Hopefuls hit the mats at GHSA Team Duals Wrestling Championships Friday, Saturday

It’s been six years since Stateboro’s Kasey Baynon became the first girl to place in the GHSA traditional wrestling state championship in 2018 and that milestone helped pave the way for another with the introduction of last year’s girls bracket to the GHSA Team Duals State Championships.

“I looked up to one of the girls that trained me in my first year wrestling. She was really the reason I got here and I got good. I trained with Emily Pinson for an entire season and it really helped during freestyle and it carried over into this and I looked up to her,” Baynon said six years ago, before uttering a statement which would become prophetic.

“I imagine girls look up to me too,” she said. “And if they keep pushing, they’ll have a girls division next year.”

In the inaugural girls team duals bracket last year, Carrollton won the championship, finishing ahead of Jordan, Greenbrier and Gilmer. This year, the double-elimination bracket is expanded from eight to 16 teams, matching the size of each of the boys brackets.

This year, the girls Team Duals championship will take place January 26-27 at the University of West Georgia, one week after the boys championships on January 19-20 at one of seven locations – Buford (7A), North Forsyth (6A), Jefferson (5A), Chestatee (4A), Lumpkin County (3A), Jeff Davis (2A) and Heard County (1A).

On the boy’s side, Camden County has won 19 overall wrestling state championships when counting traditional and team duals titles. On both sides of the high school wrestling world, the Wildcats have won a state championship every season since 2015 with another team duals title in 2012, the program’s first.

Entering championships, Camden is riding a streak of nine-consecutive team duals titles which began with back-to-back Class 5A championships in 2015-16 when that classification was the state’s second—highest class. The Wildcats reclassified to Class 7A in 2017 and won the next seven championships to continue the historic streak of greatness.

In the Class 6A bracket, South Effingham captured the program’s first wrestling championship last season and enters the tournament looking to defend against a field with championship prowess. Pope (4 titles), Alexander (1 title) and Woodward (2 titles) have won previous titles while Rockdale County, Newnan, Dunwoody, Allatoona, Thomas County Central, North Forsyth, Creekview, Johns Creek, Jackson County, Tift County, Marist and Glynn Academy are trying for program firsts.


Jefferson’s undisputed reign on the team duals championships ran from its victory in the inaugural event in 2002 to 2020 when it didn’t win the title for the first time. The Dragons won again in 2021 in Class 4A and captured the 5A championship last season.

All told, the Dragons have 44 traditional and team duals wrestling titles. Challenging the sitting champions are former champions Cass (2 titles) and Woodland-Cartersville (5 titles). Chattahoochee, Jones County, Tucker, Coffee, Chapel Hill, Harris County, Ola, Eastside, Arabia Mountain, Cambridge, Villa Rica, Greenbrier and McIntosh are each searching for the program’s first team duals championship.

Central-Carroll won the program’s first state championship in Class 4A last season and enters a bracket filled with talent as it looks to defend against former champions Whitewater (1 title), Lovett (3 titles), West Laurens (3 titles), Holy Innocents’ (1 title) and North Hall (2 titles). Trying for first-time team duals titles are Southwest DeKalb, Chestatee, Bainbridge, Benedictine, Northwest Whitfield, Luella, Wayne County, Troup County, Perry and Cairo.

Defending champion Columbus won the program’s second team duals title and first since 2006 and will face a stout Class 3A bracket including former champions Gilmer (9 titles), LaFayette (3 titles) and Bremen (4 titles). Hart County, Harlem, Calvary Day, Upson-Lee, Franklin County, Adairsville, Long County, Coahulla Creek, Morgan County, Pike County, Dougherty and Lumpkin County are each trying for first team duals titles.

In Class 2A, Rockmart won the program’s second-overall team duals title after winning the Class 3A championship in 2022. Challenging the two-time, back-to-back champions is former champion Banks County (1 title). Towers, Southwest, Putnam, Vidalia, Cook, Fellowship Christian, Toombs County, North Murray, Glenn Hills, Jordan, Landmark Christian, North Cobb Christian, Berrien and Union County enter the bracket, each trying for the program’s first championship.

Mount Pisgah won the program’s first team duals title in 2021 and captured the second last season. The team will try to defend against former champions Oglethorpe County (1 title), Dublin (1 title), Trion (2 titles), Commerce (6 titles) and Social Circle (5 titles). Trying for program-firsts are Charlton, McIntosh County Academy, Temple, Lamar County, St. Francis, Bryan County, Heard County, Dade County, Irwin County and East Laurens.


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