Photo: David McGregor Shiloh's Ryan Mosley works from the top position on Archer's Zach Wright during the quarterfinals of their 138 pound match at the Arena at Gwinnett Center on Friday.
DULUTH -- Archer came up short in its bid for its first wrestling state champion last year.
The Tigers will get two chances Saturday in the Class AAAAA traditional state tournament.
Archer's Sam Bullard qualified at 106 pounds and Ernest Alexander at 195 pounds. The finals will take place today at 4 p.m. at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.
"We want one bad. I'm not gonna lie," Archer coach Tom Beuglas said. "You get that first one on top of the podium and it shows the rest it's an obtainable goal."
Archer is a third-year school and put Ryan Millhof in the finals last year.
Millhof transferred to Collins Hill, but the Tigers still have a nice crop of talented wrestlers.
The Tigers are in third place in the team standings and will have five state placers, including two in the finals.
"I'm hoping we can end up with a champ," Beuglas said.
It won't be an easy task for the Tigers. The freshman Bullard, who was a two-time kids state champ, will face Collins Hill's Sean Russell in the finals. Russell defeated Millhof last year in the finals and Bullard in last week's sectional.
Alexander is in his third year of wrestling and has quickly risen to stardom by reaching the finals. He'll face Camden County's Michael Johnson.
"I've been working on this all season," Alexander said. "Next is winning state."
Mosley works way to finals
Shiloh's Ryan Mosley has won 60 matches this year, but the senior has been working all season for a win today.
Mosley placed third at last year's state tournament and is trying to finish his career with that elusive state title.
"I've put in so much work. I've taken no breaks. I just see my hard work paying off every single match," Mosley said. "I wouldn't be here without my dad. He's pushed me to go up and up."
Mosley won his 138-pound semifinal match with a pin as he's continued his dominating performance this season. He hasn't allowed a takedown all year.
The senior will face Collins Hill's Spencer Rickman, a two-time state runner-up, in today's finals. Mosley beat Rickman at last week's East Sectional.
"I don't feel like I have an advantage. I know in my mind he hasn't worked as hard as me," Mosley said. "It's time for all my hard work to pay off and stand on that podium and not be second or third."
Unlikely Daniel reaches finals
No one expected Dalton Daniel to reach the Class AAAAA state finals. The North Gwinnett senior had never placed at the state tournament, but Daniel found a way to prove the doubters wrong on Friday.
Daniel used a quick pin in the semifinals to earn a trip to the 126-pound finals.
"Oh my gosh. I've been working for this for such a long time," Daniel said. "It's a dream come true. I give thanks to the Lord for the strength. No one thought I could do it."
Daniel has waited four years to have his breakout season. He placed third at county, won the Area 7-AAAAA title and took second at the sectional.
"You have no idea how hard he's worked for that. Five, six, seven days a week, lifting, running," said North Gwinnett head coach Phil Daniel, Dalton's father.
"This has been the hardest thing I've done in my life as far as wrestling," said Phil Daniel has fought back tears. "That kid is God's warrior. Since he began here and God blessed him tonight. He kept believing."
Lions' Shiver awestruck to finals
Mac Shiver was still in disbelief after his semifinal win at 132 pounds on Friday.
The Peachtree Ridge senior is in just his third year of wrestling and will compete for a state title today.
"I had no clue how awesome it would be getting here," Shiver said.
Shiver, who placed fifth at last year's tournament, will face Collins Hill's Steve Bradtmueller, a state runner-up a year ago, in the finals.
Shiver has lost to Bradtmueller by decision and pin the last two weeks.
"I've wrestled him before and he's beaten me twice," Shiver said. "He's tough."
Horton calms nerves to reach finals
Tre Horton dug himself into a early hole in his 152-pound semifinals match on Friday.
"It was nerves, definitely nerves," Horton said. "It was my first time in the state semifinals, it really got to me."
The Peachtree Ridge senior composed himself to pull out a 6-5 win and reach today's state championship match.
"I've been working for this all season," Horton said. "It's starting to pay off."
Horton, who will wrestle at Brewton-Parker next season, will face two-time state champion Austin Trott from Camden County. Trott has not lost to a Georgia wrestler since the state finals of his freshman year.
"My career has been building up to this. I've been working for this since I was 9," Horton said.
Broncos send two to state finals
Brookwood hasn't had a state champion since 1995, but the Broncos have a chance to get a pair today.
Wyatt Jozwowski and Blake Cunningham picked up semifinal wins on Friday to reach today's championship match.
"It was greater that I imagined," Cunningham said with a smile.
Cunningham will face Lowndes' Stacey Wright in the 285-pound finals, who he defeated earlier this year.
"I feel like I can win it," Cunningham said.
Jozwowski will face Collins Hill's Ryan Millhof, a state runner-up last season.
Justin Hornsby was the last Bronco to win a state title.
Experience helps GAC's Feuerbach
Greater Atlanta Christian's Zach Feuerbach reached the Class AA state finals last season. The senior hopes that experience will help him capture his first state title.
"I think the experience will help a lot," he said.
Feuerbach picked up a big win at 160-pounds in the Class AA semifinals and will face Morgan County's Nick Simmons in the championship.
"I feel like I got a shot at it this year," Feuerbach said. "My opponent this year will be tough."
Undefeated Ness stays humble
Chip Ness hasn't lost a match in his school career, but the Buford sophomore isn't taking his state finals match for granted.
"I feel like I've worked my butt off for this, but it's not guaranteed yet," Ness said. "It's going to be tough."
Ness picked up his 33rd pin of the season in the Friday's Class AA 170-pound match. He's now 43-0 on the season.
"I feel the pressure," Ness said. "I just have to repeat and it will be easier."