Favorite Eagles don't disappoint at county meet
No. 1 Collins Hill claims 129 point win

By Brandon Brigman

Staff Writer


NORCROSS - Heading into the Gwinnett County wrestling tournament everyone knew Collins Hill was the heavy favorite.

The real question was how much would the No. 1-ranked Eagles would win by and who would finish second.

Collins Hill ran way with the title with a 129-point victory and Parkview's Brian Farris' win secured second place for the Panthers.

"It went better than planned really I think. A 130-point margin is a lot more than what I was expecting," Collins Hill coach Cliff Ramos said. "A lot of our kids wrestled really well. Only one or two I was disappointed in. Most of them wrestled really well, I was happy with them."

It's the fifth county title for Collins Hill and the first since 2005. That same year the Eagles won the dual and traditional state titles.

"We're working hard, but we want to win state," Collins Hill's Nick Smith said. "That's what we're working for."

With first place secured by the Eagles before the start of the finals, it was a battle for second place.

Parkview led North Gwinnett by three points with each team having four wrestlers in the finals. It came down to the last match of the day in the 285-pound finals.

Farris' 3-2 victory over Collins Hill's David Coffey gave No. 6 Parkview (176 points) a four-point advantage over No. 9 North (172) for second place.

"That's the best we could have done," Parkview coach Tom Beuglas said. "I'm happy with the way the kids wrestled and to have 10 place in the top 10 is pretty good."

Brookwood (138.5) placed fourth and Peachtree Ridge (134) was fifth.

"It really didn't matter second or third," North coach Steve Hassenger said. "I was pleased with the effort our kids gave. We had some kids coming back from football, so we'll be a different team next month."

The Farris-Coffey match was the second time the two have wrestled this month. Coffey won the first battle in overtime. The duo needed the extra time again in Saturday's county finals. Farris, last year's state runner-up, got an escape in the fourth overtime to secure the victory and give Coffey his first loss of the season.

"I think the difference this time was my conditioning," Farris said. "I've been doing sprints for 35 minutes in the morning and I think that definitely helped."

It likely won't be the last time the two meet this year as the rubber match could come in the state finals.

"Everytime those two wrestle it goes to overtime," Beuglas said. "They're about as even as you can get."

Farris was just one of two champions for Parkview as Carson Fields won the 135-pound title with a 7-5 win over Collins Hill's Joel Smith. It's the third county championship for the senior.

After not having one county champion last year, Collins Hill had five this season and five runner ups. Three wrestlers placed fourth and one fifth.

Joseph Doyague (103 pounds), T.J. Mitchell (112), Taylor Knapp (145), Gary Tiller (160) and Nick Smith (189) all won county championships.

Doyague defeated North Gwinnett's Greg Epps 9-4 for the freshman to win the championship.

After wrestling for Wesleyan last season, Mitchell won his second title with a 12-1 win over Dacula's Noah Hunt. There was a scary moment in the match when Hunt was put unconscious by Mitchell's cradle hold.

"I didn't know what happened," Mitchell said. "I knew there was just five seconds left, so I thought he was waiting for time to run out."

Hunt was eventually cleared by the medical staff and continued to wrestle, but lost 12-1 to last year's Class AA state champion.

Knapp has already won a region and state title, but the only accomplishment missing was a county title. The junior wrapped that up with a 17-5 victory over Brookwood's Chris McLafferty.

"It feels good just to get it out of the way, but I'm still looking forward to state," Knapp said.

Tiller used a 5-1 win over Peachtree Ridge's Matt Chapman to keep the family tradition going.

It was the 10th title for the Tiller family. Gary's older brother Derek won three county championships from 2001-03. Gary's uncle Steve and second cousins Sid and Scott won two titles in the early 80s. Steve's titles were at Berkmar and Sid and Scott's at South Gwinnett.

Despite moving up a weight class to help the team, Smith won his first county title with an 11-3 win over Wesleyan's Michael Douglas.

"I came out here wrestling hard and wanted to win it," Smith said.

Things will get a little tougher for the Eagles in the next few weeks as Collins Hill hosts the Kyle Maynard duals and travels to Virginia for the Battlefield Duals.

"Just the whole year we've been destroying people, but we've got to keep it going the rest of the year," Knapp said.

SideBar: County Wrestling

Gwinnett County tournament

At Meadowcreek High School

Saturday's results

Championship matches

103: Joseph Doyague (Collins Hill) dec. Greg Epps (North Gwinnett) 9-4

112: Andrew Sartain (Peachtree Ridge) tech. fall Clint Jones (Parkview) 15-0

119: T.J. Mitchell (Collins Hill) maj. dec. Noah Hunt (Dacula) 12-1

125: Jon Isburgh (Grayson) pinned Allen Willard (Collins Hill) 1:24

130: Jamal Shelton (North Gwinnett) dec. James Smithson (Collins Hill) 9-5

135: Carson Fields (Parkview) dec. Joel Smith (Collins Hill) 7-5

140: Kendall Albert (Peachtree Ridge) dec. John Matyac (Brookwood) 9-3

145: Taylor Knapp (Collins Hill) maj. dec. Chris MacLafferty (Brookwood) 17-5

152: Travis Sheehy (North Gwinnett) maj. dec. Cody Parker (Collins Hill) 8-0

160: Gary Tiller (Collins Hill) dec. Matt Chapman (Peachtree Ridge) 5-1

171: Billy Merfert (Shiloh) dec. Alex Reffett (North Gwinnett) 5-0

189: Nick Smith (Collins Hill) maj. dec. Michael Douglas (Wesleyan) 11-3

215: Kelby Smith (Wesleyan) maj. dec. Brent McFall (Parkview) 18-6

285: Brian Farris (Parkview) dec. David Coffey (Collins Hill) 3-2

Consolation finals

103: Brandon Bullock (Dacula) dec. Brooks Spraetz (Wesleyan) 4-2

112: Arnulfo Vega (Brookwood) pinned Caleb Sawchuck (Collins Hill) 2:57

119: Nick Isburgh (Collins Hill) dec. Jimmy Ho (Shiloh) 4-1

125: Josh Davis (Parkview) dec. Josh Deng (Wesleyan) 5-1

130: Alex Hillis (Parkview) pinned Davis Taylor (Shiloh) 4:45

135: Andrew Pace (Brookwood) dec. Billy Anderton (Mill Creek) 2-0

140: Daniel Helena (Shiloh) dec. Sam Hoppenbrouwer (Collins Hill) 5-1

145: Scottie Forrester (Buford) dec. Jason Hail (Parkview) 5-2

152: Zeke Hunt (Dacula) dec. Daniel Coyle (Brookwood) 5-4

160: Colin Genthert (Wesleyan) dec. Michael Hagen (North Gwinnett) 9-6

171: Rasheed Manson (South Gwinnett) pinned Chris Roman (Brookwood) 4:09

189: Paul Ardila (South Gwinnett) dec. Mike Yurk (Grayson) 3-1

215: Robert Smith (Berkmar) dec. Will Collins (Collins Hill) 5-3

285: Steve Buffington (North Gwinnett) pinned Jacob Aiken-Philips (Central Gwinnett) :34

Team scores

1. Collins Hill, 305

2. Parkview, 176

3. North Gwinnett, 172

4. Brookwood, 138.5

5. Peachtree Ridge, 134

6. Wesleyan, 118

7. Dacula, 106.5

8. Shiloh, 102

9. Grayson, 98.5

10. South Gwinnett, 59

11. Berkmar, 42

12. GAC, 39

13. Central Gwinnett, 38.5

14. Mill Creek, 37

15. Buford, 35

16. Norcross, 27.5

17. Duluth, 16

18. Meadowcreek, 7