0

STATE WRESTLING NOTES: Collins Hill's Russell claims fourth state title

Collins Hill’s Sean Russell competes against Mountain View’s Adam Flatt in the 120 weight class during the Class AAAAAA traditional wrestling state championships at Chattahoochee High School in Johns Creek on Saturday. Russell is now a four-time state champion. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)

Collins Hill’s Sean Russell competes against Mountain View’s Adam Flatt in the 120 weight class during the Class AAAAAA traditional wrestling state championships at Chattahoochee High School in Johns Creek on Saturday. Russell is now a four-time state champion. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)

JOHNS CREEK — After Sean Russell won his fourth-straight state championship, he walked off the wrestling mat cool and collected.

But after embracing his father at the center of the mat and dozens of other family friends, he was overcome with emotion.

“It means a ton,” Russell said of his fourth title. “Since I was 5, I wanted to be the best. I’ve had a unbelievable supporting cast. It has all paid off.”

Russell became the 27th four-time state champion in Georgia over the last 50 years. He’s the first Gwinnett County wrestler to reach the rare feat since Collins Hill’s Tyler Parker did it 2005.

“I had to work four years for this and for it to come true it feels good,” Russell said.

Russell used a 23-8 technical fall over Mountain View’s Adam Flatt to win the 120-pound weight class.

Russell, an Edinboro University signee, finished his senior year with a 68-1 record and a career record of 240-11. During the state tournament, Russell had a pin and three wins by technical fall.

He was joined by teammate Ryan Millhof on the podium. Millhof, an Oklahoma signee, won his third-straight state championship.

“Same as last year. It’s nice to be a state champion, but I have have high expectations for the future,” Millhof said.

Millhof finished the season with a 69-3 record after beating Archer’s Chris Diaz 4-3 in the 126-pound finals. He leaves with a 243-7 career record, which includes four state finals appearances. His only loss at the state tournament was when he was a freshman at Archer and lost to Russell.

“I think I’ve done a pretty well,” Millhof said of his career. “I’ve laid a foundation for future Georgia wrestlers to achieve what I did. I think me and Sean have had an awesome experience with each other.”

Millhof had a pair of wins by technical fall to go with a major decision and decision at the state tournament.

“It’s great to see them have a great tournament,” Collins Hill coach Josh Stephen said. “I’m excited for what’s ahead of them. They are moving on from us, but we’ll be with them in college.”

Parkview’s Shakur, Webb win titles

photo

Parkview’s Kamaal Shakur, celebrates his victory over Camden County’s Bunmi Smith in the 145 weight class during the Class AAAAAA Traditional Wrestling State Championships at Chattahoochee High School in Johns Creek on Saturday. (Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan)

Kamaal Shakur waited two years to win a state champions, the Parkview senior only needed 23 seconds on Saturday.

Shakur pinned Camden County’s Bunmi Smith in the first period to claim the Class AAAAAA 145-pound title.

“The determination was there and I just had to get it,” Shakur said.

Shakur placed third at state as a sophomore, but missed his junior year with a knee injury. He came back his senior year and dominated. He won all four of his state tournament matches by pin.

“My goal this weekend with Kamaal was to just sit back and watch him wrestle,” Parkview coach Josh Porter said.

Shakur’s nerves were calmed earlier during the finals when he watched teammate Andrew Webb win the 138-pound state championship.

“After his match, all the nerves were gone,” Shakur said. “I was more happy for him than me.”

Shakur pinned Camden County’s Bunmi Smith to improve his season record to 53-2.

Webb used an 8-0 major decision over Archer’s Sam Bullard to win his championship. Webb led 4-0 after the first period and never let up.

“I just knew I had to stay the offensive guy,” Webb said. “He’s got a really good offense and I couldn’t let him get to it.”

Webb finishes the year with a 58-6 record and the junior will try to repeat next season. He placed sixth as a sophomore.

“I had someone tweet me and say he’s the best wrestler in Georgia that no one is talking about,” Porter said. “I knew he was capable of this. He came out fired up.”

Duluth reaches podium

It has been 15 years since Duluth had a wrestler place at the state tournament, but Rodney Jones and Alex Brown changed that on Saturday.

Jones placed third in the 170-pound Class AAAAAA state tournament, while Brown was third at 220.

Jones reached the semis, but lost and battled through the consolation bracket to place third and finish the season with a 72-7 record.

Lanier places two

Fourth-year program Lanier got its first state placers in school history on Saturday at the Class AAAA state tournament at West Laurens High School.

Grey Williams placed fourth at 152 pounds and Jeremy Taylor placed fourth at 195.

GAC places fifth in AA

Greater Atlanta Christian had seven wrestlers place to take fifth at the Class AA state tournament at Toombs County High School. It’s the third straight season the Spartans have finished in the top five.

The Spartans scored 54 points to take fifth, while Jefferson won its 14th straight title.

Mitchell Shea was GAC’s top placer, taking fourth at 220 pounds. Kyle Politz (132), Emeritus Morris (138), Aiden Jarrett (182) and D.J. Coker (285) were fifth. Justin Van Leeuwen (106) and Hunter McKernan (160) were sixth.

Wesleyan freshman William Delk placed fifth at 106 pounds.