Congratulations to Cambridge High School's seven state qualifiers who earned a trip to the State Tournament which was held, February 12-14, 2015 at the Macon Centreplex in Macon, Georgia.
The State tournament was the last tournament of the season for our Cambridge Bears and the last high school match for several of our seniors. The wrestlers who battled it out with Georgia's best included:
The Bears wrestling team not only advanced seven grapplers, but added to the list of school records this year by crowning it's 1st 3X State Champion-JR Salemi, 2X State Champion-Devin Kane, 2X State Runner-Up-Will Britain as well as adding a 6th Place finish for Sean Kaira!
Congratulations to the Cambridge Coaching Staff, Head Coach Don St. James, Michael Metz, Chris House and Jacob Hale whose tireless dedication to our wrestlers both on and off the mat made this all possible!
Cambridge was led by gold medalists JR Salemi (126lbs.) and Devin Kane (160lbs).
JR Salemi grapples way into history by winning 3rd State Championship
(Salemi rides out Camden's Adrian Hughes to victory and a 3rd State Title)
Devin Kane captures 2nd State Championship with comeback win
Devin Kane turned in what was considered the most dominating performance by any wrestler in the state by pinning all of his opponents, including an undefeated 2X State Champ from Southwest Dekalb, Abdur-Rahmin Yasin, en route to his 2nd State Championship title.
"It's awesome to beat someone like Yasin. Everyone said he would be the toughest competition I have seen this year. He is strong, fast and all that stuff. I knew he was good, but I knew I could catch him. And if I could catch him, I had a chance to beat him", said a modest Kane.
(Kane stalks his opponent, Yasin from Southwest Dekalb)
Voted Best Comeback in GHSA State History
Kane found himself down 10-1 with 1:25 to go in the 3rd and final period. A quick stand up followed by an even quicker takedown to make it 10-4. It took Kane a few seconds to turn Yasin on his back for a quick 3-point near fall, making the score 10-7 with about 30 seconds to go. After a Yasin injury timeout, Devin cranked it up another notch, turning the 2X State Champ with a vice-grip like half-nelson into a pin, all with less than 8 seconds to go in the match. All in attendance enjoyably witnessed one of the greatest comeback wins in Georgia history. "Once I heard the announcer say…And your 160lb State Champion from Cambridge…Deviiiinn Kaaane!!! I knew it was for real" smiled Kane.
Devin Kane closes out the 2015 season with 61-1 record, including a record-setting 53 pins!
Will Britain finishes up strong in 145lb Championship match
Will Britain, sophomore standout and last year's state runner-up at 138 lbs, came ever so close to his 1st title against eventual state champion, Cody Cochran, a freshman from Woodland, GA.
"I knew it would be close. We have been going back and forth throughout the year. You can't make any mistakes when wrestling Cochran. I think we know how each other wrestles at this point, making it tougher each time we go head to head", said Britain. Britain jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a quick takedown. After choosing down, a quick escape followed by a slick takedown, pushed Britain to a 5-0 lead going into the 3rd period. After a flurried exchange in the 3rd period, Cochran managed to tie it up with Britain at 5-5.
When the dust settled, Britain would have to settle for 2nd place losing a tough finals match, 8-5. "It happened so quickly. He is a good wrestler. It just goes to show that you can't let up. You have to keep the heat on for a full 6 minutes in these matches. I know what I need to do and will work harder than ever to take care of business next year", said Britain.
(Britain goes head-to-head with Woodland's Cody Cochran)
"I am so proud of Will. He is one of the hardest working kids in the room. He came so close and I have confidence that he will break through next year…his state championship is right around the corner, maybe two. I told him we like to win state titles in sets of two at Cambridge" smirked Coach St James.
Will Britain closes out the 2015 season with 55-9 record, including a 27 pins!
Sean Kaira takes 6th at GHSA State Tourney
While Sean Kaira may seem quiet off the mat, he is quite tenacious on the mat. "Sean always did what I asked him to do. He worked his tail off all season for the success he enjoyed. He was tough, but I think it was more of his quickness that set him apart from his opponents. He used moves that usually only little guys use, but he pulled it off. Cradles…double leg takedowns…those are much more difficult for bigger guys to pull off", said Coach St. James.
Kaira went 3-3 at the GHSA State Tournament as he placed 6th at 220lbs and received what would be his first state medal of his wrestling career.
"All the hard work finally paid off. My goal was to medal and I achieved my goal. I am so thankful and happy." he said.
"Sean is an all- around great kid, he will do well in whatever he chooses to do in life", says St. James.
Sean Kaira closes out the 2015 season with 46-15 record, including 10 pins! Career record of 108-57 with 58 pins.
"I am proud of all our kids. Dawson, Zach, Brock, JR, Will, Devin and Sean. Each had an exceptional season. Some need some work, some were knocking on the door, and some knocked it out of the park. Nobody can take away the special things these guys achieved together as a team. They are ALL winners in my book," said Coach St. James.
Congratulations to the entire 2015 Cambridge Bears Wrestling Program!