GAINESVILLE -- With just three matches to go, North Hall knew it had to be perfect.
And for three straight matches, that's what the Trojans provided for a packed house on Saturday at Riverside Military Academy, displaying grit, guts -- and that perfection -- to storm back from a 35-21 deficit against arch-rival Chestatee with three straight pins to claim the Hall County Duals title.
The amazing finish capped a stellar weekend for North Hall, which went undefeated en route to the crown. In fact few teams managed to even push the Trojans, who dominated for the most part -- until running into Chestatee on Saturday.
The matchup between the two teams was a back and forth battle as the Trojans and War Eagles would swap the lead eight times throughout the match. The War Eagles captured the match's largest lead after a pin at 285, pushed Chestatee's lead to 35-21.
Facing the odds the Trojans' lightweights came to the mat with a vengeance. The Trojans' spark was ignited after a clash between the 106 pounders, where North Hall's Holden Barnes (106-pound individual champ) performed quick work to record a first period pin.
"The pin at 106 really brought the ball back in our court, but more importantly our whole team wrestled well," Trojans coach Jay Hargis said. "This win was a whole team effort."
North Hall went on to win the final two matches by pin fall. Caleb Hamilton (120 individual champ) secured the title for North Hall with a pin in the first period (one of his seven pins in the tournament).
"Our guys wrestled so well, I am ecstatic," coach Hargis.
The Trojans would later defeat Flowery Branch in their last match, improving their tournament record to 7-0 and solidifying their county title. The Falcons finished third at the tournament, with their only losses coming to North Hall and Chestatee.
Coach Hargis dedicated the county championship to the 12 seniors on the team.
"This group of seniors on the team were middle school county champions and they stuck together through the years, it's a true sign of hard work paying off."
It was a tough reverse for Chestatee, which was looking for its second straight Hall County title, and the War Eagles appeared headed for that honor with just three matches to go against its arch-rival. Chestatee had also gone undefeated before facing the Trojans and began to pull away with strong work in the heavyweight classes.
After an exciting weekend of wrestling at Riverside Military Academy it was evident that the hard work of all the county teams is paying off.