Much was made about the dominance of graduated Bulloch Academy wrestler Mitchell Ball and his three individual state championships.
But there is an equally dominating force hitting the mat for the Gators once again this season.
Senior Justin Lane will lead Bulloch Academy in its quest for a second team state championship in five seasons.
Lane’s back-to-back individual titles are a big reason why the Gators figure to be favorites to achieve that goal of another team title.
“Justin has been with us since the fourth grade,” BA coach Andy Tomlin said.”He’s been a big part of the good teams we’ve had these last few seasons. He’s also headed to UGA next year and is on the Headmaster’s list. Justin is a great kid and a great leader for us.”
Lane’s first individual title came during his sophomore season at the 113-pound weight class.
A jump up to 120-pounds didn’t slow him down one bit last season as he ran his career record up to 74-4 before claiming his second state crown.
“There have been some guys like Justin living in the shadows the last few years,” Tomlin said. “Now it’s his time to really shine for us.”
Jazmine Price has been pacing the Claxton Lady Tigers’ offense for a long time.
After all, how else are you going to get to 1,000 career points?
Price broke past that prestigious barrier Tuesday night and while Claxton may not have won its game against South Effingham, it did add another page to its history books.
“We were all happy for Jazmine,” Claxton coach Laura Aziz said. “She’s such a great kid. She gets it done on the court and in the classroom, so it’s nice to be able to see her get to 1,000.”
Now in her final season with the Lady Tigers, Price is tasked with keeping the program’s impressive run of success going. Claxton reached the state quarterfinals two seasons ago and made a run all the way to the semifinals last season.
That’s a tall task for anyone, although Price is used to dealing with most things seeming tall.
Standing just over five-and-a-half feet tall, Price has always played bigger than her billing on the roster.
“She’s not the biggest and she’s so quiet,” Aziz said. “When I first saw her, I wasn’t sure how she would fare. But she has certainly proved herself to be a great leader and a big part of this team.”