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Mustangs edge Rebels for area title
Effingham to send 14 to state sectionals; South Effingham sending 13
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See for photos of the area traditionals 

Area 2-AAAA Traditionals

Top four finishers by weight class


Jaudon (Effingham)

Boatwright (Ware)

Brown (South Effingham)


Guerrero (South Effingham)

Williams (Ware)

Shores (Effingham)

Hightower (Glynn Academy)


McConnell (Glynn Academy)

Johnson (Ware)

Gaspard (South Effingham)

Frederick (Effingham)


Jameson (South Effingham)

Panter (Effingham)

Perkins (Brunswick)

Gillis (Ware)



Piche (Effingham)

Hobbs (South Effingham)

Bristow (Ware)

Palm (Brunswick)


Bushey (Effingham)

Horne (South Effingham)

Delk (Ware)

Myles (Brunswick)


Collum (South Effingham)

Saxon (Ware)

Powell (Effingham)

Doster (Brunswick)


Collum (South Effingham)

Metcalf (Glynn Academy)

Tinnyhill (Ware)

Stefan (Effingham)


Shavers (Ware)

Macklunis (Effingham)

Brown (South Effingham)

Geer (Glynn Academy)


Herrington (Effingham)

Baggott (South Effingham)

Johnson (Ware)

O'Connor (Brunswick)


Taylor (Ware)

Ginn (Effingham)

Mack (South Effingham)

Brown (Brunswick)


Monroe (Ware)

Reams (South Effingham)

Barwick (Brunswick)

Norton (Effingham)


Jerome (Effingham)

Leahy (South Effingham)

Vonashek (Glynn Academy)

Armani (Brunswick)


Young (Ware)

Wilson (Brunswick)

Hunt (Effingham)

Brice (Glynn Academy) 

BRUNSWICK— There were plenty of smiles for the South Effingham wrestling team Saturday afternoon at Brunswick High’s gym.

The Mustangs, with four individual champions, edged their rival Effingham County Rebels for the Area 2-AAAA traditionals title, winning 192.5-189.

“We knew it was going to be tough coming in here,” said Mustangs coach Tom Onorato. “You just don’t always know how it’s going to shake out. We knew if we wrestled well we’d have a chance to come out on top. The other goal was to get as many kids through as we can.”

South Effingham is sending 13 wrestlers to the Class AAAA East state sectionals this coming weekend in Loganville. Effingham County is sending its entire contingent of 14 wrestlers from the area tournament to the sectionals.

The top four finishers from sectionals will advance to the state traditionals tournament, set for the Gwinnett Arena from Feb. 18-20.

“It’s disappointing,” Rebels coach Nico Guggino said of the runner-up finish. “South came out to wrestle; we didn’t. Most of our guys wrestled pretty well. When you’re as evenly matched as we are with them, we made the mistakes and they didn’t.”

Effingham County accomplished one of its goals in qualifying its full complement for the sectionals. But they also wanted another sweep of the area team championships.

“We had our opportunities and didn’t take advantage of them. They had their opportunities, and they did,” Guggino said of the Mustangs. “They stepped up, and we didn’t. We win one, they win one. That speaks for itself how close it is.”

The Mustangs got championships from Luis Guerrero (112 pounds), Josh Jameson (125), Robbie Collum (140) and Cameron Collum (145). Guerrero beat Ware’s John Williams 9-1 for the title, while Jameson outlasted Effingham’s Justin Panter 9-1.

Jameson was ill but last year’s third-place state finisher at 130 pounds pushed through and beat Panter in a competitive final.

“It’s a testament to how gritty and tough he is,” Onorato said. “He showed a lot of resilience, a lot of pride. A lot of kids look at his toughness and use that as a way of motivating themselves. There’s a guy wrestling out here and feeling like a dog, so I’ve got no excuse not to wrestle hard.

“I think it’s the type of leadership anyone would like to see. I couldn’t be any more proud of him.”

Robbie Collum got a second period pin of Ware’s Zack Saxon in the 140 championship match, and Cameron Collum easily beat Glynn Academy’s Sean Metcalf 15-5 for his championship.

The Rebels had five area champions — Jamelle Jaudon (103), Kyle Piche (130), Andrew Bushey (135), Casey Herrington (160) and Joey Jerome (215) — and four of the finals matches came against South Effingham foes.

Jaudon got a first period pin of Ware’s K.P. Boatright in the finals, Piche beat South Effingham’s Will Hobbs 9-2, Bushey’s late takedown gave him a 3-1 win over Daylan Horne of South Effingham, Herrington pinned Michael Baggott in the third period, and Jerome got a third period pin of Andrew Leahy.

Brandon Macklunis took second at 152 after his 4-2 loss to Ware County’s David Shavers.

Ware County had four champions and took third with 172 points. Maurice Taylor claimed the 171 title with a quick pin of Effingham’s Jordan Ginn, Caleb Monroe won at 189 with 6-5 victory over South Effingham’s Thomas Reams and M.J. Young pinned Brunswick’s Adam Wilson in the final match of the day.

Kevin McConnell of Glynn Academy claimed the 119 title.

South Effingham finished second at last month’s area duals to Effingham and was runner-up at last year’s area traditionals, making Saturday’s finish all the more worthwhile to the Mustangs.

“I’m excited for them,” Onorato said. “I just credit the kids and their hard work. It’s been a long time coming. Last year we chased Effingham like crazy and we always came up short. We came up short at area duals this year. It was nice to see the kids get reward for their hard work. Coach Guggino and his team wrestled hard. I guess that rivalry makes us both better. We knew we had a tough team ahead of us we were going to have to beat in order to be area champions.”