COUNTY WRESTLING NOTES: Shakur finishes fast, gets revenge

Photo: David McGregor  GAC's Caleb Bumpers (R) looks for an opening during his 126 lb. Gwinnett County Wrestling Championship Final against Archer's Grant Aycox on Saturday at Shiloh High School.

Photo: David McGregor GAC's Caleb Bumpers (R) looks for an opening during his 126 lb. Gwinnett County Wrestling Championship Final against Archer's Grant Aycox on Saturday at Shiloh High School.

SNELLVILLE -- Parkview's Kamal Shakur lost to Brookwood's Tory Long in last week's Brookwood Invitational.

The two met again in the 132-pound Gwinnett County finals Saturday and Shakur made sure it was a different result.

The sophomore posted a 42-second pin to win the county championship.

"I kind of fell into it," Shakur said of the pin position. "Coach always says to finish fast. I knew he wouldn't let me get away with not pinning him."

Shakur won the JV county championship last year and lost to Long by five points in last week's matchup. His county title extends Parkview's streak to 24 years with a county champ.

"This is just a step towards the state championship," Shakur said.

Bumpers gives GAC second county crown

Caleb Bumpers wasn't even on the radar at the Gwinnett County wrestling tournament last year.

That quickly changed Saturday. Bumpers won the 126-pound title with a 15-7 victory over Archer's Grant Aycox.

"This is just so good. I didn't even place last year," Bumpers said. "It's got to be a God thing."

Bumpers is the second county champion in GAC history, joining Zach Tisher who won the title in 2002.

"I just had to do my best and believe I can win it," Bumpers said.

North's Franklin claims first title

North Gwinnett's Hunter Franklin lost pretty convincingly in last year's county finals.

The North sophomore made sure that didn't happen again Saturday.

Franklin jumped out to an early lead over Archer's Sam Bullard and held on for a 7-3 victory in the 113-pound weight class.

"This means a lot," Franklin said. "I've been training hard since June to get back in the finals."

Franklin lost to Archer's Ryan Millhof, who is now at Collins Hill, last season in the county finals. Franklin's win over Bullard was a rematch of the tough contests they faced in youth wrestling.

"We've wrestled a bunch and it's always been close," Franklin said. "That's the first time I've wrestled him in high school."

Shiloh's Mosley dominates

Shiloh's Ryan Mosley is wrestling with a chip on his a shoulder, which might not be good for his opponents.

The senior won his second county title Saturday, beating Peachtree Ridge's Mac Shiver 17-2.

"It means a lot to win it again," Mosley said. "I've got a chip on my shoulder, I'm undefeated and haven't been taken down. I feel like I have to wrestle like that. As much as I put into my training, no one should be able to take me down."

Mosley had two wins by technical fall and one pin on his way to the county title.

Mosley was one of two county champs for Shiloh. Grady Bryant had a second-period pin to win the 170-pound title.

"This is my first time wrestling in varsity county," Bryant said. "It feels good to win it and it's at Shiloh."

Welcome to Gwinnett

Peachtree Ridge's Brandon Smith hasn't lived in Georgia a year yet, but he's already making a splash on the wrestling scene.

Smith won the 145-pound county title with a second-period pin over Brookwood's Gordon Lopez.

"I've never won county, so this is a good feeling," Smith said.

Smith moved from Florida in January and ended up taking fourth at last season's state meet. He's off to a great start this season with a 25-1 record. His only loss is to a two-time state champion in Class AAAA.

"I'm just pacing myself for the rest of the season," Smith said.

Distasio gets emotional win

Grayson's Nick Distasio was overcome with emotion after winning the 152-pound county title.

The Grayson senior posted a 5-4 win over Peachtree Ridge's Tre Horton, who beat Distasio 3-0 last week at the Archer Super Duals.

"That guy got third in the state last year," Distasio said. "We've been going at it for a long time, so for me to finally beat him means a lot. It shows I can battle with the state's best."

Distasio is a two-time state qualifier, but has never placed at the state meet. With Saturday's win that may change this year. He's 20-2 this season with the other loss coming to a Tennessee state runner-up.

Healthy shoulder has Hoang cruising

Nick Hoang only lost two matches last season and both were by injury default.

With his shoulder healthy, the Peachtree Ridge senior has been on a tear this season.

Hoang won the 160-pound county title with a third-period pin over Greater Atlanta Christian's Zach Feuerbach. Hoang won all of his county matches by pin, including three under 30 seconds.

"This is my first county title," Hoang said. "I haven't been able to win the last three years because of my shoulder."

Hoang was 15-2 last year before his shoulder injury ended his season. Healthy this year, he's come back strong with a 23-1 record. His only loss has been to a wrestler from Alabama.

"It's good to be back," Hoang said. "I feel confident I can continue to win."

Buford's Ness pins down repeat

Buford's Chis Ness won his second county title Saturday and did it in convincing fashion. The sophomore had a second-period pin over Meadowcreek's Ryan Moore in the 182-pound weight class.

It was Ness' 15th pin of the season as he improved to 16-0 on the season.

"That's my thing -- I want to show domination," Ness said of all the pins. "If they can take me the whole match, so be it."

Ness won the Class AA state championship last year as a freshman and is the heavy favorite to repeat again.

"I want to win state again and win sophomore nationals," Ness said.

Cunningham comes through for Brookwood

It looked like Brookwood was not going to have a county champion until Blake Cunningham pulled out an overtime win in the final match of the day.

Brookwood was 0-for-3 in the finals until Cunningham defeated North Gwinnett's Alex Stoehr 7-5 in the 285-pound finals.

"I'm not surprised, our matches are always close," Cunningham said.

Cunningham, an offensive lineman on the football team, got a late start to the wrestling season after helping the Broncos to the state playoffs.

After taking second at county last year, Cunningham is 16-0 this year and a contender for the state title.

"I'm trying to win state," he said.

Eagles' Ryll breaks through for county crown

Collins Hill's Eric Ryll hasn't been able to crack the team's varsity starting lineup, but the senior had a big day Saturday.

Ryll defeated Mountain View's Adam Flatt 4-2 in the 106-pound county finals.

"This was very important to me," Ryll said. "I'm a senior and have been wrestling for 11 years. I haven't broken the starting lineup, so to come here and win this was big for me."

Collins Hill's starting varsity was at the Midwest Classic in Kansas City. The Eagles sent their second string to the county meet, which included Ryll. The senior improved to 6-0 and hopes to have a hand in the team's continued success.

"My goal is to help the team and to help Sean (Russell) win another state title," Ryll said.

"I want us to win another dual and traditional state championship and get our five-peat."


Gary 3 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations, Hunter Franklin, on your first win in a Gwinnett County Wrestling Meet! See, hard work does pay off! Now, you've got to work even harder, because you've gone from being a "Hunter" to now being the "Hunted"! Good luck and keep working hard throughout the wrestling season. Go Bulldogs!


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