Wrestling: Archer takes Sham Slam, Pope wins Cobb

Photo by Sonny Kennedy

Archer won the Sham Slam, one of the biggest meets of the wrestling season, Saturday at Habersham Central. The meet featured all six duals state champions and nearly all of the top programs in the state.

The Tigers, the Class AAAAAA duals champions, had four overall champions and five runners-up out of 12 total grapplers. Archer’s total of 307 points dwarfed second-place Jefferson’s 197 points. Commerce came in third overall, Collins Hill came in fourth and Gilmer took fifth. Class AAA duals champion Buford came in seventh just behind Chattahoochee. Collins Hill had three individual champs and Buford had two, the only programs other than Archer to boast more than one weight class champion.

One of the surprises of the meet was Cambridge’s Kryshna Tanksley, who was runner up in the heavyweight division. Tanksley was a last-minute replacement for Cambridge and was seeded seventh, but made it all the way to the finals before losing to Archer’s M.J. Couzan.

Pope won its seventh straight Cobb County championship by beating 18 other county teams including private schools North Cobb Christian and Whitefield Academy. Jake Henson was the hero for Pope by clinching the match with a 4-0 win over Allatoona’s Will Kemp in the 160-pound weight class. Henson also became Pope’s first four-time county champion.

Marietta came in third place with three county champions. Kennesaw Mountain’s Justan Rivera won his third straight county title in the 182-pound weight class and Pope’s Dave Burson became a three-time county champion in the 170-pound class.

At the Prep Slam at Holy Innocents’, Greater Atlanta Christian finished the highest (sixth) of any Georgia school in attendance. Seventeen in-state schools wrestled, all of them private schools mostly located metro Atlanta, while a total of 35 schools competed. Marist came in 10th and Lovett finished 12th and was followed by Woodward Academy, Darlington and Holy Innocents’.

At 195 pounds, Rod Davis of Holy Innocents’ won the weight class while Marist’s Kenneth Brinson won at 220 pounds. Those were the two lone champions from Georgia schools.

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