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Amicalola Classic a huge success
Perry wins weight class
Wrestling pic 1
Tiger Nick Tobias struggles to score points as he narrowly lost to Lee Cagle, 1-0, on Saturday. - photo by Photo/Pam Jacobs

The 26th annual Amicalola Classic wrestling tournament finished this past weekend. The tournament is arguably the best wrestling event in Georgia and last Friday and Saturday justified the reasoning.


Fourteen teams from all across North Georgia entered. With packed crowds witnessing the Commerce Tigers, #2 in Class A, winning the team title by 19 points over second place Gilmer County, ranked #3 in Class AAA. The Tigers from Commerce, coached by Kendall Love, amassed a total of 179.5 points to Gilmer’s 160.5.


The order of team points were as follows: Commerce 179.5, Gilmer County 160.5, White County 153, Lumpkin County 127, Pickens County 115.5, Dawson County 109, North Oconee 105, Creekview 87.5, Chattooga 63.5, Fannin County 61, Sequoyah 50, St. Francis 39, North Atlanta 37 and Winder-Barrow 31.


There were 14 individual winners in each weight class presented with a medal on Saturday afternoon. Medals were also given to wrestlers that finished in second, third and fourth place.


Dawson County’s team also made a statement coming in sixth place with a team total of 109 points. The Tigers captured a championship in the 130-pound weight class when senior Joe Perry defeated Casey Drinkard of Commerce to win the title.


Although it was Dawson’s only individual title, several Tiger grapplers had an outstanding showing in the tournament.


Following is a breakdown of how the Tigers performed in each weight class:

103 - James Evans


(Third place)


Evans won his first two matches with wins over Austin Whitley (Sequoyah) and Jacob Harrison (Commerce) before losing in the quarter finals to Caleb Morris of White County. Morris eventually won the individual championship. Evans fought his way through the losers bracket to finish with a great third place finish by defeating Zack Zilleox of St. Francis.


112 - David Wood


Wood competed in a very tough 112-weight class. He won his first match on Friday against Joseph Jacobs of North Atlanta. This pitted Wood against Anthony Brady (White County). Wood lost to Brady who won the weight class on Saturday afternoon. Wood then defeated Lance Chapman of Pickens County before being eliminated by James Snipes of Lumpkin County.


119 - Luke Parks


Parks got off to a quick start by winning his first two bouts over Josh Irtenkauf (Sequoyah) and Wesley Forrester (Lumpkin) before being defeated by Tyler Davenport from Gilmer County. Parks was put out of the competition with a loss to Dyllan Greene of North Oconee.


125 - Rene Santillian


Santillian put forth an outstanding effort but lost to Zach Horton of Gilmer County in the first round.


130 - Joe Perry




Senior Joe Perry finished the tournament undefeated with a 4-0 record and a championship. Perry defeated Drinkard of Commerce for the championship on Saturday afternoon. He worked his way to the championship final by winning matches against Alexander Jenkins (White), Matt Maxey (St. Francis), and Austin Marlon (North Oconee).


135 - Preston Adams


Adams had a great strong showing before losing to Josh Perigo (Gilmer). Adams won a very tough match against Geoff Haughwoutt of Pickens to advancing in the consolation bracket before being put out of the event.


140 - Josh Styles


Styles was eliminated in the second round of competition by losing to Dallas Dutter of White County. Styles fought hard in the match, but came up just short against Dutter.


145 - William Ridings


Ridings made it into the quarterfinals before losing to Philip Edwards of Commerce. Edwards ended in third place for the tournament. It was a great showing for Ridings who finished the event with a 2-1 record. Ridings picked up wins over Conor Dolan (St. Francis) and Darby White (Fannin).


152 - Nick Tobias


Tobias finished the tournament with a 2-2 record by picking up wins against Zack Gutierrez (Winder-Barrow) and Austin Burdick (Chattooga). Tobias was eliminated from the event with a loss to Lee Cagle (Lumpkin).


160 - Isaac Martin


Martin was beaten by Chase Veal of Winder in the first round.


171 - Tony Sleigh


Sleigh had an impressive tournament finishing with a 2-2 record. Sleigh was purged from the championship hunt by Zach Leach from Fannin. Leach ended up in fourth place overall. Sleigh picked up wins over Banjamin Lai (North Atlanta) and Paul Riebow (Sequoyah).


189 - Donnie Spittel


Spittel lost in the second round to James Longino of Gilmer County. The loss threw Spittel into the wrestle backs where he exploded for two wins against Josh Strectman of Commerce and Lukas Garren of Fannin. Spittel was out of the chance for a medal by losing to John Young of White County. Young finished with a third place medal.


215 - Kenny Houseal


Houseal also lost in the second round and was placed in the wrestle backs. Houseal defeated Judson Hartline of Chattooga before being put of the chance for a medal by Travis Burton of Lumpkin County. Burton finished in fourth place.


285 - Zac Paz


Paz won his opening round match with a decision over Trey Hampton of Pickens County. Paz was then placed in the wrestle backs by losing in the second round to Zach Sprayberry of Gilmer. Paz picked up two wins over Zac Thomas (Chattooga) and Chaz Moulder (North Atlanta) before losing to Blair Reynolds of Fannin County.


Paz closed the tournament with a 3-2 record.