Buford knew that competition would be fierce when they went up against Camden County in the finals of the GHSA Class AAAAAAA State Duals. After all, Camden County was the six-time defending Class AAAAAAA State Champions. Buford would fall short with Camden County claiming a 39-22 victory on Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Buford Arena.
Buford quickly bested Brookwood 68-6 in the first round where they won the final 11 matches with nine of them winning by a pin. Then the Wolves defeated West Forsyth in the semifinals 58-15.
North Gwinnett fell to Camden County in the first round as Camden County easily knocked off the Bulldogs with a score of 74-3. Camden County faced Mill Creek in the semifinals where they ultimately beat the Hawks 42-24.
Buford and Camden County, both top tier programs, made it to the finals.
Buford’s Maddox MacArthur opened up the finals with a 3-2 win over Camden County’s Anthony Santos in the 132-pound weight class. Camden County’s Waylon Rozier won the decision 9-4 over Buford’s Hudson Danielson in the 138-pound weight class. Buford won the next three weight classes beginning with the 144-pound weight class as Drew Gorman pinned Brandon Russelburg. At 150, Gavin Pope beat Gavin Daniels by decision and then JT McCullough got a 2-0 win over Ryan Banister. Buford would lead 15-3.
Camden County got back into the competition with a win at 165 when Konlin Weaver pinned Kanon Nelson, as well as a win by Ryan Wilder as he pinned Grayson Santee at 175 pounds tying up the match.
Conor McCloskey, who normally wrestles at 175, made the jump to 190 pounds and defeated Camden County’s Britt Blair 14-2. Buford’s Aaron Riner would move up to 215 from his usual 190 weight class and best Dustin Edenfield 9-3 to make it 22-15 in favor of Buford.
From there Camden County took over as Jesse Batten beat Devin Forrester by a pin at 285, Bradley Patterson defeated DJ Clarke by an 8-3 decision at 106, Brandon Higgins pinned two-time state champion Rylan Ibold at 113 and Hunter Prosen won a 9-4 decision over Ty Gentry to win the state duals title.
Buford will look to regroup and work on improving their skills to attempt to take the Class AAAAAAA State Traditional title Feb. 16-18 at the Macon Centreplex.