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Boys Athlete of the Week: North Hall's Caleb Hamilton
Trojans senior won all seven matches by pin at Hall County Championship
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Caleb Hamilton of North Hall has a hold on East Hall’s Dustin Green before winning the 120-pound weight class Saturday at Riverside Military Academy. - photo by NAT GURLEY

Honor roll
Austin Venable, Banks County: Scored 29 points and had 14 rebounds in Friday’s win against West Hall. Scored 17 points with 13 rebounds in Saturday’s win against Commerce.

Zac Orr, Banks County: Had 18 points and 10 rebounds against West Hall.

Zez Steeple, Banks County: Scored 19 points against Commerce.

Christian Zapatero, Chestatee: Was the champion at 126 pounds at the Hall County wrestling championship on Saturday.

Marvin Cunningham, Chestatee: Won the 138-pound class at the Hall County wrestling championship.

Lucas Pain, Dawson County: Had 24 points in Tuesday’s win against White County.

Jackson Putnam, Dawson County: Scored 19 points against White County.

Kyvon Davenport, East Hall: Scored a team-high 24 points in Saturday’s loss to Gainesville.

Jacquen Hopkins, East Hall: Had 15 points against Gainesville.

J.D. Holloway, East Hall: Won the 285-pound class at the Hall County wrestling championship.

Cody Dewing, Flowery Branch: Scored a team-high 19 points in Tuesday’s loss to Apalachee.

Taylor Bourdage, Flowery Branch: Scored 14 in Friday’s loss to Cedar Shoals. Scored 16 in Saturday’s loss to North Hall.

Ronnie Link, Flowery Branch: Emerged champ at 113 pounds at the Hall County wrestling championship.

Brady Dyer, Flowery Branch: Won the 145-pound class at the Hall County wrestling championship.

Zach Winter, Flowery Branch: Won the 152-pound class at the Hall County wrestling championship.

Grant Simonds, Flowery Branch: Won the 182-pound class at the Hall County wrestling championship.

Davante King, Flowery Branch: Won the 195-pound class at the Hall County wrestling championship.

Luke Maddox, Gainesville: Scored 22 points in Tuesday’s win against Winder-Barrow. Scored 13 in Friday’s loss to Heritage. Tied for a game high with 20 points in Saturday’s win against East Hall.

Nam Van Dulm, Gainesville: Had 14 points against Winder-Barrow. Scored 20 against Heritage on Friday. Scored 14 against East Hall.

Rodney Lackey, Gainesville: Tied for team high with 20 points against East Hall.

Kash Jones, Gainesville: Won the 220-pound class at the Hall County wrestling championship.

Colin Monaghan, Gainesville: Set a new county record in the 200 intermediate medley at the Hall County championship meet on Friday.

Tay Taylor, Jefferson: Scored a game-high 34 in Tuesday’s win against Riverside Military.

Satchel Turpin, Jefferson: Had 14 points against Riverside Military.

James Hodges, Johnson: Had 28 points and 12 rebounds in Tuesday’s win against Athens Christian. Scored 23 points with 16 rebounds in Friday’s loss to Eastside. Had 16 points and 11 rebounds in Saturday’s win against West Hall.

Ty Cockfield, Johnson: Scored 13 points with eight rebounds against Athens Christian. Scored 20 points against West Hall.

Carter Cagle, Johnson: Had 21 points and six rebounds against West Hall.

Patrick Avery, Lakeview Academy: Scored 19 points in Tuesday’s loss to Providence Christian.

Evan Bafile, Lumpkin County: Had 15 points in Friday’s win against Stephens County.

Carson Heinen, North Hall: Finished with a team-high 16 in Tuesday’s loss to East Hall. Scored 22 points in Friday’s loss to White County. Scored 22 in Saturday’s win against Flowery Branch.

Brock Wingo, North Hall: Scored 13 points against Flowery Branch.

Evan Easton, North Hall: Scored 14 points against White County.

Ty Powers, North Hall: Set a new Hall County record in the 200 freestyle at the championship meet Friday.

David Schofield, North Hall: Qualified for the state meet in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke at the county championship.

Evan Easton, North Hall: Scored 15 points against East Hall.

Holden Barnes, North Hall: Won the 106 class at the Hall County wrestling championship.

Michael Carew, North Hall: Won the 132-pound class at the Hall County wrestling championship.

Nick Whitmire, North Hall: Won the 170-pound class at the Hall County wrestling championship.

Jake Weiner, Riverside Military: Scored a team-high 18 points against Jefferson.

Avery Cagle, Riverside Military: Scored 15 points and added 10 rebounds against Oglethorpe County on Friday. Had 40 points, six rebounds and four steals in Saturday’s win against Towns County.

Raleigh Beougher, Riverside Military: Finished with 15 points against Jefferson. Also had 15 against Oglethorpe County.

Robert McMorrow, Riverside Military: Qualified for state in the 500 freestyle at the Hall County championship meet.

William Toth, Riverside Military: Qualified for state in a pair of events at the Hall County championships on Friday.

Tyquan Statham, West Hall: Scored 29 points in Tuesday’s win against Fannin County.

Hunter Atkinson, West Hall: Scored a team-high 20 points in Saturday’s loss to Johnson.

Eteban Ulloa, West Hall: Had 15 points against Johnson.

Elliott Raiford, West Hall: Won the 160-pound class at the Hall County wrestling championship.

Spencer Adams, White County: Scored 20 points in Tuesday’s loss to Dawson County. Scored 14 in Friday’s win against North Hall.

Jordan Egerton, White County: Scored a game-high 25 points against North Hall.

Compiled by Bill Murphy

Caleb Hamilton has shown how far dedication and a lot of hard work can carry a high school wrestler. As a senior, the North Hall grappler has become an anchor for his team with 44 wins and 30 pins, heading into tonight’s matches against Habersham Central and Winder-Barrow for Senior Night in Gainesville.

That’s quite a leap from a kid that never won a match in middle school, but continued to wrestle simply out of love and respect for the sport.

On Saturday, Hamilton showed exactly what he means to his team when he swept through the Hall County Championships with seven pins in seven matches and finished the meet as champion of the 120-pound classification from the two-day meet at Riverside Military Academy.

“Seven straight pins is a pretty good run,” North Hall coach Jay Hargis said. “If a kid can make it through the first round against Caleb, they’re doing pretty good.”

On top of a great personal accomplishment, Hamilton was also the wrestler that secured the Trojans’ team championship at the Hall County meet.

Tied against Chestatee and down to the last weight class, Hamilton stepped to the mat and delivered just as everyone on his team knew he would.

North Hall’s 39-35 win against the War Eagles was the sixth match, but secured the team championship with only one opposing school remaining on the weekend.

“It was a great feeling to help my team like I did this weekend,” Hamilton said. “This is what I’ve worked for all season.

“Everyone on the team was treating me like a big superstar, but really it was the whole team that earned us the title.”

This is crunch time in wrestling season.

The Area 4-AAA traditional tournament will be held Friday and Saturday at Elbert County High, followed by the Class AAA East state sectionals Feb. 8 at Morgan County High in Madison. The all-classification state championship meet is Feb. 13-15 at the Gwinnett Arena in Duluth.

The fire in Hamilton’s belly this season is his desire to place at the state championships. Last year at 113, he was denied a trip to state after losing in the quarterfinals and consolation semifinals, placing fifth at Area — just one spot away from the top four needed to make it to state.

Hargis feels that had Hamilton made it to state in 2013, he would have placed fifth given the strength of Area 4-AAA.

However, North Hall’s coach identified Hamilton as someone who would persevere through any challenge a long time ago. Last season, he was given the team award as the best practice partner for North Hall.

That hard work continued through the summer when Hamilton trained with the goal to make it to state and place in 2014.

He enlisted the help of assistant coach Patrick Holcomb, and received training from Jefferson High grads Cam and Cason Thurmond, brothers who won a combined five state titles in their careers with the Dragons.

“They really worked with me on remaining mentally tough and how to train,” Hamilton said, “to make sure to keep my hands on the opponent at all times.”

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