Sophomore J.R. Salemi became the first State Champion in Cambridge High School history by capturing the 2012-2013 GHSA 5A 113# Lb State Championship held in Macon, GA, February 14-16.
Salemi completed a perfect season (59-0) by defeating John Williams, Senior (66-3) from Ware County 10-4 in the final championship match.
" I felt good going into the tournament but was nervous once I got to the finals. I have never wrestled Williams before. Coach St James told me to make it my match, wrestle my way, and I would be fine", said Salemi.
It worked out much better than fine. Salemi took a narrow 5-4 lead over Williams into the 3rd and final period of the match. Both wrestlers started up, and after a flurry of exchange, Salemi worked in a takedown and 3 near fall points besting Williams 10-4 in the final to become this year's 113lb 5A State Champion.
" I knew JR had it in him. He has great hips. He earned the right to be called a State Champion" , said Head Varsity Coach Don St James.
This year's wrestling program has been extremely impressive. Other notable athletes include:
-Malik McNeil (Junior) who placed 6th at the tournament with 2 wins and 3 losses. He finished the year with a record of 36-14.
-Brandon Filosi (Freshman) and Cambridge Athlete of the Week who had 1 win and 2 losses in the 138lb division at the state tournament. He did not place but finished up the year with a 52-8 record.
-Nick Salter (Senior) who had 2 wins and 2 losses in the 126lb division during the tournament and finished with a record of 29-15.
Salemi will take his career record of 112-6 with 70 pins to represent Cambridge in this year's2013 National High School Coaches Association National Championships held in Virginia Beach, VA in April 3-6. He will do battle against the top Wrestlers in the nation.
Cambridge High School is incredibly proud of these young athletes and this first year wrestling program.
Congratulations to JR Salemi...forever in the the history books as the first state champion at Cambridge High School!!