The Gilmer High Wrestling team ended their season with an extravagant weekend at the 2011 AAA State Duals Tournament. This tournament usually occurs in the arena located in Macon, Georgia, and the fans are able to watch all classifications wrestle at the same time. This year, however, because of snow, the AAA tournament was held at the Locust Grove High School. The team went 4-0 as they took their fifth state dual championship title in the past four years and their second state title for the year.Because this was a team tournament, the team was able to bring more than one person per weight class, and a few of the junior varsity wrestlers were able to experience of being at state.
Initially, the team wrestled McNair, the first meeting of the season between the two schools. Even though the Gilmer used a few junior varsity wrestlers, the Bobcats were victorious in the round with a score of 51-21.
Gilmer then moved on to the quarter finals round to wrestle against Lumpkin County. Gilmer annihilated the Indians, even though the Bobcats used mostly junior varsity wrestlers again, 58-9. In the semis, the Bobcats wrestled Henry County, winning 48-25.
The much anticipated finals match featured another rematch between Area rivals, the Gilmer Bobcats and the Heritage Patriots. Due to the familiarity of the opponent, Gilmer used all fourteen starters.
Starting with the 152 weight class, Joshua Perigo was able to secure a one point match win for a minor team win worth three team points. Cory Canada put Heritage on the score board with a pin of Gilmer’s Ben DeLoach, worth six team points. Hunter Barnes made the score 9-6 with a pin victory.
Ian Smith in the 189 pound weight class won his match by a 12-6 decision, which made the score 12-6 in Gilmer’s favor. James Longino earned a major decision victory, worth four team points, as he left the mat with a score of 8-0. Austin Sprayberry was quickly pinned by his Heritage challenger, which cut Gilmer’s team lead to 16-12. Gilmer’s Cameron Perry pinned his opponent, a coach’s son, in the 103 weight class in the first period. Gilmer was up 22-12 before Justin Karr pinned his opponent.
Brady McCollum met up with rival Madison Martin in the finals. Martin has plagued McCollum throughout the year, beating the Bobcat on more than one occasion. McCollum bucked the trend and prevailed when he acquired four more points than Madison. Johnie Flakes, Tyler Davenport, and Sam lost their matches, bringing the team score to 31-22.
Bobcat Joey Ray won the tournament for the team as his 4-2 decision over his Heritage opponent prevented Heritage from being able to catch up in points. Trevor Martin ended the night with a loss. The final score was 34-35.
Gilmer has had a marvelous season, as their final dual record was 40-3, losing only to AAAAA state champion Collins Hill, AA state champion Jefferson, and a powerhouse team from Pennsylvania. Gilmer also won the 2010-2011 AAA state traditional tournament as well.