With change of this season’s Hall County wrestling tournament to be a duals tournament instead of the traditional individual format, the county’s coaches needed another way to honor the individual competitors.
They did so by selecting their own All-County team for 2022-23, and those selections were released Monday.
“We’re just trying to figure out the best way to run the (county) tournament right now,” DeGraff explained. “So we chose to do it this way for this year just to see what kind of feedback we get. Since (this year’s county tournament was) a duals (tournament), we decided to name some individuals to get some individual spotlights out there for some of those kids that deserved it.”
DeGraff’s Chestatee team dominated the girls All-County list with individuals named to the team in half of the 14 weight classes.
Leading the way for by recently-crowned state traditional team champion Lady War Eagles was 2023 155-pound individual state champ Ashley Godinez, as well as state runners-up Courtney Hawkins at 105 pounds and Jaden Lee at 190.
“Our girls got (to the state meet) and competed very well,” DeGraff said. “So, certainly when you have three girls in the finals and multiple state placers, it certainly helps your cause. We had some matches (during the season) that we considered swing matches that more times than not, those matches went our way.
“I’m really happy with the way our girls competed and ultimately, all their individual successes accumulated us some valuable team points.”
Representation on the boys All-County team was more spread out, with Flowery Branch leading the way with four different representatives, followed closely by Chestatee with three.
Leading the way for the boys selections were 2023 individual state champions Seth Larson of Flowery Branch, who claimed his third state title in as many years by winning the Class 5A title at 157 pounds, and East Hall’s Caleb Pruitt, who took the title at 285 pounds in 4A.
Among the other highlights of the boys team was one weight class (190) which was shared by two wrestlers – Flowery Branch’s Cal Rockenbach and East Hall’s Austin Hernandez – as well as three other teams with a pair of representatives – the Vikings with Pruitt and Hernandez, North Hall with Connor Free (144) and Zeke Harris (175) and Johnson with Jud Farmer (120) and Trae Couget (126).
2023 ALL-HALL COUNTY WRESTLING
106: Kadin McDonald, Chestatee
113: Alexis Guardado, Chestatee
120: Jud Farmer, Johnson
126: Trae Couget, Johnson
132: Ely Raines, Chestatee
138: Austin Beverly, Cherokee Bluff
144: Conner Free, North Hall
150: Jason Clark, Flowery Branch
157: Seth Larson, Flowery Branch
165: Griffin Harper, Flowery Branch
175: Zeke Harris, North Hall
190: Austin Hernandez, East Hall; Cal Rockenbach, Flowery Branch
215: Dave Beverly, West Hall
285: Caleb Pruitt East Hall
100: Jadyn White, Chestatee
105: Courtney Hawkins, Chestatee
110: Anna Santoscoy, Johnson
115: Elise Pennington, Cherokee Bluff
120: Angelina Diaz, East Hall
125: McKenzie England, North Hall
130: Abby Plemons, Chestatee
135: Charlotte Wheeler, Chestatee
140: Annabelle Juarez, East Hall
145: Katelyn Hill, North Hall
155: Ashley Godinez, Chestatee
170: Litzy Soto, Johnson
190: Jaden Lee, Chestatee
225: Isabella Redlinger, Chestatee