Staff Photo: John Bohn Archer 106 pound class wrestler Vinny Artigues wrestles Camden County's Devlin Ryan during the Class AAAAAA State Duals Wrestling Championships in Macon. Artigues lost this match 8-4, as Archer defeated Camden County 35-19 to win the Class AAAAAA State Duals Wrestling Championship.
The first two years of Archer's existence, the program had to rely on freshmen to win matches. Now in their fourth season, the Tigers have a veteran group, but there's a group of freshmen that are still making an impact.
"The Fab Four," as head coach Tom Beuglas likes to call them have been dominant in their first year of varsity competition.
"They have had a huge impact on our team this season," Beuglas said. "Every one of them has placed high in every tournament that we have wrestled in."
The group is led by Chris Diaz, a two-time youth state champion, who is ranked No. 1 at 132 pounds with a 51-4 record. Twin brothers Daniel and Thomas Bullard are ranked No. 2 at 138 and 145, respectively. Daniel was a three-time youth state champ and has a 45-5 record. Thomas is a four-time youth champ with a 43-6 mark this year.
Vinny Artiques is ranked No. 5 at 106 with a 46-6 record and was a two-time youth state champ.
"We expect all four to place high at state, and hopefully win multiple state titles for us in the next three years," Beuglas said. "All four are straight A students, have a great attitude and work ethic, come from great families, and are great kids."
Parkview's Shakur eyeing takedown record
Parkview's Khalil Shakur became the sixth wrestler in Gwinnett County history to record 200 or more takedowns in a season. The senior has 218 this year, which is good for fourth all-time.
Shakur is closing in on the single-season record of 252 held by Parkview's Francois McDaniel in 1997-98.
"He's got a lot of takedowns, but he can wrestle on top and bottom," Parkview coach Josh Porter said. "He's the total package. He's only going to improve."
Shakur has a 43-6 record this season and was one match away from placing at last year's state tournament. He won the Gwinnett County championship at 160 pounds this season.
Pin it down
Parkview's Harrison Schmid has a record of 40-4 this season and 32 of those wins have come by way of pin.
The junior 220-pounder has placed at every tournament this season, along with teammate Andrew Webb. Schmid was second at the Gwinnett County tournament, losing to defending state champion Ernest Alexander from Archer. He has won the Southern Slam and and the Dennis Deliddo Classic in California, where he was named most outstanding heavyweight wrestler.
Mustangs win through adversity
Meadowcreek has five starters out for the season, but has still found a way to be successful this year.
The Mustangs lost three wrestlers to injury and two are academically ineligible. But that hasn't prevented the rest of the team from posting a 30-win season for the third year in a row.
With just two seniors on the team, Meadowcreek has placed in the top five at five tournaments this season. The Mustangs won the Last Man Standing tournament and the Black Knight Duals. They took second at the Mustang Pride Duals, third at the Blue Devil Duals and fourth at the Gwinnett County championship.
The team is led by Rene Deluna, who has a record of 47-6, and Ryan Moore, who is 46-3 this year.
Brookwood keeps winning
Brookwood won the North Metro Invitational on Saturday, making it the fourth tournament victory of the season.
The Broncos are having one of the most decorated seasons in school history, which includes a fourth-place finish at the Class AAAAAA state duals.
Brookwood has also won the Falcon Duals, Duluth Wildcat Duals and the Tony Farrace Duals in Tennessee.
Brookwood placed third at the Gwinnett County championship and was runner-up to eventual state champion Archer in the Area 8-AAAAAA duals.
Archer wins freshman county again
Archer won the Gwinnett County freshman tournament on Saturday at Dacula for the fourth year in a row.
The Tigers had four county champions to lead the way. Mountain View was second, Brookwood was third and Greater Atlanta Christian was fourth.
Archer's Dalton Brzier (106 pounds), Braden Forth (160), Noah Llornes (195) and Taylor Stein (220) won titles. Brookwood's Miles Nolan (145) and Carlos Luna (182) and GAC's Kevin Shrake (126) and Josh Snyder (138) were also champions. Mountain View's Kmaron Patterson (285), Buford's Michael Buhler (100), Dacula's Adrian Japa (113), Peachtree Ridge's Josh Parr (120), Duluth's Ben Greer (132), Parkview's Jacob King (152) and Grayson's Cameron Brent (170) also won county titles.