The Gilmer High School Bobcats wrestling team traveled to Macon to take part in the State Championship Duals tournament. The Bobcats bounced all competitors to win Gilmer’s fourth straight Duals title, and 10th overall.The Cats won handily over Lumpkin on Thursday night’s first round of the Quad A State Tournament in Macon before waking up to an early morning Quarter-final round against Perry.
The first six matches against Perry ended with quick pins before the Cats gave up their first 3 points. A GHSA staff floor manager who has worked the state tournament for decades was watching the beating and said, “This is not normal, not at this level. Maybe at a local duals match you might see something like this. High school wrestlers shouldn’t be this much better than other high school wrestlers. But it’s happening for a reason, and we know what it is. Great wrestling teams follow great coaching.”
The rest of the match was just more of the same finishing up with two major victories (a win by at least eight points), two tech falls (a win by 15 points), and two more pins.
The Bobcats furthered Gilmer’s dominance with a 44-27 dismantling of Carrolton in a dual that was not that close. Head Coach, Sam Snider, forfeited the last few matches after the trip to the finals was secured. Gilmer lead 28-0 before Carrolton scored its first points of the match.
The AAAA finals featured a match full of “Cats” on “Cats” crime, as the Bobcats faced the Cougars of Alexander. Gilmer’s “Cats” clawed the Cougars 45-14.
The dual began in the Cougars’ favor as close losses by both JP Pritchett and Alberto Perez at Heavyweight and 106 respectively, saws the Bobcats fall behind 6-0 after two matches.
Lucas Patterson scored Gilmer’s first win of the night. His 8-5 minor decision cut Alexander’s lead to three. Daniel Bautista’s pin at 120 gave Gilmer a 9-6 lead. A lead the “Cats” never relinquished.
Cameron Perry, an individual state title winner in 2012, scored a pin at 126 that increased Gilmer’s lead to 9, 15-6. Alexander scored three more points at 136 when Brady McCollum fell 10-6.
Dusty Lacey may have had the most exciting match of the finals, at 138. Lacey’s match was a battle throughout. Lacey lead 7-6 with less than 10 seconds left in regulation, when his opponent scored a late escape, good for one point, to force overtime.
Lacey scored a takedown in the overtime period and pushed Gilmer’s lead up to 18-9.
Gilmer swept all but one of the last, six matches. Jamie Lopez, Jared Sweat, and Zack Allen all scored pins, at 145, 182, and 195 respectively.
Johnie Flakes, Chaz Reimer, and Tyler Bertolini all scored minor victories. Ty Reece fought hard at 170, but Reece and many of the Bobcats’ faithful fans found the match both frustrating and puzzling.
Despite numerous shots by Reece during his match, there were more stalling calls than in Tuscaloosa in 1992. Reece fell via “technical pin” 16-1.
Gilmer finished the night with its 10th state title and fourth dual title in a row, with the 45-14 victory over the Cougars.