Forsyth Paladins state champions

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — The fifth-grade Division 1 Forsyth Paladins capped off an undefeated season in December by winning the “Born to Compete” state championship.

The Forsyth Paladins finished the regular season 10-0, claimed the division championship title and earned an invitation to play in the Born to Compete state championship tournament. Born to Compete is a website for youth that ranks teams across the state in all sports. The site followed the Paladins all season and ranked the team No. 1 in the state for its age group.

Eight teams were selected to play in this year’s tournament. The Paladins defeated the Georgia Supreme Gladiators 28-8 in the first round, and moved on to the semifinals against last year’s state champion, the Central DeKalb Jaguars. The Paladins shut out the Jaguars for the first time in three years with a final score of 6-0.

In the state championship game, the Paladins faced the Atlanta Vikings who had only lost one game in the last three years. With a tie of 22 all at the end of the fourth quarter, the Paladins won the championship in overtime.

Last week, the Paladins’ head coach, Heath Hawk, was named Coach of the Year. C.J. Streicher was named Player of the Year, and Bret Buursema was named Defensive Player of the Year. The awards were voted on by coaches and players who participated in the state tournament.