Wesleyan star wrestler transferring

Defending state champion T.J. Mitchell plans to leave Wesleyan and enroll at Collins Hill, the wrestler's father Tom confirmed Tuesday.

Tom Mitchell said after Wesleyan coach Jeff Bedard stepped down as head coach in April, he thought it was in the best interest of his son to have him transfer to Collins Hill.

"We love Wesleyan and Jeff Bedard and he was a great coach for T.J.," Tom Mitchell said. "He resigned basically as head coach to pursue an MMA career, so we thought it was best to leave."

The Mitchells signed a contract on a house in the Collins Hill district Monday and plan to close on the home later this month. Tom Mitchell said the family looked at moving into the Collins Hill or Harrison districts, but chose the Suwanee school because it was close to the Mitchells' used car dealership.

T.J. Mitchell burst onto the wrestling scene in February with a pin at the dual state tournament in Macon to lead Wesleyan to the first wrestling state championship in school history.

At the traditional state tournament, Mitchell won the Class AA 103-pound championship to become the Wolves' first wrestling state champ. A first-team all-county selection, Mitchell was also Wesleyan's first county champ as he compiled a 48-0 record. To make things even more impressive, Mitchell was never taken down and did not give up a reversal all season.

This summer, he has continued his success on the national wrestling scene, winning the freshman nationals in Kansas City, the Cadet USA nationals and the NHSCA National Open Wrestling Championships in Myrtle Beach.

The rising sophomore will join a Collins Hill squad that placed third in the Class AAAAA dual and traditional state tournaments last year. The Eagles also return four state placers, including state champion Taylor Knapp.

"We think right now it's the right move for him," Tom Mitchell said. "The program at Collins Hill is a state championship caliber program, they wrestle a tough national schedule and Coach (Cliff) Ramos is a great coach."

It won't take long for the defending state champion to adjust to his new teammates, he already knows several of them from The Wrestling Academy.

His father also coached some Collins Hill kids in the youth program.

The move to Collins Hill also made sense for Tom Mitchell's stepson Drew Ferguson. A five-time kids state champion, Ferguson will be a freshman at Collins Hill next year.