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Atlanta high school sports news from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Five powerhouse programs, two first-time winners crowned traditional wrestling champions


The consolation matches and finals of the 2018 GHSA Traditional Wrestling Championships took place Saturday at the Macon Centreplex, and 98 individual and seven team state championships were awarded. A four-time individual champion was crowned, a Statesboro wrestler made history and, as has happened every season for nearly two decades, Jefferson won.

Class AAAAAAA

In what was a formality after Friday’s competition, Camden County successfully defended its title for the fourth year in a row by besting second-place North Forsyth in team points 233-115.5. Shortly after his victory over Milton’s Ben Williams for the 120-pound title, two-time state champion Nicholas Krug summed up the Wildcats’ consistency over the past four seasons.

“It’s just a lot of hard work and some extra stuff,” he said. “It’s the extra stuff that helps get you to the next level.”

And what is that “extra stuff,” exactly?

“Extra practices, extra workouts, extra sprints to get those lungs ready, all sorts of stuff like that, just the extra,” Krug said. “Just get yourself into shape to know that you did something that the person you’re wrestling didn’t do. The mindset is that, I have done more than the person I am wrestling has done to prepare for the match. I know I’m better coached, I prepared better, I wrestle harder and wrestle more than the person I’m facing.”

That work ethic helped the Wildcats to four individual state championships — repeat champions Krug, Tyler Crew (113) and Brandon Orum (126) and first-time winner Myles Starke (182). Raydan Wilder, who took the 138-pound title last year, finished runner-up to Collins Hills’ Lucas DeSilva in the 145-pound weight class.

“We all care about each other, no matter what, through thick and thin,” Krug said of the team. “We all care about each other, we all are going to love each other the same. We all work hard in the room to get each other better so we can all get to state.”

Class AAAAAA

With a 153.5-point performance, Richmond Hill captured its first-ever traditional title, edging second-place South Paulding by 29.5 points. The Wildcats’ Taylor Wilson (195, runner-up), Will Evans (145, runner-up) and Caleb Anderson (106, runner-up) were the top finishers for Richmond Hill, which won its first-ever wrestling title at January’s duals championships. South Paulding’s Dustin Byers defeated Anderson in the final. Teammates Daniel Byers (126, runner-up), Austin Seymour (160, runner-up), Ruston Robinson (170, runner-up) and Raji Brown (220, state champion) led South Paulding.

Class AAAAA

Buford amassed 206 points and successfully defended its title in Class AAAAA with state titles by Nick Stonecheck (132), Charlie Darracott (145) and Triston Bozoian (182). The Wolves got runner-up finishes from Nick Cambria (106), Logan Ashton (113), Kyle McCullough (126), Blaine Bergey (138) and Cooper Roberts (170).

The Wolves finished ahead of second-place Union Grove (156.5), which had a wrestler, Justin Ruffin (152), successfully defend his title for the fourth year. 

“I do a lot of training outside of our school practices,” said Ruffin, who will wrestle at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. “I go to my prep team, Compound Wrestling. I get a lot of outside coaching and it gets me better for these types of situations.”

For Ruffin, who defeated Flowery Branch’s Wyatt Sladek, the atmosphere at the state championships has been a large part of his motivation this time of the year. 

“I love the energy here, the fans behind your back the whole time, they always want to hype you up, make you win and just feel good about yourself,” he said. “I love the venue in Macon. The place is packed, the lights when they come up and we come out, all of it, it’s fun to me. I’ll be in college up in Illinois next year, and if I can come down and support the team, I will.”

There was a historic moment early in the day in Class AAAAA competition as Statesboro’s Kasey Baynon became the first girl to place in the GHSA traditional championships after defeating Villa Rica’s Tripp Sauls for fifth place in the 106-pound weight class. She will continue her wrestling career at Emanuel College in Franklin Springs, Ga.

Class AAAA

Jefferson outscored second-place West Laurens 228.5-190.0 to win its 18th-straight traditional wrestling championship. The Dragons were led by state champions Tyson Thurmond (106), Ian Statia (126), Dawson Bates (132) and Cole Potts (138), as well as runner-up Jared Blackburn (120). Third-pace Troup finished with 137.5 points.

Class AAA

Sonoraville thwarted Bremen’s attempt at a traditionals repeat, marking the first-ever wrestling title for the Phoenix. Sonoraville edged second-place Bremen 132-120 thanks to state titles from Eli Knight (106), Tyler Hunt (132) and Trevor Burdick (138) and a runner-up finish from John Knight (195). Bremen had three state champions in its second-place effort, as Jacob Miles (195), Noah Liles (170) and Paul Robinson (285) led the Blue Devils.

Class AA

Social Circle relied on either a state champion or a runner-up in seven out of 14 weight classes as it won its fourth traditionals championship in a row. Tyler Post (106, runner-up), Kyle Morris (120, runner-up), Mitchell Thompson (145, state champion), John Engstrom (152, state champion), Douglas Peppers (160, state champion) and Micah Thompson (170, runner-up) led Social Circle to a 199-point performance, 63 points ahead of second-place Fitzgerald (136.0). Toombs County placed third with 101.5 points. 

Class A

On the way to its fifth-consecutive championship, Commerce was led by repeat champions Chase Forrester (160) and Cade Ridley (285). Forrester defeated Towns County’s Kolby Rogers, and Ridley handled Riverside Military’s Andrew Bauer to take the titles. Commerce finished with 212 team points, ahead of second-place Darlington (113.5) and third-place Trion (107).

2018 GHSA Traditional Wrestling State Championships Final Results

Final Team Standings

Class AAAAAAA

  1.  Camden 233, 2. North Forsyth 115.5, 3. Archer 114, 4. Collins Hill 110, 5. Brookwood 107.5, 6. North Paulding 105.5, 7. Mountain View 96, 8. Hillgrove 88.5, 9. Rockdale 87, 10. South Forsyth 62

Class AAAAAA

  1.  Richmond Hill 153.5, 2. South Paulding 124, 3. Alexander 122, 4. Dalton 114, 5. Creekview 105.5, 6. Coffee 86, 7. Valdosta 83.5, 8. Sequoyah 64, 9. Pope 62.5, 10. Grovetown 61.5

Class AAAAA

  1.  Buford 206, 2. Union Grove 156.5, 3. Ola 137.5, 4. Cass 124, 5. Woodland Cartersville 104, 6. Veterans 87, 7. Carrollton 81, 8. Locust Grove 63, 9. Ware County 55.5, 10. Kell 54, 10. Starr’s Mill 54

Class AAAA

  1.  Jefferson 228.5, 2. West Laurens 190, 3. Troup County 137.5, 4. Woodward Academy 131, 5. Gilmer 101.5, 6. Blessed Trinity 70, 7. Ridgeland 66.5, 8. Madison County 53, 9. Luella 48, 10. Chestatee 46

Class AAA

  1.  Sonoraville 132, 2. Bremen 120, 3. North Hall 117, 4. McNair 88, 5. Lumpkin County 74.5, 6. Coahulla Creek 65, 7. Pierce 55.5, 8. Jackson County 51, 9. Haralson County 44, 9. Ringgold 44

Class AA

  1.  Social Circle 199, 2. Fitzgerald 136, 3. Toombs County 101.5, 4. Rockmart 79, 5. Armuchee 78, 6. Vidalia 76.5, 7. Chattooga 71, 8. Pepperell 51, 9. Elbert County 48, 10. Temple 38

Class A

  1. Commerce 212, 2. Darlington 113.5, 3. Trion 107, 4. Irwin 81, 5. Gordon Lee 71, 6. Mt. Pisgah 70, 7. Wesleyan 62, 8. Mt. Zion 51, 9. George Walton Academy 44, 10. Telfair County 42

Final Individual Standings

Class AAAAAAA

106 pounds: 1. Clint Gilbert Collins Hill, 2. Abraham Perez Forsyth Central, 3. Arash Mohebi Berkmar, 4. Nathan Orum Camden

113 pounds: 1. Tyler Crew Camden, 2. AJ Riner South Forsyth, 3. Rick Shores Mountain View, 4. Joey Felix Collins Hill

120 pounds: 1. Nicholas Krug Camden, 2. Ben Williams Milton, 3. Ben Hardy Walton, 4. Charles Brewster Newnan

126 pounds: 1. Brandon Orum Camden, 2. Kenneth Dodd Rockdale, 3. Paul Watkins North Forsyth, 4. Ethan Willis Hillgrove

132 pounds: 1. Bradley Bitting North Paulding, 2. Tyler Dahlgren Camden, 3. Rex McDaniel North Gwinnett, 4. RJ Weston Lassiter

138 pounds: 1. Caleb Powell Hillgrove, 2. Rodney Winston Rockdale, 3. Gavin Smith Archer, 4. Blake Smith Etowah

145 pounds: 1. Lucas DeSilva Collins Hill, 2. Raydan Wilder Camden, 3. Logan Smith Archer, 4. Isaiah Gadsden Lassiter

152 pounds: 1. Peter Myndresku Archer, 2. Jesse Dejames North Paulding, 3. Cole Burke Lambert, 4. Devin Terza Hillgrove

160 pounds: 1. Conner Carroll North Forsyth, 2. Michael Gibson Camden, 3. Marquel Broughton Mountain View, 4. Chase DeGrenier Archer

170 pounds: 1. Gabriel Lee Brookwood, 2. Jhaquan Anderson Rockdale, 3. Garrett Spikes Mountain View, 4. Kyle Brown Peachtree Ridge

182 pounds: 1. Myles Starke Camden, 2. David Key Brookwood, 3. Brantley Little North Forsyth, 4. Cole Anderson Roswell

195 pounds: 1. Harrison Spikes Mountain View, 2. Connor Cross North Forsyth, 3. Ian Hunt South Forsyth, 4. Matthew Key Brookwood

220 pounds: 1. Ricardo Atkinson Hillgrove, 2. Nicholas Jarvis Colquitt County, 3. Tomari Fox Collins Hill, 4. Justin Oldknow Brookwood

285 pounds: 1. Will Choloh Archer, 2. Ezra Wallace North Paulding, 3. Cody Hutchison Collins Hill, 4. Jordan Reed Newton County

Class AAAAAA

106 pounds: 1. Dustin Byers South Paulding, 2. Kaleb Anderson Richmond Hill, 3. Jayce Williams Allatoona, 4. Jarrod Pominville Harrison

113 pounds: 1. Max Druhot Pope, 2. Hunter Noland Dalton, 3. Christian Small Sequoyah, 4. Michael Allen Richmond Hill

120 pounds: 1. John Watts Coffee, 2. Kenen Uribe-Ochoa Forest Park, 3. Noah Bullock Dacula, 4. Ethan Carroll Dalton

126 pounds: 1. Quin McGlamery Valdosta, 2. Daniel Byers South Paulding, 3. Vincent Ferrara Alexander, 4. Gary Speed Grovetown

132 pounds: 1. Jarrett Torres Greenbrier, 2. Scean Major Johns Creek, 3. Jackson Eller Evans, 4. Bryan Hernandez Houston County

138 pounds: 1. Dashawn Farber Northside Warner Robins, 2. Jordan Krueger Harrison, 3. Zayd Ansari Alexander, 4. Kamdyn Munro Richmond Hill

145 pounds: 1. Will Formato Allatoona, 2. Will Evans Richmond Hill, 3. Taquel Young Stephenson, 4. Malique Johnson Gainesville

152 pounds: 1. Gavin Kane Cambridge, 2. Malik Coleman Dalton, 3. Jakeem Littles Richmond Hill, 4. Little Nelson Alexander

160 pounds: 1. Drew Eller Evans, 2. Austin Seymour South Paulding, 3. DeAndre Burton Alexander, 4. Jake Locke Creekview

170 pounds: 1. Evan Gianfala Creekview, 2. Ruston Robinson South Paulding, 3. Marcus Stephen Chattahoochee, 4. Cameron Prevost Northgate

182 pounds: 1. Braden Johnson Creekview, 2. Sylvester Jackson Lee County, 3. Jaquarius Middlebrooks Glynn Academy, 4. Kevin Murry Richmond Hill

195 pounds: 1. Zebrandon Gant Effingham County, 2. Taylor Wilson Richmond Hill, 3. Joseph Reese Dalton, 4. Jamir Brown Brunswick

220 pounds: 1. Raji Brown South Paulding, 2. Shamar Cofield Grovetown, 3. Zekeil Walls Effingham, 4. Thomas Latimer Creekview

285 pounds: 1. Derrick Newton Coffee, 2. Noah Latzsch Chattahoochee, 3. John Cano Brunswick, 4. Demetrius Allen Valdosta

Class AAAAA

106 pounds: 1. Luke Frost Carrollton, 2. Nick Cambria Buford, 3. Ethan Martin Veterans, 4. Cage Leddon Locust Grove 

113 pounds: 1. Caden McCrary Woodland Cartersville, 2. Logan Ashton Buford, 3. Julian Farber Veterans, 4. Byron Flemming Ola 

120 pounds: 1. Kyle Gollhofer Woodland Cartersville, 2. Ivan Arguello Rome, 3. Cameron Fretwell Union Grove, 4. Jake Boyd Kell

126 pounds: 1. Jackson Disario Ola, 2. Kyle McCollough Buford, 3. Michael Parker Dutchtown, 4. Caleb Jones Woodland Cartersville

132 pounds: 1. Nick Stonecheck Buford, 2. Bryson Neace Union Grove, 3. Tyler Pilcher Cass, 4. Luchiano Jenkins Stockbridge

138 pounds: 1. Francis Morrissey Veterans, 2. Blaine Bergey Buford, 3. Anthony Dawson Fayette County, Corey Minner Dutchtown

145 pounds: 1. Charlie Darracott Buford, 2. Gabe McDaniel Union Grove, 3. Kendall Arnold Cass, 4. Dylan Burton Dutchtown

152 pounds: 1. Justin Ruffin Union Grove, 2. Wyatt Sladek Flowery Branch, 3. Collin Kasler Starr’s Mill, 4. Kevin Reynolds Veterans

160 pounds: 1. Cody Cochran Woodland Cartersville, 2. Christian Trimble Ola, 3. Me’Shai Coleman Clarke Central, 4. Clark Leddon Locust Grove

170 pounds: 1. Ian Darling Starr’s Mill, 2. Cooper Roberts Buford, 3. Gavin Venable Union Grove, 4. Rett Moore Cass

182 pounds: 1. Triston Bozoian Buford, 2. Camden Johnson Union Grove, 3. Nawin Hyers Ware County, 4. John Haury Ola

195 pounds: 1. Andrew Curry Ola, 2. Tre Storey Bainbridge, 3. Derrick Harmsen Union Grove, 4. Grady Lee Harris County

220 pounds: 1. Tripp Breeden Cass, 2. Eris Walker Southwest Dekalb, 3. Sam Bish Warner Robins, 4. Hadley Jackson Thomas County Central

285 pounds: 1. Seven Richards Cass, 2. Trey Bonner Jones County, 3. Jamorris Hart Clarke Central, 4. Alan Quarles Kell

Class AAAA

106 pounds: 1. Tyson Thurmond Jefferson, 2. Ryan Craft Heritage, 3. Riso Wedd Southeast Whitfield, 4. Jakir Thompson Luella

113 pounds: 1. Nick Masters Woodward Academy, 2. Josh Kincaid Madison County, 3. Caleb Carter Chestatee, 4. Mason Mingus Jefferson

120 pounds: 1. Vincent Mannella Woodward Academy, 2. Jared Blackburn Jefferson, 3. John Jones Northside Columbus, 4. Darious Hanson Troup County

126 pounds: 1. Ian Statia Jefferson, 2. Logan McGowan West Laurens, 3. Trevor Upchurch Troup County, 4. Tristain Kendall Gilmer

132 pounds: 1. Dawson Bates Jefferson, 2. McCoy Pace Woodward Academy, 3. Duwalt Duvenhage Cairo, 4. Sam Johnson North Oconee

138 pounds: 1. Cole Potts Jefferson, 2. Greyson Clark West Laurens, 3. Matt Jenkins White County, 4. Jordan Hughley Ridgeland

145 pounds: 1. Jacob Mariakis Ridgeland, 2. Chase Seals Troup County, 3. Coy Strong Jefferson, 4. Taylor Webb Oconee County

152 pounds: 1. Daniel Reid Luella, 2. Caleb Waddell Gilmer, 3. Scott Hicks Troup County, 4. Blake Beasley West Laurens

160 pounds: 1. Vincent Baker Blessed Trinity, 2. Max Spearman St. Pius X, 3. Ryan Hurd Jefferson, 4. Michael Burrell Pickens

170 pounds: 1. Joel Faglier Cross Creek, 2. Ryan McGill Ridgeland, 3. Mason Corbett Jefferson, 4. Jamarey Hull Northwest Whitfield

182 pounds: 1. Ben Deal West Laurens, 2. Jer’miah Fantroy Marist, 3. Ryan Crump Gilmer, 4. Jonathan De La Cruz Cartersville

195 pounds: 1. Malcom Wiley Woodward Academy, 2. Byron Butts Troup County, 3. Jack Filipowicz Blessed Trinity, 4. Dexter Fitzpatrick LaGrange

220 pounds: 1. Spencer Dacus West Laurens, 2. Hamilton Cooper Madison County, 3. Jose Chavarria Southeast Whitfield, 4. Keyshawn Stewart Shaw

285 pounds: 1. Joseph Horne West Laurens, 2. Lazavier Moore Upson Lee, 3. Anthony Zilke Gilmer, 4. Daniel King Cairo

Class AAA

106 pounds: 1. Eli Knight Sonoraville, 2. Jack Whitmire North Hall, 3. Angel Banda Adairsville, 4. Jacob Wilson Haralson County

113 pounds: 1. DeeJay McNeal McNair, 2. Jacob Pedraza North Hall, 3. Daniel Muse Haralson County, 4. Hector Arbos Sonoraville

120 pounds: 1. Matt Glenn North Hall, 2. Todd Carter Pierce County, 3. Masud As-Siddiq McNair, 4. Allen Stone Sonoraville

126 pounds: 1. John Pedraza North Hall, 2. Blake Rice Haralson County, 3. James Loi Coahulla Creek, 4. Wyatt Smith Dawson County

132 pounds: 1. Tyler Hunt Sonoraville, 2. Antonio Mills McNair, 3. Holden Moss Ringgold, 4. Tanner Smith Cook

138 pounds: 1. Trevor Burdick Sonoraville, 2. Keller Brown Lumpkin County, 3. Devan Moore Appling, 4. Reece Poe Calhoun

145 pounds: 1. Nolan Wheeler Lumpkin County, 2. Griffin Green Ringgold, 3. Ben Gilbreath Jackson County, 4. Chris Ocana Lovett

152 pounds: 1. Rogerick White Lovett, 2. Montay Glee Crisp County, 3. Torrence Dumas McNair, 4. Garner Drummond Morgan County

160 pounds: 1. Abe Hafez Franklin County, 2. Donovan McElligott Morgan County, 3. Koby Cook Bremen, 4. Tristan Kelley Coahulla Creek

170 pounds: 1. Noah Liles Bremen, 2. Nic Jackson Adairsville, 3. Sam Irwin Lumpkin County, 4. Austin Ray Jackson

182 pounds: 1. Terrence Randle McNair, 2. Dalton Malone Pierce County, 3. Bryce Burgess Adairsville, 4. Charlie Brown Sonoraville

195 pounds: 1. Jacob Miles Bremen, 2. John Knight Sonoraville, 3. Logan Hawthorne North Hall, 4. Jon Koning Jackson County

220 pounds: 1. Devonte Stephens Jackson County, 2. Daniel Lopez Coahulla Creek, 3. Jacob Stephens Bremen, 4. Aaron Hopkins Lumpkin County

285 pounds: 1. Paul Robinson Bremen, 2. Walter Richards Coahulla Creek, 3. Kameron Peters Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, 4. Josh Chastain Lumpkin County

Class AA

106 pounds: 1. Griffin Jarrett Chattooga, 2. Tyler Post Social Circle, 3. Cameron Espy Armuchee, 4. Malik Hardy Spencer

113 pounds: 1. Kevin Martin Fitzgerald, 2. Justin Kiss Callaway, 3. Wesley Conley Armuchee, 4. Cruz Arredondo Toombs County

120 pounds: 1. Ethan McKie Fitzgerald, 2. Kyle Morris Social Circle, 3. Martrez Huff Elbert County, 4. Devonte Williams Berrien

126 pounds: 1. Ricardo Santana Toombs County, 2. Walker Byrd Model, 3. Justin Ivey Social Circle, 4. Kevin Hendrix Heard County

132 pounds: 1. Chance Mitchell Fitzgerald, 2. Clinton Clark Toombs County, 3. Jackson Wheeler Social Circle, 4. Bradley Owens Jeff Davis

138 pounds: 1. Gabriel Peryam Oglethorpe County, 2. Truett Bowman Rockmart, 3. Rico Ashley Fitzgerald, 4. Cory Braddy Vidalia

145 pounds: 1. Mitchell Thompson Social Circle, 2. Gavin Brady Elbert County, 3. Gage Cannon Heard County, 4. Preston Hulsey Temple

152 pounds: 1. Josh Engstrom Social Circle, 2. Zoryan Hendricks Rockmart, 3. Christian Grauberger Dodge County, 4. Aldarries Tillery Vidalia

160 pounds: 1. Douglas Peppers Social Circle, 2. Griffin Pace Rockmart, 3. Drake Miller Pepperell, 4. Demetrius Owens Toombs County

170 pounds: 1. John Robinson Temple, 2. Micah Thompson Social Circle, 3. Markelyn Lundy Fitzgerald, 4. Thomas Godbee Vidalia

182 pounds: 1. Jacob Henderson Armuchee, 2. BJ Bradford Elbert County, 3. Carson Boyd Social Circle, 4. Jack Bennett Pepperell

195 pounds: 1. Tahjah Watts Vidalia, 2. Jheffery Lundy Fitzgerald, 3. Terrance Walker Banks County, 4. Alex Mears Chattooga

220 pounds: 1. Donterious Milsap Fitzgerald, 2. Ervin Mincey Toombs County, 3. JC Burkett Armuchee, 4. Zack Dean Banks County

285 pounds: 1. Marco Brown Josey, 2. Luis Medina Chattooga, 3. Rod Nunnally Social Circle, 4. Deacon Allen Rockmart

Class A

106 pounds: 1. Gunnar Willingham Irwin, 2. Hunter Burnette Gordon Lee, 3. Ben Rainwater Bowdon, 4. Bryson Flint Commerce

113 pounds: 1. Dawson Legg Commerce, 2. Carl McDurmon Darlington, 3. Wright Walker Irwin, 4. Thomas Ashley George Walton Academy

120 pounds: 1. Chandler Crawford Turner, 2. Bolen Stricklin Trion, 3. Karlos Nadal Mt. Pisgah, 4. Marquavius Beasley Mt. Zion

126 pounds: 1. Dalton Blankenship Darlington, 2. Chris Sperin George Walton Academy, 3. Harrison Dearth Wesleyan, 4. Brian Rodriguez Athens Christian

132 pounds: 1. Colton Woods Darlington, 2. Joseph Metz Pinecrest, 3. Shane Johnson Mt. Pisgah, 4. Trent Morris Treutlen

138 pounds: 1. Lincoln Maddux Trion, 2. Tucker Flint Commerce, 3. Davis Peek Darlington, 4. David Bertrand Mt. Pisgah

145 pounds: 1. Cole Luallen Trion, 2. Payton Brooks Treutlen, 3. Matthew Brown Wesleyan, 4. Patrick Morris George Walton Academy

152 pounds: 1. Rhett McDurmon Darlington, 2. Nick Patrick Commerce, 3. Donald Conley Wesleyan, 4. Nick Miller Pinecrest

160 pounds: 1. Chase Forrester Commerce, 2. Kolby Rogers Towns County, 3. Jarret Lassetter Gordon Lee, 4. Daryl Monn Chatt County

170 pounds: 1. Braden Jarvis Gordon Lee, 2. Braxton Legg Commerce, 3. Cameo Blankenship Telfair, 4. Tyler Swanger Towns County

182 pounds: 1. Ian Blankenship Telfair, 2. Cade Barrow Mt. Zion, 3. Noah Swift Mt. Pisgah, 4. Elijah Burns Commerce

195 pounds: 1. Knox Allen Commerce, 2. Logan Blevins Trion, 3. Matthew Fezza St. Francis, 4. Case Jiles Mt. Zion

220 pounds: 1. DJ Lundy Irwin, 2. Cody Ridley Commerce, 3. Brayden Rush Eagles Landing Christian, 4. Caleb Vines Gordon Lee

285 pounds: 1. Cade Ridley Commerce, 2. Andrew Bauer Riverside, 3. James Snavely Walker, 4. Clay Baker Trion


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