crowned individual champions. Commerce once again qualified wrestlers in all 14 weight classes and will have five of last year’s individual champions leading the way.


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