Bears wrestle away area championship from Pope

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MILTON, Ga. – Not many people in the wrestling community would have predicted that a second-year high school wrestling program would be the 2014 GHSA 5A – Area 7 regional champions. But at Kell High School on Feb. 1, it happened, when Cambridge defeated Pope High School, this year’s state 5A team duals champs and 5A – Area 7 champs since 2007.

β€œOur guys came to wrestle. Each of them knew what they had to do in order to win. Our experienced kids scored big and we got some key pins from our big guys. Everything fell into place at the end. I am extremely proud of all of them,” said Bears head coach Don St. James.

The Bears racked up an impressive 253 points, edging out the Pope Greyhounds who managed to put up 249.5 points. Creekview came in third with 228.5 points. The Bears advanced 11 wrestlers to the bonus rounds, netting five champions, one runner-up and five consolation winners.

β€œI am so proud of them, I think I will give them Sunday off,” laughed St. James. β€œMonday, we get back to work.”

The Bears then prepared for the next step in their quest for a state championship, the 5A East sectional hosted by Cambridge Feb. 7-8.

The top eight in each weight placing in the 5A East sectional will advance to the GHSA state tournament held Feb. 13-15 held at the Gwinnett Center Arena in Lawrenceville.

5A –Area 7 individual results and records

120 – J.R. Salemi – champion (51-1)

126 – Brandon Filosi – champion (54-4)

145 – Devin Kane – champion (49-3)

220 – Jalen Hammons-Jeter – champion (18-5)

285 – Malik McNeil – champion (26-2)

138 – Will Britain – runner up (41-5)

160 – Luke Williams – third (12-9)

195 – Sean Kaira – third (40-16)

132 – Chris Anderson – fourth (32-21)

182 – Eric Cizek – fourth (36-11)