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WRESTLING UPDATE, LINEBACKER REVIEW 

Today, we give you the wrestling rankings and take a look ahead to the traditional state championships. Also, Craig Sager II reviews the linebackers from the Elite Junior Classic.
 

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In This Issue
Trivia
Wrestling Results
Score Newspaper
Wrestling Notebook
Recruiting Recap
Score Poll
Top Stories
Trivia
Question: 
How many individual state wrestling champions did Pope have last season?
 
Today's answer can  
be found in the newsletter!
 
Wednesday's answer:
Cal King's 50 percent completion percentage on 5-for-10 passing was the highest in the Elite Junior Classic.

WRESTLING RANKINGS

  

Class AAAAAA

1. Archer

2. Camden County

3. Collins Hill

4. North Forsyth

5. Etowah

6. Chattahoochee

7. Roswell

8. Rockdale County

9. Grayson

10. North Gwinnett

 

Class AAAAA

1. Pope

2. Woodland-Cartersville

3. Allatoona

4. Creekview

5. Ware County

6. Whitewater

7. Ola

8. Effingham County

9. Clarke Central

10. Warner Robins

 

Class AAAA

1. Gilmer

2. Cass

3. Alexander

4. Lumpkin County

5. Lithonia

6. Chestatee

7. Glenn Hills

8. West Laurens

9. Marist

10. South Effingham

 

Class AAA

1. Buford

2. Banks County

3. Morgan County

4. Woodward Academy

5. Sonoraville

6. Blessed Trinity

7. Adairsville

8. Oconee County

9. Rockmart

10. Appling County

 

Class AA

1. Jefferson

2. Bremen

3. Social Circle

4. Toombs County

5. Lovett

6. Spencer

7. East Laurens

8. Fitzgerald

9. Pepperrell

10. Greater Atlanta Christian

 

Class A

1. Commerce

2. Athens Christian

3. Gordon Lee

4. Turner County

5. Mt. Zion-Carroll

6. Treutlen

7. Eagle's Landing Christian

8. Strong Rock Christian

9. Holy Innocents'

10. Mt. Vernon







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Thursday, January 16, 2014



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WRESTLING NOTEBOOK
by Craig Sager II
Duals champs preparing for traditional season

 

 

Archer owns a 22-0 duals record this season and cruised past Lowndes, Newton, Collins Hill

Photo by Sonny Kennedy

and Camden County by a combined score of 226-46 to claim its second duals title in school history over the weekend. As wrestling enters the backstretch of the season, the Tigers are the favorites to record a second consecutive sweep and join Collins Hill as the only other school to do so in Georgia's top classification. 

 

Archer qualified 12 individuals for state last season and had nine wrestlers finish in the top three of their respective weight classes. Six of the nine top three finishers are on this year's top-ranked team and three of the four individual champions from last season (Daniel Bullard, Thomas Bullard, M.J. Couzan) continue lifting the Tigers to new heights. 

 

In Class AAAAA, Pope aims for its third consecutive sweep of titles after rallying to win the 2014 duals title. The Greyhounds had a state-best five individual wrestlers place first in state last season and graduated three of the five. However, seniors Tyler Haskin (126), T.J. Collins (132), Jake Henson (152), Joey Tabachino (220) and Jake Adcock (126 at Carrollton) all finished in the top three as juniors last season and head another dominant senior class. Henson and Tabachino were Pope's two underclassmen that won state last season. 

 

Gilmer has reigning Class AAAA individual state champions Cameron Perry (126) and Johnie Flakes (138) on its deep roster and won its fifth consecutive duals state title last weekend. The Bobcats sent 11 wrestlers to the state tournament last season and return six of 11. Gilmer edged Cass 31-30 by criteria in the duals state finals and Class AAAA will be a tight race for the traditional state crown. 

 

Class AAA Buford made school history and captured its first wrestling state title with a 44-23 victory over defending state champion Banks County in the finals. The Wolves have one of the best wrestlers in the nation, senior Chip Ness, but depth was not considered a strength of this team until recently. Buford qualified just four wrestlers for state last season, but finished top three in all four appearances. Ness, Jack Barber (113) and Brayden Harley (126) placed first and sophomore Darius Bunch placed third at 106. All four of these standouts are on this year's team and with the support of an upcoming cast, the Wolves could make history with their first sweep. 

 

Class AA Jefferson has swept state titles the past 12 years and took a 45-18 victory over Bremen in this year's duals finals. The Dragons qualified 12 wrestlers for state last season and return eight of the 12. Chase Piperato (106) and Ben Kelly (113) won state titles as sophomores last season and five top 3 finishers are on this year's lineup. 

 

In Class A, Commerce topped Athens Christian 48-18 to win its first duals state title last weekend. The Tigers finished second in state last season in the traditional scoring behind Gordon Lee.  Gordon Lee qualified 13 wrestlers for state last season and placed 12 of 13. Six of the 12 wrestlers that placed graduated and the Trojans bring back state champions Wil Jacks (145) and Jonathan Ragsdale (113). Commerce returns seven of the eight wrestlers it sent to state last season and all five of its top five finishers from 2013 are on this year's championship roster. 





RECRUITING RECAP: LINEBACKERS
By Craig Sager II
Athletic group looks college-ready

 

NORTH TEAM

 

Robert Muschamp (Darlington):

At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, Muschamp has the build to be a Division 1 starting linebacker. Muschamp led Darlington to a 9-3 record last season and is the anchor of a defense that held five opponents to single digits. During the Elite Junior Classic, Muschamp's size and strength stood out most during the action. Rivals lists him as a three-star recruit and he is the type of athlete that could lead a college defense in the future.

 

Dalton Wilson (St. Pius X):

Wilson is a versatile linebacker that has the physicality and pass rushing skills to play defensive tackle or defensive end when needed. At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, Wilson made sure that the South running backs earned no easy yardage up the middle. Wilson plays at a fast pace and has Division 1 strength and speed.

 

Chase Middleton (Brookwood):

Middleton had an outstanding weekend at the Elite Junior Classic and showcased his versatility as an outside linebacker and pass rusher. At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Middleton has a huge wingspan that makes him hard to block and his speed enabled him to chase down the South running backs as they tried to break outside. Middleton plays with a very low pad level and tackled with great leverage.

 

Chris Calhoun (Centennial):

Calhoun is my sleeper right now for a recruit that is flying under the radar, but could become a household name by the end of next season. At 6-foot-4, 222 pounds, Middleton possesses a very unique set of skills. His speed allows him to cover an entire side of the field and he can do so even when he is lined up at defensive end rushing the passer. In practice, I saw Calhoun drop back into coverage and soar in the air to pick off a pass intended for a crossing route 15 yards behind him.

 

Daniel Fennell (Grayson):

Fennell might be

Photo by Rob Saye

the most college-ready linebacker out of the group and his ability to tackle in the open field was amazing. Fennell's best play came on a wide open screen to five-star running back Taj Griffin that left Fennell one-on-one. Griffin had plenty of daylight, but Fennell exploded in and chopped him down before he could make a move. Fennell already has offers pouring in from top programs and he is listed as the No. 15 inside linebacker in the nation. I would not be surprised if he is in the top 10 by the end of the summer and in the top five midway through next season.

 

 

SOUTH TEAM

 

Logan Hunt (Washington County):

Hunt will be a defensive end in college and was one of the most impressive tacklers and athletes on the field in the Elite Junior Classic. Hunt stands 6-foot-3, 230 pounds and plays tight end, defensive end, outside linebacker and even receiver for Washington County. In the Elite Junior Classic, Hunt had three tackles-for-loss and was unguardable against the talented North offensive line. Hunt had the best combination of speed, size and strength I saw in the game and was involved in nearly every play. Hunt will be a steal for whatever team recruits him at the next level. Hunt blocked four punts this season and recorded eight sacks.

 

Daquare Hunter (Effingham County):

Hunter is an all-region 3-AAAAA linebacker who uses his athletic 6-foot, 225-pound frame to crush ball carriers. Hunter is one of the strongest players in the state and has a 405-pound bench max and can put up 530 pounds in the squat rack. Hunter is physically college-ready and has the speed to make an immediate impact on special teams in college. Hunter is a great form tackler and will enter the recruiting ranks very soon.

 

Daylan Willams (Jefferson County):

Williams was one of Georgia's leading tacklers last season (137 total tackles in 12 games) and made a statement in the Elite Junior Classic with three tackles in the opening quarter. While making a stop in the early action, Williams dislocated his left elbow. A surgery to repair the elbow went successfully and now the Augusta Chronicle All-Area linebacker will rehab for a busy summer of visits and training.

 

Nathan Brantley (Lowndes):

Brantley was honorable mention all-region 1-AAAAAA last season and helped Lowndes hold five opponents to single digits and reach the state quarterfinals. Brantley stands 6-foot, 205 pounds and uses speed to impact the game. Brantley looks like a defensive back in his pass coverage and flies to the line of scrimmage to make stops. Brantley was able to fight off blocks well in the Elite Junior Classic and made some athletic plays at the middle linebacker position.

 

Jordan Colbert (Griffin):

Colbert stands 6-foot-3, 205 pounds and played receiver, safety and tight end on top of his linebacker duties for Class AAAA state champion Griffin. With all of these skills it is clear why Colbert is a four-star recruit. Colbert has the speed of a Division 1 receiver with the height and size to play the position like a tight end. On defense, Colbert's ability to catch the football makes him extremely dangerous in coverage and at safety he uses his ability to read the field to make plays. At linebacker, Colbert can use all of these skills and he is one of the best 2015 recruits at any position in the state. 



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