MILLEDGEVILLE — Marking the first time in the history of the programs, both Baldwin High and Georgia Military Prep School sent a wrestler each to the Georgia High School Association state tournament on Friday and Saturday.
Both Markeith Driskell and Coleman Jones placed well at their respective sectional meets two weeks ago.
BHS has traditionally sent at least one competitor to the championships, but this year GMC Prep sent an individual for the first time.
“I think wrestling is growing here in Milledgeville, and not just here at Baldwin and GMC, but now we’ve got John Milledge [Academy] coming in,” BHS head coach Andrew Lindsay said. “We’re excited to have it become a more looked-at sport here in Baldwin County; because, it’s been growing in other counties. It’s fun to be a part of a sport that’s growing in numbers and growing in interest.”
In his first time at the big dance, GMC Prep’s Jones placed an impressive fifth place overall in the 285 pound weight class for the Class-A competition held at Commerce High School.
“It was all really good, and he did a great job,” GMC Prep head coach Garland Riner said. “The GHSA did a great job of accommodating the state championship.”
Finishing with a 2-2 record on the weekend, claiming one pin in the second round, Jones showed much promise at the state level.
“All of his matches went into the third period or into overtime,” Riner said. “A lot of the other coaches were coming up to him giving him words of encouragement. With him being a 10th-grader, he has a lot of potential.”
Jones wrestled as an individual in the two-day tournament, but Riner admits the sophomore could not have performed as well as he did without the help of his brother this season.