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Cambridge claims Class AAAAA wrestling title
by Greg Oshust
February 27, 2014 10:16 AM | 2497 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special Photo / Cambridge accepts its championship trophy after winning the Class AAAAA team title at the state traditional wrestling tournament last Saturday. Front row, from left, Dawson Brooks, trainers Madison Cosby and Annie Jackson, Will Britain and Jalen Hammons Jeter. Middle row, from left, assistant coach Chris House, head coach Don St. James, assistant coach Michael Metz, Connor Esposito, Chris Anderson, J.R. Salemi, Devin Kane, Brandon Filosi and Malik McNeal. Back row, from left, C.J. Rees, Eric Cizek and Luke Williams.
Special Photo / Cambridge accepts its championship trophy after winning the Class AAAAA team title at the state traditional wrestling tournament last Saturday. Front row, from left, Dawson Brooks, trainers Madison Cosby and Annie Jackson, Will Britain and Jalen Hammons Jeter. Middle row, from left, assistant coach Chris House, head coach Don St. James, assistant coach Michael Metz, Connor Esposito, Chris Anderson, J.R. Salemi, Devin Kane, Brandon Filosi and Malik McNeal. Back row, from left, C.J. Rees, Eric Cizek and Luke Williams.
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It certainly hasn’t taken long for Cambridge to rise to the top of the Georgia high school wrestling world.

In only its second year of competition, Cambridge is a state champion after winning the Class AAAAA tournament at Loganville High School last Saturday.

The Bears accumulated 132 points to finish first in the AAAAA team standings, with Allatoona (123.5) finishing second and defending champion Pope (122.5) third.

It is the first state championship in any sport for the Milton school, which opened its doors for the first time in Aug., 2012.

“We’re letting the community know that sports here at Cambridge are serious and we’re going to pretty much expect it from all our sports,” Cambridge coach Don St. James said. “I was lucky. There’s great, great parent involvement in all of the sports here. In order to be competitive in today’s world, you need parents who are willing to go that extra mile, do extra things, and the parents are willing to do that here.”

Cambridge wrestlers claimed state titles in three weight classes – J.R. Salemi at 120 pounds, Brandon Filosi at 126 and Devin Kane at 145.

Salemi won an 11-2 major decision over Woodland’s Jake Huffine to win the 120-pound championship, while Filosi defeated South Paulding’s Noah Isley 5-2 to claim the 126-pound title and Kane took a 6-2 decision over Pope’s T.J. Collins to capture the 145-pound crown.

The Bears also got runner-up finishes from Will Britain at 138 pounds and Malik McNeal at 285.

Britain was pinned by Pope’s Jake Adcock in four minutes, 26 seconds in the 138-pound championship match, while McNeal lost an 8-3 decision to Starr’s Mill Alex Ashley at 285.

It was Kane’s win at 145 – the third individual match of the AAAAA final round -- that clinched the state title for Cambridge.

“Devin clinched it after his win and we knew we were going to be champions at that point,” St. James said. “Three matches into the finals and we knew we had clinched it, so that was nice. Took the pressure off of Malik [McNeal] – our heavyweight – a little bit, because he was wrestling a tough kid.”

Chattahoochee was a fourth-place finisher at the AAAAAA tournament, which the Cougars hosted.

Hooch scored 80 points to place behind champion Archer (249), runner-up Camden County (183.5) and Collins Hill (102.5).

Chattahoochee’s Jordan Pitt finished runner-up at 113 pounds, losing to Rockdale County’s Alonzo Allen 11-4 in the finals.

The Cougars were also led by Brady Miller (third, 160), Sean Hoffman (third, 195) and Rowdy Miller (fourth, 152).

Roswell placed 17th in AAAAAA. DeMarco Gatti finished third at 152 and Charles Routt was fifth at 160 for the Hornets.

Blessed Trinity finished ninth in the AAA tournament at Buford. The Titans were led by Michael Miller (fourth, 145), Kyle Evans (fifth, 152) and Daniel Fulcher (sixth, 126).

St. Francis placed ninth in the Class A tournament at Commerce High School.

Ethan Sparks finished runner-up at 106 pounds for the Knights after being pinned by Commerce’s Dalton Flint in 53 seconds in the finals.

The Knights were also led by Taylor Weaver (fourth, 120) and Seth Cecil (sixth, 285).

Fellowship Christian was 20th, with the Paladins led by Nate Shirley (fourth, 132).

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