Sonoraville freshman wrestling sensations, Tyler Hunt (113) and Trevor Burdick (106), just claimed their first GHSA State Championships at the Infinity Energy Center in Duluth, Georgia. The three day championship tournament hosted each year features the top 16 wrestlers from class 3A through class 6A, and top 8 wrestlers in 1A and 2A, in each of 16 different weight classifications.
The 16 wrestlers selected to represent their weight class earned their spots through a two week process of eight Area tournaments followed by two Sectional tournaments. Burdick and Hunt both won their Area and Sectional tournaments and went into the State finals with high hopes. 3A powerhouse, Jefferson High School, had competitors at both weight classes as well to create an epic match up for both programs. At 106lbs, Burdick (35-2) faced Ian Statia of Jefferson, another freshman with lengthy USA Wrestling qualifications. Burdick, a 9-time USA Wrestling State Champion had not allowed a single opponent to score a point throughout the preliminary rounds.
Statia fought off the first shot from Burdick but quickly succumbed to the relentless attack style. Burdick earned the first take down with a nasty single leg which was turned into a double leg followed by a slam. The 2-0 lead held until the second period when Burdick took bottom and and pulled out the escape followed by another takedown. Three back points later and Burdick was on his way to an 8-0 victory and his first High School title. For the 5th time since age six, Burdick competed in a State Championship tournament where he didn’t allow a point scored against him.
Following the 106 weight class was the 113 where Tyler Hunt took the mat against defending State Champion, Dawson Bates of Jefferson. Hunt has been a man on a mission this season going 34-3 and defeated wrestlers along the way who won titles at 4A, 5A and 6A. Hunt dominated the Area and Sectional tournaments and never missed a beat at the State Tournament. Rolling through the early rounds, Hunt pinned his opponent in the semi-finals and came into the championship match with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove.
A battle ensued for the first two minutes as both wrestlers looked to set up a take down and met solid defense on the other side. The 0-0 match up continued into the second period where Hunt took bottom and fought for points until his stand up broke through and he earned the 1 point escape. The single point proved to be enough as Bates caught Hunt when Hunt slid a little high and almost pulled him over the top, but sheer strength and will helped Hunt fight out and ride out the one point victory.
As the crowd erupted again for the Phoenix wrestlers, Head Coach Steve Hamilton accomplished something no other Sonoraville coach has done; winning two individual championships AND beating Jefferson wrestlers in the finals.
Senior Kenny Cooper (285), a Georgia Tech football commit, took 6th at the tournament and the youth on the Sonoraville squad means they will be looking toward to a very strong 2016-17 season.