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Lithonia Captures 2014 County Wrestling Championship

The Bulldogs placed in 13 weight classes on the way to the title.

It is the second DeKalb County Wrestling Championships title for Lithonia. Credit: Mark Brock
It is the second DeKalb County Wrestling Championships title for Lithonia. Credit: Mark Brock
By Mark Brock

The Lithonia Bulldogs placed in 13 of 14 weight classes on the way to the title at the 2014 William S. Venable DeKalb County Wrestling Championships held at Arabia Mountain over the weekend.

Four county champions and one runner-up came from the Bulldog squad which piled up 255.5 points. That is the fourth highest total in the history of the DeKalb County Championships and second highest in the past 10. Tucker scored 306.5 to win the 2008 title and set the high point mark in the Championships.

“I'm so proud of my team, my managers, my coaching staff, and my wrestlers’ family members for all the hard work and dedication they have put into our wrestling program at Lithonia,” said Lithonia wrestling Coach Patrick Ryan. “This win was a total team effort with 13 guys racking up points to earn the championship.”

It is just the second DeKalb County Wrestling Championships title for Lithonia and the first since the 1994 season when the Bulldogs defeated Shamrock 186-162.5.

Lakeside which had 10 wrestlers place out of 14 weight classes, including three champions and two runners-up, tallied 214 to take second followed by McNair (167.5), Southwest DeKalb (152.5) and Arabia Mountain (122) to round out the top five team scores.

Undefeated Kirk Hudson (29-0) repeated as the 106 weight class champ for the Bulldogs as he won by a technical fall over Dunwoody’s Nest Foley. Junior Shamel Findley (33-4) improved on his silver medal of a year ago at 113 as he pinned Southwest DeKalb’s Matthew Wray to capture the gold in 2014.

Lithonia senior Chris Nelson improved to an impressive 37-2 on the season by pinning McNair’s Jamaal Deng (22-9) to take the gold in the 160 division. The final gold for Lithonia came in the 220 class as Devon Wallace (10-4) swept three matches by pin fall, including the finals’ victory over Lakeside’s Imani Heslop who is 48-10 on the season.

Lakeside got victories from sophomore Spencer Wilson (45-12) with a pin over Shannon Miller of Druid Hills at 126, senior Anthony Osley (23-11) with a decision over Lithonia’s Chris James (29-6) at 170 and senior Alex LaRotta (54-4) had three consecutive pins, including the finals victory over Jovarn Gueh (8-5) of Stone Mountain at 182.

Southwest DeKalb junior Abdur-Rahman Yasir improved to 27-0 on the season with four consecutive pins to take the 152 title and be presented the William S. Venable Most Valuable Wrestler Award for the Tournament. Yasir is coming off a 2013 season in which he won county, area and state championships in Class AAAAA as sophomore in the 145 class with a 42-1 mark.

The Jerun Tillery Best Finals Match award went to Lakeside’s Josh Powell (53-5) and Stephenson’s Eric Baldwin (41-2) for their thrilling championship match in the 145 division. Both entered the match by winning their three matches leading up to the finals by pin fall to set up what would be the match of the tournament. Baldwin pulled out the decision over Powel to take the gold.

Arabia Mountain’s fifth place finish was fueled by gold medals by seniors Alema Favors and Mikahi Dorsey. Favors improved to 31-0 on the season as he had three pins on the way to the finals before scoring a major decision over Tyrone Carter of Dunwoody in the finals of the 132 division. Dorsey (27-3) picked up the decision over McNair’s Michael House (27-3) for the 138 title.

Dunwoody’s Sunny Sharma won his second consecutive DeKalb County gold medal with a pin of Southwest DeKalb’s Matthew Wray at 120 to improve to 35-2. Sharma, a senior, won gold in the 113 division a year ago.

Towers junior Stevenson Derival and Clarkston’s Anthony Birden rounded out the individual champions in 2014. Derival, a sixth place finisher in the Class AAA Tournament in 2013, took the 195 title with a pin of Southwest DeKalb’s Justin Hussein (14-5). Birden, a sophomore, improved to 18-4 on the season with a pin of Hakeem Enis (22-4) of Druid Hills to take gold in the 285 division.

The Area Traditional Tournaments begin on Jan. 31/Feb. 1 for the local teams with State Sectionals following on Feb. 7-8 and the State Championships on Feb. 13-15 at the Gwinnett Arena.

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