Bulloch Academy wrestlers won three individual state championships and led the team to its second consecutive state runner-up trophy in the GISA Class AAA state traditional tournament this past weekend.
“A traditional tournament is kind of like a track meet,” said BA head wrestling coach Andy Tomlin. “Wrestlers compete in their own individual events and score points if they place. Those points are tallied up at the end of the meet and a team champion is crowned by which team accumulated the most points.”
Bulloch tallied 232 total points, coming up 5.5 points behind Westfield School of Perry. For the Hornets, it was their second straight team championship.
“Going into the tournament,” said Tomlin, “we knew it was going to be super close. We actually came back from a 30-point deficit and were up by two or three points at one time.”
Senior Mitchell Ball joined a very select group, winning his fourth individual championship. Wrestling in the 126-pound division, Ball becomes only the second GISA wrestler and the 25th GHSA grappler to win four gold medals. He won the 103-pound weight class as an eighth grader and again as a freshman. Last year, Ball won his third title, this one in the 126-pound category.
Juniors Justin Lane (120) and Dylan Stuckey (182) captured their second consecutive state championships. Senior Eddie Howard (170) took the silver medal.
Five wrestlers captured the bronze medals. Sophomore Joshua Bohannon (132), freshmen Tyce Lovett (152) and G.C. Kimbrell (220) and eighth graders Kyle Samuels (106) and Billy Tillman (113) finished third.
Juniors Jake Hagan (160) and Drew Salter (145) had fifth-place finishes.
“We lost some matches we thought we were going to take,” added Tomlin. “The kids who came back through the consolation bracket gave it their all. The kids who placed did a great job. Our fan support was unbelievable.”