Six Dragons win individual championships
Jefferson's remarkable state title streak is safe for another year.
The Dragons secured their 14th consecutive traditional state crown Saturday at Toombs County by placing eight wrestlers in the finals and claiming six individual state championships to fend off a host of Class AA challengers.
"It's amazing," Jefferson coach Doug Thurmond said. "We had so much adversity this year, it's been freaking crazy. So many people were hurt, and all these kids stepped up."
Jefferson finished with 193 points, beating second-place Bremen by 37 points (156). Third-place Social Circle (134) and fourth-place Toombs County (124.5) also had strong showings.
The Dragons' lead over Bremen dwindled to eight points by mid-afternoon Saturday during the consolation semifinals. But Jefferson responded by winning six of eight finals matches to keep alive a streak that started way back in 2001.
Tyler Marinelli claimed his third state title with a win in the 138 class, while Chase Piperato grabbed his second title with a victory at 126. First-time champions included Price Joiner (113), Jack Dollar (145), Caleb "Bam" Little (160) and Michael Paolozzi (220). Paolozzi's win came as a result of an illegal slam from his opponent, Toombs County's Jamar Smith. The illegal move left Paolozzi unable to continue the match, as ruled by a trainer onsite, and he was awarded the victory. Paolozzi sustained a concussion and was treated at a hospital.
Tanner Thurmond (132) and Zach Boobas (152) finished as runners-up. Also placing were Zach Rhymer (third, 170) and Deshon Lester (fourth, 195).
For full coverage of Jefferson's state title run, see the Feb. 26 issue of The Jackson Herald.
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