Wrestling AAAA-AAAAAA championship preview

Photo by Sonny Kennedy

The traditional wrestling championships have been postponed until Feb. 21-22 due to the weather conditions in the metro Atlanta area. The sites have still yet to be determined, but they will likely be held at six separate locations.

The meets feature some of the same powerhouse teams and individuals as last month’s duals. However, this weekend’s events will be scored differently as the emphasis is more on the individual than the team. Each weight class will feature both individual and team champions.



Archer won its first state championship last year and has shown no signs of slowing down. The Tigers tore through meets this season on an even faster pace than last year. Coach Tom Beuglas’ team qualified wrestlers for the sectionals in each classification and had 11 area champions. And this came in Region 8, one of the most competitive regions in the state.

The Tigers’ prowess has not gone unnoticed. They’ve been No. 1 in the Score Atlanta/AJC rankings all season and are ranked in the top 10 nationally by several wrestling publications.

Archer proved their dominance in the Class AAAAAA dual wrestling championships in January by beating every opponent by at least 27 points. The Tigers beat Camden County in the final 42-15. Eight of Archer’s wrestlers are the top seed in their respective weight classes.

Archer is the prohibitive favorite in Class AAAAAA, but Collins Hill, Camden County and Chattahoochee could make a run at the Tigers. Camden County, the runner-up at the state duals meet last month, qualified 13 grapplers for the state meet, one less than the maximum possible. No. 3 Collins Hill will have seven wrestlers competing this weekend, led by top seeds Ryan Millhof, Michael Roquet, Codi Russell and Sean Russell. The Cougars are ranked No. 4 in the state and have qualified eight wrestlers.

If you’re looking for a possible darkhorse to emerge, check out North Forsyth, which has nine wrestlers competing, or North Gwinnett, which is yet another Gwinnett program that has a lot of talent and potential.

Collins Hill is traditionally the powerhouse from Gwinnett, but has been overshadowed by Archer’s recent emergence. The Eagles won five straight state titles before Archer’s win last year. Collins Hill claims seven state championships. McEachern claims more state titles than any other Class AAAAAA program with 10. Parkview won state gold in 2004 and 2006.



Pope has won traditional state championships the last three years, two in Class AAAA and one in Class AAAAA. The Greyhounds also took the duals state title in January, but suffered injuries late in the season. Cambridge, in its second year as a program, defeated the Greyhounds in the area meet to take over at No. 1. Pope and Cambridge each qualified nine wrestlers for the state traditional meet. Pope’s Jake Adcock and Jake Henson are the Greyhounds’ top two seeds while Cambridge has three: Brandon Filosi, Devin Kane and J.R. Salemi.

No. 2 Woodland-Bartow, the 2011 Class AAAA state champion, will wrestle 10 grapplers this weekend, giving them a numbers edge over Cambridge and Pope. Woodland boasts three top seeds in Jake Huffine (120), Isaiah Ross (195) and Logan Sims (113). The Wildcats lost narrowly to Pope in the state duals finals. No. 4 Allatoona has eight wrestlers competing and No. 5 Creekview has 10 grapplers. Creekview took fourth in the state duals.

South Georgia’s Ware County brings nine wrestlers and Area 8 champion Clarke Central has eight. Southwest DeKalb, the Area 6 champ, comes into Gwinnett with five wrestlers, including Abdur-Rahman Yasin, who is the top seed in the 152-pound class. Seth Osborne leads Area 4 champion Ola into the state meet as the top seed in the 106-pound class. Ola has six total wrestlers in the state meet.


Class AAAA

Gilmer is the headliner in this classification. The Bobcats have won five state traditional championships since 2005. But Cass gave Gilmer a battle in the dual state championship, losing by one point to the Bobcats, 31-30. Gilmer will wrestle 12 grapplers this weekend, led by 152-pounder [1] Johnie Flakes, who brings with him an impressive 32-1 record. Ten of Gilmer’s 12 qualifiers are seeded in the top four.

Cass has also qualified 12 grapplers. Colonels heavyweight Tyjuan Jett has a 37-4 record and is the top-seeded heavyweight in the state meet. Blake Walker is also seeded No. 1 and carries a 37-2 record into the state meet in the 126-pound class.

A third Class AAAA team, Alexander, also will wrestle 12 athletes this weekend. Roman Boylen has dominated the competition in the 138-pound class this season on his way to a 54-1 record and the top seed in the state traditional meet. Alexander is ranked No. 4 in the state and could figure into the mix for the traditional state championship.

Lithonia has burst onto the scene this year with a bevy of impressive meet wins. The Bulldogs captured the DeKalb Championships, the Last Man Standing meet and the Area 6 championship. Coach Patrick Ryan’s squad comes into the state traditional meet ranked No. 3. The Bulldogs took fifth place at the state duals meet, but brings 11 wrestlers into this weekend’s meet, including Chris Nelson, who has tallied a 48-3 record this year and was sectionals champion.

Eastside, the 2009 champ, brings two top seeds out of their four qualifiers. Levi Leach (120 pounds) and Mitchell Troutman (182) enter as Sectional champs.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply