How does it feel to be a STATE CHAMPION? Cody Williams answered, “Amazing!” Cody’s freshman and sophomore seasons ended with a loss. Not the way he’s used to ending the majority of his matches. During this Covid-shortened season, junior Cody Williams has been on a mission to get back to this stage, anxious to have another opportunity to capture something that has been so close twice before, a state championship. He finished his junior campaign with an 18-1 record and a first place medal. Tuesday afternoon, Cody began working his way through the 182-pound bracket with a Bye in the first round, a Fall (0:48) over Fannin County’s Tommy Ledford, a 6-0 decision over Dodge County’s Joah Gay, and a Fall (3:50) over Harlem’s Stephen Hardemen in the semifinals. At approximately 11:30 PM, late on Wednesday night, Cody defeated Vidalia’s Senior 182-pounder, Dawson Campbell, by Fall with just under a minute to go in the second period. Congratulations Cody for bringing home another wrestling state championship to DCHS! Here is a summary of the other Wolverine wrestlers who placed.
Jake Gatlin (106)
Jake Gatlin was 1-1 in the Championship Bracket on Tuesday. He pinned Berrien’s Scotty Bonham with just five seconds to go in the first period. Jake would lose his semifinal match to Lovett School’s, Alex Hyman, by major decision 14-0. Making it to the Championship Bracket Semifinals means that a wrestler will automatically place at least fifth place but could place as high as third. Wednesday evening, Jake lost to junior Jacob Voyles of Banks County by a 6-2 decision. He was awarded a 5th place medal.
Zac Smith (152)
Zac Smith also advanced to the Semifinals on the opening night of the tournament. The Dade County junior was 2-1 in the Championship Bracket defeating Union County’s Trevor Guild by Fall (1:22) and Swainsboro’s Caleb Smith by technical fall (22-6) before losing to state runner-up Corbin Davenport of Fannin County. Zac wrestled his first match of the consolation semifinals on Wednesday against Bremen’s Cade Wallace, winning by Fall with just under thirty seconds to go in the second period. Zac would lose in the consolation finals to Clay Frost of Oglethorpe County by a decision of 6-1, good enough to be awarded 4th place in the State Championships.
Landon Williams (195)
Probably the story of the night, had he not been shown up by his big brother. Facts, last year at this time, Landon Williams was a scorekeeper when his older brother, Cody, was wrestling for a state championship as a sophomore. His freshmen season didn’t look promising when Landon suffered a broken ankle near the very end of football season. Wrestling a handful of matches in the regular season at 160, Landon felt his best chance at placing at state would be in the 195lb weight class. So, at around 175-pounds, Landon began his work on Tuesday night in the 195-lb. class. Landon was 2-1 on Tuesday, defeating Elbert County’s Josiah Harkins by Fall (1:43) and JD Smith of Cook HS by decision 13-8, before eventually losing in the semifinals to Harlem’s Clay Hyatt. Landon moved to the consolation semifinals on Wednesday beginning the night with a victory over Matthew Crowder of Fannin County by Fall in the first period. He was awarded third place after pinning Lovett School’s Christia Bell, also in the first period.
Austin Sorrelle (220)
Fighting through the Consolation Bracket is tough to do, something that Austin Sorrelle gave his all beginning on Tuesday night after losing to Oglethorpe County’s Elijah McClendon by a 9-5 decision in his first match. The Dade County junior fought his way to Wednesday with three straight victories on opening night, defeating Jalin Linder by Fall (2:17), Brady Warren of Berrien by Fall (2:33) and a 5-3 decision versus Triston Durden of Cook HS. Austin continued his fight through the consolation bracket in the quarterfinals on Wednesday night defeating Callaway’s Joseph Shuman by an 8-5 decision. Sorrelle eventually had to face Oglethorpe’s McClendon in a consolation semifinal rematch, coming up short by a 7-3 decision. Last year, Austin wasn’t fortunate enough to make it out of sectionals. However, this year, the junior was one of five wrestlers who placed at State.
Congratulations to all eleven wrestlers who qualified and competed at the GHSA State Traditional Tournament. Thanks to the coaches, Jeff Poston and Andy Williams, for their commitment and time. And congratulations once again to Cody Williams for winning a State Championship!! You all represented our school well this year.