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Boys Athlete of the Week: Buford's Chip Ness
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Honor Roll

Basketball

Carter Cagle, Johnson: Tallied 23 points against Stephens County on Thursday.

Shaquan Cantrell, Gainesville: Scored 21 points against Salem, 20 against Apalachee, and 17 against Flowery Branch last week.

Ty Cockfield, Johnson: Recorded 21 points against Stephens County on Thursday and 17 against Lumpkin County last Tuesday.

A.J. Davis, Buford: Scored 18 points against North Hall in the 7-AAA championship game on Saturday.

Tyler Dominy, Dawson County: Recorded 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against White County last Tuesday.

Kyle Doyle, Buford: Tallied 22 points against Dawson County on Friday.

Brian Edwards, East Hall: Scored 24 points against North Hall on Friday and 16 against West Hall last Tuesday.

Roderick English, Johnson: Recorded 15 points against Lumpkin County last Tuesday.

Montrell McKenzie, Johnson: Tallied 14 points and 17 rebounds last Tuesday, 16 points and seven rebounds on Thursday, and 15 points on Friday.

Austin Montgomery, Lakeview: Scored 26 points against Hebron Christian last Tuesday.

Luke Moore, Gainesville: Recorded 15 points against Salem on Saturday and 13 against Flowery Branch last Tuesday.

Griffin Olson, North Hall: Tallied 18 points against East Hall on Friday.

Ebo Smith, North Hall: Put up 25 points against East Hall on Friday and 16 points against Buford on Saturday.

Satchel Turpin, Jefferson: Scored 18 points against Oglethorpe County last Tuesday.

Deshaun Watson, Gainesville: Recorded 17 points against Salem on Saturday.

Wrestling

Jack Barber, Buford: Won the 113-pound Class AAA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Gavin Brown, Dawson County: Finished second in the 182-pound weight class at the Class AAA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Graeson Cochran, Commerce: Finished second in the 160-pound weight class at the Class A individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Wes Faulkner, Banks County: Finished second in the 160-pound weight class at the Class AAA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Brayden Hartley, Buford: Won the 126-pound Class AAA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Christopher Harvey, Riverside Military: Finished second in the 120-pound weight class at the Class AA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Greg Hilliard, Lumpkin County: Won the 113-pound Class AAAA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Ben Kelly, Jefferson: Won the 113-pound Class AA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Tyler Kratzer, North Hall: Finished second in the 145-pound weight class at the Class AAA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Daivon Ledford, Jackson County: Won the 170-pound Class AAA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Taylor Marett, North Hall: Finished second in the 106-pound weight class at the Class AAA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Tyler Marinelli, Jefferson: Won the 135-pound Class AA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Chance McClure, Commerce: Won the 220-pound Class A individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Jace McColskey, Jefferson: Won the 182-pound Class AA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Chris McCrackin, Banks County: Won the 106-pound Class AAA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Chip Ness, Buford: Won the 182-pound Class AAA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Mason Patton, Banks County: Finished second in the 126-pound weight class at the Class AAA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Michael Patton, Commerce: Finished second in the 126-pound weight class at the Class A individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Chase Piperato, Jefferson: Won the 106-pound Class AA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Trent Reddish, Commerce: Finished second in the 170-pound weight class at the Class A individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Jake Sherman, Jefferson: Finished second in the 152-pound weight class at the Class AA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Eli Smallwood, Banks County: Finished second in the 170-pound weight class at the Class AAA individual state championship on Saturday in Macon.

Compiled by Kelsey Williamson

From the side of the mat, Buford’s Chip Ness looks like just another wrestler cheering on his teammates. When he steps on the mat, however, it is clear that Ness is one of the state’s elite wrestlers.

Even before Buford coach Rob Carlyle started as the Wolves coach this past summer, he knew Ness’s name.
“I’ve only gotten to know him this year,” Carlyle said. “But I’ve seen him from afar.

“I knew of him, especially at the Gwinnett County tournament. (Archer) didn’t have anybody that could beat him.”

Ness, who has moved up at least one weight class every season for Buford, puts in extensive work in the offseason and placed third nationally at a freestyle wrestling meet in Fargo, N.D. last summer.

“I can see he’s grown. He’s developed as a wrestler and now he’s wrestling bigger, better guys,” Carlyle said.

His work pays off each year in the state individual wrestling tournaments, and this season, the junior won his third state championship in three seasons at the 182-pound weight class last Saturday in the Class AAA tournament.

For his efforts, Ness is The Times Boys Athlete of the Week.

Ness, who finished the season 54-1, dominated every opponent he faced in the state tournament over the weekend in Macon.

“He’s just physical,” Carlyle said. “Even in his first match, he’s real physical on his feet, gets on top, and looks for a turn. He had two pins and a technical fall.”

He is clearly an all-around threat for anyone who faces him, but Carlyle said Ness’ true strength is his ability to move on his feet.

“He’s really dangerous on his feet,” Carlyle said. “He’s 182 pounds, but he wrestles like a lightweight. He can pretty much take down anybody at will.”

Once he takes down his opponent, Ness is able to control them from the top without giving them the opportunity to score.

“He uses arm-bars, the power half, I think in the finals, he pinned the guy in a cradle,” Carlyle said. “He doesn’t look like he’s very strong, but he’s able to cradle guys.”

After getting the pin-fall in the state finals, Ness celebrated for just a short period of time before changing gears and cheering for his other teammates, Jack Barber and Brayden Hartley, in their finals matches.

“After he won the state finals match, he stood on the sidelines cheering on his teammates,” Carlyle said. “I think he was more excited about their matches than his own.”

Carlyle believes this helped Ness succeed once again this season, because he has teammates that are familiar with the pressures of the state finals as well. As for his other fellow Wolves, Ness is an encouraging force in the practice room and at the side of the mat.

“He encourages them,” Carlyle said. “He pushes them to get better. He does what he’s got to do on the mat, but he’s also just a 16-year-old kid who has developed the maturity to wrestle at these higher weight classes.”

Although Carlyle said one thing Ness could improve upon is his patience in matches, he certainly has a number of talents that enable him to win almost at will, but one personal quality stands out among the rest.

“We placed fourth as a team,” Carlyle said. “He was real excited about that because it’s the highest we’ve ever placed. He was more excited about us and his teammates winning state than his own state championship. That’s one good quality about him.”

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