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How the state title was won

The Social Circle High School wrestling team won the 2-AA GHSATeam Dual Championship last Saturday at the Macon Centreplex. The Redskins won in exciting fashion over Bremen 35 to 31 to take the state title for the first time in school history. The SCHS team bus was escorted into town after the victory by the Social Circle City Police at around 8:00 p.m. Saturday night with flashing blue lights and sirens where a crowd of 200-300 residents cheered on the team as traffic was blocked by a Social Circle City fire truck.

SCHS Head Coach Randy Prater said, “Our goal all year long was to win state. We just won the team state title now all that is left is the traditional state title.” The Redskins’ championship run started at Area Duals the previous weekend where they won the event for the first time beating GAC 42-20. Social Circle was the No. 1 seed at the GHSA Team Dual Championship in the eight-team bracket. In the quarters on Friday morning, the Redskins dominated Dublin 69-6. Later that afternoon in the semi’s Social Circle took care of the fourth seed, Lovett 53-15. The Redskins then watched a tough battle on the other side of the bracket between GAC and Bremen to see who they would face in the finals. Bremen pulled out the victory 30-26 by securing the win in overtime of the very last match.

The Redskins had made the trip to the final eight at the GHSA Team Dual State event the last four years in a row. In 2012 the Redskins took fifth in 1-A, 2013 in 2-AA they finished fourth and last year SCHS took third place. The Bremen Blue devils have been an obstacle the last three years for the Redskins road to the championship since moving up to the 2-AA classification. In 2013 and 2014 Bremen beat SCHS in the semi finals. The ever improving Redskins were too much for Bremen this year, but it certainly was a very dramatic match which included four lead changes.

The finals which started on Saturday at 3:00 pm began at the (106) weight classification where Bremen started out strong with a pin giving them a 6-0 score. At (113) freshman Carson Boyd fought hard to stop returning state champion Austin Capes from pinning him only losing by a major decision. With the score 10-0 Bremen, junior Levi Leach (120) pinned to give the Redskins their first six points (10-6 Bremen). Enter junior Mitchell Clegg (126) who also pinned to put the SCHS in the lead 12-10. Junior James Corasaniti (132) fought through a knee injury to win by major decision which extended the Redskin lead 16-10. SCHS junior Reid Harris (138) lost in the third period to state champion Brock Cooper by one point which allowed SCHS to retain the lead 16-13. At (145) junior Travis Tyson won by minor decision to keep the Redskins in the lead at 19-13. At (152) the most anticipated match up was between SCHS sophomore state champion Cade Lackey and Bremen senior state champion Joe Stroud. With a last second caution point awarded to Lackey to send the bout into overtime Stroud got the win with a takedown to close the gap with a score of 19-16. Bremen got a pin at (160) and took the lead of the match back at 22-19. At (170) Bremen again won with a minor decision extending the lead 25-19. SCHS senior Aaron Forrester (182) pinned quickly to tie up the score 25-25. At the ( 195) weight class junior David Engstrom pinned in the first period as well to put the Redskins back into the lead again 31-25 with only two matches remaining. At (220) Junior Ryan Harris won by major decision to secure the win 35-25 as Bremen pinned at (285) to end the final score SCHS 35-Bremen 31.

Prater said, “Our plan was to wrestle Bremen straight up. The only change we made was after Bremen inserted a (182) and bumped their (182) starter to (195). We countered by wrestling Engstrom at (195) and bumping Ryan Harris to (220).”

“I am extremely proud of our team, they came into the tournament as the favorite and took care of business. Our crowd was awesome. I want to thank our fans. We definitely had the larger fan base because we had our crowd on both sides of the Bremen section, rooting us on,” Prater added.

The other classification champions were Archer (6A), Camden County (5A), Gilmer (4A), Jefferson (3A), and Commerce (1A). Next on the schedule for Redskin grapplers is to prepare for Traditional Area tournament hosted at Social Circle High School between January 30-31.