Ricardo Santana wins a 2nd state championship, Gage Clark and Ervin Mincey finish 2nd

Toombs County junior Ricardo Santana became the fourth Bulldog wrestler to win back-to-back state championships in wrestling. Derrick Mincey, Bradley Benton and Bryan Benton (four straight) accomplished the feat prior to Santana winning the 126 pound division at the 2018 GHSA State Traditional Championship. Ricardo won the 120 pound weight class in 2017 and also finished third in his first trip to state at 113 pounds. Gage Clark and Ervin Mincey also wrestled for state championships and they lost.

Santana improved his 2017-18 record to 60-0 with an 8-2 victory over Model’s Walker Byrd. Ricardo led 2-0 after the first period thanks to a takedown. He had a takedown and an escape in the second period to build up a 5-0 advantage. In the third period Byrd had a takedown prior to Santana finishing the match with an escape and a takedown.

Santana opened the tourney with a first period pin and a technical fall decision (18-2 score) prior to his championship win.

Clark, who won the 126 pound state championship last season, lost 6-3 to Fitzgerald’s Chance Miller in the 2018 132 pound weight class state championship match. The senior yielded two takedowns while scoring on two escapes to trail 4-2 after the first period. In the third period Clark earned a point for a third escape to pull to within one at 4-3. However, Miller scored a third takedown late in the match to hold off his Area 1 foe.

Clark opened the tourney with a third period pin and a 10-8 decision.

In the 220 pound championship match, Mincey and Fitzgerald’s Donterious Milsap wrestled to a scoreless tie after the first period. Mincey took a 1-0 lead in the second period with an escape. Ervin was called for stalling in the second period to tie the score at 1. In the third period Milsap scored three points on an escape and a takedown and Mincey scored a point on an escape to make the final score 4-2 Milsap.

Mincey opened his tourney with a second period pin and a 10-7 victory.

Other Bulldogs

106 pounds- Martin Santana finished fifth. He won 7-4, lost 13-5 and was pinned in the second round. In his fifth place match Martin defeated Nicholas Swan (Rockdale) 12-7 to become a state placer for the first time in his sophomore season.

113 pounds– Cruz Arredondo finished fourth. He opened with a  4-1 victory, lost 7-2 and pinned an opponent in just 46 seconds in the consolation semifinals. In his third place match, against Armuchee’s Wesley Conley, Cruz took a 2-0 lead with a take down and then Conley scored 13 straight points in a 13-2 win.

120 pounds- Alex Gordy was eliminated after being pinned in the first round and losing a 4-2 decision.

145 pounds- Chandler Lynn was eliminated after losing 9-2 and 11-4.

160 pounds- Demetrius Owens finished fourth. The senior won 4-2, lost 14-2 and then won 14-4. He forfeited his third place match. Owens is a state placer for the first time.

182 pounds- Jonathan Morales finished fifth. Morales opened with 10-4 loss and than he pinned an opponent in the second round and was pinned in the third round. In the fifth place match Morales edged Dodge County’s Tyler Montford 9-8. As a junior he is a state placer for the first time in his career.

195 pounds- Dakota Braddock placed sixth. After losing 9-5, winning 4-2 and then dropping a match 7-4, Braddock was pinned in the first period. Dakota is a state placer for the first time in his senior season.

The Bulldogs, who finished second at the GHSA State Dual Tournament, placed third in the traditional state tourney with eight state placers.

2A Team Scores
1 Social Circle 199.0
2 Fitzgerald 136.0
3 Toombs County 101.5
4 Rockmart 79.0
5 Armuchee 78.0
6 Vidalia 76.5
7 Chattooga 71.0
8 Pepperell 51.0
9 Elbert County 48.0
10 Temple

Toombs County High School State Champions

2018-    Ricardo Santana
2017 – Ricardo Santana
2017 – Gage Clark
2015 – Jamar Smith
2014 – JD Rogers
2014 – Solomon McCleod
2014 – Erion Gaffney
2014 – Eric Hester
2013 – Xavior Horne
2011 – Kalin Wilhite
2009 – Demery Hawkins
2009 – Bryan Benton
​2008 – Bryan Benton
2007 – Bryan Benton
2007 – Demery Hawkins
2006 – Bryan Benton
2006 – Bradley Benton
2005 – Bradley Benton
2004 – Ricky Wilson
2000 – Derrick Mincey
1999 – Derrick Mincey
1994 – Sharmon Wright