The Southwest DeKalb Panthers were the only DeKalb County team to win a traditional area wrestling title as they took the Area 6-AAAAA title over Lakeside at Dunwoody High School on Feb. 2.
Despite no other team titles, DeKalb is sending 101 wrestlers on to the State Sectionals in the final step for qualifying for the GHSA Traditional State Wrestling Championships set for Macon Feb. 14-16 at the Macon Centreplex.
The Panthers won five individual area gold medal title matches on the way to compiling a 250-point total followed by Lakeside with 165.5; Stephenson, 148; Miller Grove, 119 and Tucker, 95.
Muadh As-Siddiq opened the Southwest run with a victory over Said Banks of Stephenson in the 106 pound division.
Southwest DeKalb’s Corey Strickland won the 145 pound division in 2012 and claimed the 138-pound class this year for back-to-back Area gold medals. Donnell Smith (120), Abdur-Rahman Yasir (145) and Quantez Tyre (160) also claimed gold medals for the Panthers.
Southwest DeKalb had 12 wrestlers qualify for the Class AAAAA State Sectionals this weekend out of 53 from Area 6-AAAAA.
Alex LaRotta (182) led Lakeside’s second place finish by winning the 182-pound weight class gold over Jamaal Jones of Miller Grove to be the only Viking to take a gold medal. Three other Vikings picked up bronze medals as Lakeside qualified 10 total for the sectional Stephenson had a pair of gold medal performers in Darian Perry (170) and Stephen Wylie (152). Perry pulled another double this year with gold at the DeKalb County Championships and at Area. He won the 160-pound division at both a year ago. Stephenson also had three silver medalists to aid its third place finish overall. Stephenson had seven wrestlers place in the top four to move on to the sectionals.
Miller Grove’s fourth place finish was on the backs of wins by Wesley Williams (195) and Thaddeus Nelson (285) as they won their respective weight classes. Miller Grove qualified six wrestlers for sectionals.
Tucker got a gold medal performance from Diego Bautista at 132-pound as four Tigers qualified for sectionals.
Alema Favors led four Arabia Mountain sectional qualifiers by winning the gold in the 126-pound division. He also won the 126-pound class at county and it is his second consecutive area gold medal after winning the 113-pound division in 2012 before taking fourth place in Class AAA last year.
Dunwoody’s Sunny Sharma was second in county and first in area a year ago in the 106-pound weight class and upped his performance by winning both county and area titles in the 113-pound weight class. Dunwoody qualified four for sectionals.
Clarkston put four into the sectionals and Martin Luther King Jr. place two in sectionals led by Brian Wilson who took gold at 220 pounds.
DeKalb County participants will compete in the West Sectional at Allatoona Feb. 8-9.