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'It's really a family tradition'
Dacula led by families of brothers

When Jason Holcombe took over the Dacula wrestling program four years ago he wanted build a family atmosphere.

He never imagined it would evolve into what is has.

The Falcons have five sets of brothers in the program, including two sets of brothers in the varsity lineup.

"Those five families that we've got are solidly committed," Holcombe said. "The Millers, the Baileys, the Hunts, the Sweats and the Paynes. It's really a family tradition. It seems like if older brother does it, younger brother is there along with him."

Dacula will take its family of a team to Macon on Friday for the Class AAAA state duals. The Falcons, ranked No. 5, will take on Tucker, the No. 2-ranked team in AAAA.

The Hunts, Noah and Zeke, and the Millers, Frankie and Dale, have been a big part of Dacula's success this season. All four are in the varsity lineup and have consistently placed at tournaments this season.

"Those two sets of brothers have been a key part of what we do," Holcombe said. "When you have Frankie Miller at 112, Noah Hunt at 119 and then Dale Miller at 125, that's three tough weight classes you have to go through."

Frankie is the more accomplished wrestler of the four, placing second at the state meet last year, while Noah took fifth.

But there's not much competition between families, just between brothers.

"Yeah, we always push each other and try to outdo each other," Zeke said.

The Hunt brothers are two of 12 siblings in their family and they also have a younger brother in the youth program.

"We either win tournaments together or lose them together," Noah said.

Frankie has wrestled in front of thousands at the state meet, but when it comes to watching his younger brother he's a mess.

"I think I get more excited about his matches than I do mine," Frankie said. "Watching him I just get jumpy."

Alex and Ben Sweatt, Kevin and Kyle Bailey and Jeremy and Josh Payne are the other brothers on the team. The Baileys' father, Daniel, won a state title at North Gwinnett in 1990 and is also an assistant coach.

This season Dacula has put together one of its best years in recent history. The Falcons have won the George Thompson Memorial, placed second at the Flowery Branch Duals and the Choo Choo Classic, and seventh at the Gwinnett County tournament.

But the biggest result was last week at the Area 8-AAAA duals. Dacula took second and qualified for the state dual meet for the first time in school history.

"It's one of the best teams ever," Holcombe said. "We've had a lot of outstanding individuals over the years, but as a team this is probably the best team this school has seen since the '93 state championship team."

With a 13-2 dual record Dacula's only losses have been to Eastside, the No. 1 team in AAAA, and North Gwinnett, the No. 10 team in AAAAA.

The Falcons can entrench their place in school history even more with a good performance at the state duals. A win against Tucker in the first round and Dacula could bring home a trophy.

"If we can get by Tucker we've got a great chance," Holcombe said. "Tucker is no rollover, but if we can manage to get by Tucker we've got a great shot of going far in the tournament. Even if we don't get by Tucker and make it to the wrestle backs, we've got a great shot."

SideBar: Wrestling

What: State duals

When: Friday-Saturday

Where: Macon Centreplex

Noteworthy:

First-round matchups for local teams

· Collins Hill vs. Murray County

· Parkview vs. Centennial

· Grayson vs. Pope

· Dacula vs. Tucker

· Wesleyan vs. Pike County