The wrestling powerhouse spoiled Bremen’s first crack at earning a state crown at the Class AA level at the GHSA State Duals in Macon, earning a 47-16 victory in the finals for a 12th consecutive state championship in the dual format.
And for Bremen coach Tony Armas, the second-place finish leaved a bitter taste at the end of the weekend following a solid opening day of action from his squad on Friday.
“We didn’t go down there to try to finish second. That’s not the goal,” Armas said. “I saw some good things on Friday, but I just didn’t get us ready for [Saturday], I guess. Just didn’t do what we needed to get done. They out-wrestled us, out-hustled us and out-coached us. That pretty much does it all.”
Bremen won four matches in the finals, with heavyweight Joe Bexley recording a pin, Cory Morgan winning a 4-2 decision at 126 pounds, Kannon Madden capturing a major decision at 152 and Nick Bovona capping off a solid weekend with a win by decision at 195 pounds.
Bremen, which came in third place last year at the duals in Class A, opened the weekend with a 48-30 victory over Fitzgerald and then knocked off Social Circle, 48-14, in the semifinals on Friday evening.
On Saturday, though, Armas said his squad gave up too many bonus points — a 17-4 differential — to give itself a chance to win.
Now the focus shifts to February’s traditional state meet, where the Blue Devils took first in Class A last year behind five individual state champions, four of which return this year.
Armas said his team has a lot of work to do between now and then.
“They’ve got to decide what our goals are and what we want to work to get to,” Armas said. “Obviously, at Bremen the goal is always to be successful in February, and they’ve got to get it done.”
Rounding out Saturday’s state champions across the other classifications were Gordon Lee (Class A), Banks County (AAA), Gilmer (AAAA), Pope (AAAAA) and Archer (AAAAAA).