published Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Gordon Lee Trojans plan to exit Class A in style at GHSA duals

The Gordon Lee Trojans hope to leave Macon sometime Saturday night with a little move first perfected by George Costanza.

As the two-time defending champions make their final appearance in the Class A field at the GHSA State Wrestling Duals this weekend, Brent Raby's program wants to leave 'em wanting more. Going out on a high note would be the perfect way to exit as the school looks forward to moving up to Class AA next year.

"It's our last year in Class A, and we want to go out in style," the fiery Raby said. "We're the 1 seed and we've won two years in a row, and the one thing I know about these guys is they're not going there to place second."

The duals begin today for the state's three highest classifications at the Macon Centreplex, including Class AAAA top-ranked Gilmer County, which is seeking its fifth consecutive duals title. The 54-7 Bobcats open against Fayette County and with a win would wrestle again tonight. Coach Sam Snider believes his veteran squad is ready, though the competition is once again elite.

"We know Alexander (the No. 2 seed) is very good and we believe we could see (area runner-up) Cass in the finals, but we know what it takes to win it and the guys are as ready as they can be," said Snider, whose team finished in the top three at two prestigious tournaments over the past three weeks.

Also representing the greater Chattanooga area is Sonoraville, the Area 3-AAA champion for the second consecutive season. The Firebirds of coach Steve Hamilton open Friday against Buford and with a win would likely face second-seeded Woodward Academy in the semifinals. Banks County is the top seed in AAA.

As for Gordon Lee's competition, second-ranked Commerce is a team loaded with a strong mix of youth and experience and many believe the Tigers are actually the team to beat.

"Everybody is talking about Commerce, and they are a great team," said Raby, whose team opens against Treutlen County Friday at 1:15. "They didn't lose much form last year, and they have a whole herd of tough freshmen that they've filled in the gaps they did have. We'll have our hands full with them, but our kids are ready.

"The thing is, most of our guys have done nothing but win in Macon and, to be honest, that experience has to mean something. They're ready to bring it back home again."

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6296.

about Lindsey Young...

Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...

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