MACON — Michael Scullin and Gantt Bauer reached the state championship match, but both fell short of gold.
South Forsyth’s Scullin (285 pounds) lost 5-3 to M.J. Couzan of Archer High School, while Travis Register of Colquitt County High School upended Lambert’s Bauer (220) 14-6 in the Class 6A state wrestling tournament on Saturday at the Macon Centreplex.
Couzan took an early 2-0 lead with a leg takedown, but Scullin tied the score at 2-2 with a takedown of his own. Couzan’s length proved to be too much for Scullin as he pulled away for the win.
"I just got overpowered," Scullin said. "It was still a good season; it would have been better if I had won that. I just couldn’t do anything because he’s too big."
Said South head coach Danny Sinnott: "[Couzan’s] just a tall, hard kid to get through his length. He’s got long arms and [Scullin] doesn’t have long arms. He’s just a tough kid. We couldn’t do anything [against him] in neutral and that’s really what killed us."
Scullin won by forfeit to advance through the first round, then topped Alex Washington of Camden County 5-1. Scullin edged Roswell’s Hunter Hill in the semifinals before facing Couzan in the finals.
Scullin finished his senior season 54-4 with three of the loses coming against Couzan (57-6), who pinned every opponent except Scullin at the state tournament.
The South wrestling standout will now turn his attention to football where he is a preferred walk-on at the University of Georgia as an offensive lineman.
"He had a tremendous year," Sinnott said. "He had a great year and I’m very proud of him; he worked his tail off."
Bauer made it back to finals for a second year in a row, but the senior had to settle for silver again after facing the same opponent that he lost to at sectionals.
The match remained scoreless after the first period, but Bauer fell behind by four to end the second.
"There was about an eight-point exchange in the last 15 seconds of the second period, so we weren’t down too far," Lambert head coach Kevin Contardi said. "… If [Bauer] would’ve gotten that one takedown near the edge [of the mat], it would have been a lot closer.
"But really, we were hoping for the same move that put him on his back [earlier]. It’s a move that he does from his feet out of a front headlock, so that’s what we were kind of hoping for because we knew we had to make up a total of four points."
Bauer closed out the season with a record of 35-3. He cruised to a 10-1 first round victory and slipped past the second round with a narrow 4-2 win. Bauer shut out Peyton Hewitt of Hargrove High School with a 3-0 decision in the semifinals before he had to face Register (33-3).
"All year long my problem’s been the head-and-arm and that’s what he’s good at," Bauer said. "So, I got caught in that twice, actually. I thought I had him with a cradle lockup, but it was just bad placement on my part and he flipped me over.
"I had a successful season. I’m just sad it’s over. I kind of wish I got to wrestle more."
Also placing was North Forsyth’s Matt Carroll (third, 160) and Luke Slaton (fifth, 126), West Forsyth’s Nick Vogel (fourth, 145) and Lambert’s Andrew Morin (sixth, 113).
North tied for 11th place in the team standings with 45 points, while champion Archer won first with 250. Lambert finished tied for 18th with 27 points. West claimed 23rd with 24 points and South tied for 25th with 20 points.