Tifton Gazette

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February 11, 2014

Pair of Panthers win wrestling titles

TIFTON — John Adams of Tiftarea Academy made it three in a row over the weekend at the GISA wrestling tournament when he won the wrestling state championship at Macon’s Tattnall Square Academy last weekend. He was one of two Panthers to take laurels as Zach Willis also won a title.

Assistant coach Joe Barkman said Adams won his final by pin and Willis won his by points. The team was 5th overall, with Westfield winning the title. "They performed well," he said.

Amazingly for Adams, his titles have come in three different weight classes. He won the 2012 at 132 pounds, pinning his opponent and last year's at 138 by points. He wrestled at 152 this year.

Willis won his crown in the 138-pound division.

A third Tiftarea wrestler made it all the way to the finals. Taylor Dukes finished as runner-up, Barkman said, at 145.

Of the other Panthers who competed in the state tournament, Barkman said Alex Richter was 9th in 106, Jace Newton (120) was 3rd, Luke Dean (132) was 5th, Austin Woods (170) was 5th and James Allen Bryant (195) finished 3rd.

Barkman said he and other coaches were proud of the results. "They worked hard all year long."

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