Dunwoody reclaims wrestling title

Dunwoody High School had 12 wrestlers place in the top five of their respective weight classes on the way to winning the William Venable DeKalb County Wrestling Championships title on Jan. 29 for the fourth time in five years.

The Wildcats racked up 246 points with three gold medals, three silver medals, three bronze medals, two fourth-place finishes, and one fifth-place finish to defeat defending champion Southwest DeKalb (175.5) and third-place Marist (174) in a field of 20 competing teams.

Dunwoody had a wrestler finish fifth or better in all but two weight classes (150, 285).

Dunwoody was led by three-time county champion Charlie Ruark. He won the 126-title over Southwest DeKalb’s Jordan Allen by a score of 11-5. Ruark won the 113-title in 2022 and the 120 gold in 2023.

Andrew Fidler joined Ruark in the winners’ circle as he pulled out a 2-1 victory over Stone Mountain’s MeKhel Cillsto take the gold in the 132-weight class.

The third Wildcat to claim gold was Adam Gromatzky after he pinned Decatur’s Ronin Simms in the 165-title final.

Eight Southwest DeKalb wrestlers placed in the top six of their weight classes, including three gold medal finishes and two silver medal finishes to garner the second-place finish in the team standings.

Three-time county champion Isaiah Scott collected his third consecutive county gold in the 215-weight class via pin fall over Stone Mountain’s Alonzo James. Scott won the 215-title gold in 2022 and 2023.

Anthony Colquitt brought home the gold in the 157-weight class by defeating Marist’s Parks Kaiser 6-4 in a highly contested match. Malik Colquitt joined the gold medal winners for Southwest DeKalb by pin fall over Redan’s LaDamian Stewart in the 150-class.

Marist’s Forrest Briesacher moved up from the 106-division to 120 and picked up his second consecutive gold medal in the championships. Briesacher battled Dunwoody’s Alex McKissick in a 9-6 victory. Marist had nine wrestlers place on the day, including two silver and three bronze medals.

Stone Mountain finished fourth in the team standings with 153 points by collecting one gold, three silver, and one bronze performance to go with a fifth place along the way. Zahyr Cook picked up the gold for the Pirates as he took down Marist’s Mason Forsbert by pin fall.

Stephenson was fifth with 140.5 points. Stephenson’s Artavius Hughes collected his first gold medal in three tries as he pulled out a 12-10 win over Stone Mountain’s Dontavious Perry in the 106-title final. Hughes won silver in 2022 and bronze in 2023.

 Victor Folks gave Stephenson its second gold of the meet to go with the team’s three silver medals and one fourth-place finish. Folks won a 6-3 decision over Tucker’s Andrew Moreau for the gold medal.

Arabia Mountain (83.5) finished seventh in the team standings with five wrestlers taking sixth or better. Langston Blakeley finished with silver medals in 2022 and 2023 but came out on top with a 7-1 victory over Dunwoody’s David Remigailo to collect his first gold medal.

Towers (74) took eighth in the team rankings with three top-five finishes led by a gold medal in the 138-division. John Griffin became the first Titan to win gold since Stevenson Derival claimed back-to-back gold medals in 2014-15. Griffin defeated Dunwoody’s Colin Murphy 12-8 to win the title.

Tucker (70) followed Arabia Mountain and Towers in ninth place by collecting a gold, a silver, and a fifth-place finish in the individual competitions. Antez Starks Jr. repeated as the 285-weight class champion with a quick pin of Southwest DeKalb’s Amir Ferguson for the gold.

Miller Grove’s Tyrone Williams captured the gold medal in the 144-division via a technical fall over Lakeside’s Bennett Hammett to become Miller Grove’s third wrestler to claim gold in the championships and the first since 2016. Williams won his first match by pin and took a convincing 15-5 in his second to reach the finals. His performance earned him the meet’s Most Valuable Wrestler award.

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