A junior from Dawson County High School wrestled his way to the top at the state tournament in Buford Saturday.
Gavin Brown was named the 3A individual champion in the 182-pound class.
Senior Keaton Toal placed third in the 220-pound class.
Five wrestlers from Dawson County competed in the state tournament.
It was a big year for the 2014 wrestling team. It was the first time since 2004 that we have won the Area Title, Head Coach Arron Haynes said. We also advanced the most wrestlers to the state tournament since 2004.
Brown wrestled three matches and beat his Banks County opponent in the final round.
Toal wrestled four matches to capture the third place title.
This is one of the best seasons weve had overall since 2004, Haynes said. The senior class finished up with the most career team wins in school history.
The team has had at least one player make it to the state tournament as far back as Haynes can remember.
As head coach, hes (Brown) my fourth champion, Haynes said. Weve had a couple of runners-up since then and a lot of pacers.
Since the wrestling programs inception in the 1980s, the team has had a state qualifier every year and a state-placer all but just a few years, Haynes said.
But this year was particularly meaningful to Haynes.
It was a very special year where we really bonded as a team, Haynes said, and the boys lifted each other up at practice and during matches while facing adversity. I have a great group of assistants that worked hard to prepare the boys each and every match, and we were blessed to be a part of it because ultimately it is the boys who do the workwe just sit back and yell a lot.