Southwest DeKalb captured its third DeKalb County Wrestling Championship by dethroning three-time defending champion Dunwoody on Saturday at Dunwoody.
The Panthers won four gold medals and had 10 wrestlers place sixth or higher to score 235.5 points to Dunwoody’s 226. St. Pius finished third with 202.0 points followed by Marist (189.0) and Stone Mountain (125.0). This makes three county titles for Keith Johnson’s Panthers who also won in 2007 and 2011.
All four Panthers that brought home gold medals also claimed gold a year ago. Jayden Hammons won the 132-weight class in 2022 and moved up to the 138 class to take gold again. Hammonds pulled out a pin of Miller Grove’s Tyrone Williams in the title match to capture the gold. He had won by fall in his opening match of the Championships and a technical fall in the semifinals over Tucker’s Zekrya Saifi to advance. Williams had won two of his first three matches by pinfall including a semifinal win over Isaac Kaufman of Dunwoody who took the bronze.
Southwest DeKalb’s Dharrin Smith repeated as a gold medalist with his decisive 14-4 victory over St. Pius’ Connor Sharp in the championship match. Smith had drawn an opening round bye and won by a pin in the quarterfinals against Chamblee’s Chance Stallings and by technical fall over Anas Aziz of Clarkston (claimed a bronze medal in the consolation finals).
Jerrell Baskins became the third Panther to score back-to-back gold medals in the Championship with a pin of Arabia Mountain’s Langston Blakely in the final match of the 175 class. Baskins had won gold at 195 a year ago. Baskins won all four of his matches by pinfall. Blakely had won his first three matches by pinfall before dropping the title match to Baskins. Columbia’s Pharrell Griffin won the bronze over Lithonia’s David Stephens by a late pinfall.
Isaiah Scott also became a two-time gold medal winner for the Panthers via a quick take down and pin of Stone Mountain’s Erick Barrios. Scott won all three of his matches after a first-round bye via the pinfall. Barrios had won his previous three matches by pinfall to reach the finals. Scott’s semifinal pin was over bronze medalist Luke Chilton of Lakeside who went on to win over Dunwoody’s Steven Crespo by pin to take third.
Second place Dunwoody picked up three gold medals and 11 other wrestlers place in the Top Six including two runners-up on Saturday. Charlie Ruark scored his second county title in two years by winning the 120-weight class via a convincing 9-1 win over Evan Chandler of Marist. Ruark had won his two opening matches by pinfall. Amadou Dieye of Redan captured the bronze in a tight 3-0 win over Southwest DeKalb’s Jordon Allen.
The two other Dunwoody gold medals came in exciting fashion at the 132 and 150 weight classes. Charlie Mixson who finished second at 120 in 2022 was trailing St. Pius’ Gene Smith 2-1 as the clock on round three ticked down to the 10 second mark. He escaped and took Smith down to score two-points for win before the buzzer sounded to get the victory. Mixson had won two of his first three matches by pinfall including the semifinals win over Miller Grove’s Chauncey Walton who went on to win the bronze medal with a pin of Stephenson’s Ezekiel Adams.
Heading into the final 20 seconds of the 150-championship match Dunwoody’s Richard Remigalo and Southwest DeKalb’s Malik Colquitt were tied at 5 points each. Remigalo slipped Colquitt’s hold and picked up a quick five points to take a 10-5 victory for the gold. Both wrestlers had reached the finals following pinfalls of their first two opponents. Redan’s LaDamian Stewart picked up a pinfall over Arabia Mountain’s Yohance Harrison to take the bronze.
Third place St. Pius had 11 wrestlers place on the day but dropped all class championship matches to finish with four silver and two bronze medals.
Fourth place Marist came away with three gold amongst its 10 wrestlers that placed in the tournament. Xaiver Byams swept the 190-class winner all three of his matches via pinfall including his title bout with Dunwoody’s Cohen Heinrich who had won his first two matches by pinfall. Southwest DeKalb’s Zyeed Connwell pinned Stone Mountain’s Victor Folks to win the bronze medal.
Forest Briesacher picked up the first of the three golds for Marist with his third consecutive win in the tournament by pinfall as he took down Stephenson’s Artavus Hughes. Stone Mountain’s Dontavious Perry won his bronze medal against St. Pius’ James Soha with this third pinfall of the tournament.
Howard Heller picked up the gold in the 144 class via pin over St. Pius’ Luke Pinson for Marist’s third gold of the day. Heller won four of this tournament matches by pinfall. Pinson had won his three previous matches by pinfall. Tucker’s Adiante Armstead pinned Dunwoody’s Colin Murphy to claim the bronze.
Druid Hills Deonte’ Smith grabbed the gold in the 113-championship match with his second pinfall of the tournament against St. Pius’ Ben Tomasello giving Druid Hills a gold medal. Tomasello had a pair of pinfall wins to reach the finals. Dunwoody’s Alex McKissick pinned Stone Mountain’s Quintavious Sanford to notch a bronze medal.
Columbia’s Thawbaan As-Siddiq moved up to 126 for this year’s tournament after winning gold at 120 a year ago. As-Siddiq won the gold via injury default against Dunwoody’s Sam Scothorn when Scothorn could not continue after being injured during the match. As-Siddiq had won his first two matches by pinfall and was awarded the Tillery Award as the Best Overall Wrestler of the tournament. St. Pius’ Meco Favors defeated Southwest DeKalb’s Kenyon Muse by pinfall to claim the bronze medal.
Arabia Mountain’s Malik Conley became a two-time DeKalb County champion getting convincing 10-1 victory over Marist’s Miller Byce in the championship match at 165. Conley won at 160 a year ago. He won his two previous matches via pinfall and technical fall. Byce reached the finals with a pinfall over St. Pius’s Joe Brewster. Brewster finished off the tournament with a bronze medal with a pinfall over Southwest DeKalb’s Brian Pitts.
The final championship match came in the 285 class that matched Tucker’s Antez Starks and Miller Grove’s John Nyiam both of whom had swept into the finals with three consecutive pinfalls. Starks put Nyiam down for the pinfall to capture the gold medal to complete a four-pinfall tournament. Makhi Williams-Lee of Lakeside battled back from a first-round loss to Nyiam winning four consecutive matches by pinfall, including the bronze medal match against Lithonia’s Jaimariae Cumberbatch.
Teams now prepare for Area and state qualifying this coming weekend.
See links below for complete DCSD County Wrestling Championships results:
2023 DCSD Wrestling Championships Top 6/Team Standings