photo courtesy of mjdonline.com
While there were a few scattered states that held their high school state championship events in prior weeks, last weekend was the unofficial start to championship season. A handful of schools mostly in the south held their most prestigious tournaments of the season and none was more notable than Georgia.
Overall the past year, we have talked a lot about Georgia. The current crop of sophomores in the state is incredible and rivals most other states, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and California included. This isn’t just a good class, though. Georgia has been growing steadily over the past decade and has developed into a state for high-quality wrestling. The state continues to produce talent and look no further than the college ranks for evidence. Last year at the DI national championships, 12 Georgia natives qualified for the competition. That number is up from nine in 2018 and eight in 2017. It should hold steady in Minneapolis, as well.
One of the unfortunate parts about the Georgia state tournament is that there’s just too many classes. Seven, in fact. This is coming from a Virginia native that has seen our own state tournament expand from three classes to six, which doesn’t include private schools, either. Despite the overabundance of state qualifiers/placers/champions, Georgia is still able to get exposure for its wrestlers by excelling at Fargo and national-level events. That has led to seven Georgia wrestlers holding national rankings in TOM’s latest version (which doesn’t include GA natives wrestling out of state).
We’ve poured through the brackets and found some interesting items from the 2020 Georgia State Championships, along with all of the state champions and wrestlers that accomplished significant milestones.
106: 1A Robert Westbrook (Walker), 2A Brayden Sauls (Bremen), 3A Amantee Mills (Stone Mountain), 4A Aidan Fincher (Flowery Branch), 5A Reese Jones (Ola), 6A Cole Hunt (Dalton), 7A Jacob Silka (Cherokee)
113: 1A Dawson Legg (Commerce), 2A Griffin Jarrett (Chattooga), 3A Angel Banda (Adairsville), 4A Austin Thiel (Perry), 5A Oran Decker (Harris County, 6A Joey Robinson (Pope), 7A Nathan Orum (Camden County)