Photo: Karl L. Moore Buford's Jack Barber tries to turn Archer's Daquan Olber on his back in the 113 pound weight class during Saturday's Gwinnett County Championship at Archer.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Rob Carlyle has only been Buford's head wrestling coach for six months, but he's starting to like what he sees on the mat.
The Wolves had a pair of Gwinnett County champions and neither of them was the team's best wrestler Chip Ness.
Ness, a two-time champion, sat by the mat at Archer High School as he watched teammates Jack Barber and Brayden Hartley win county titles. It was a pair of rare victories over Archer, who had 13 wrestlers in the finals and won the county championship.
"I think it's awesome," said Carlyle, who was an Archer assistant last season. "It was against Archer, so it's better that it came against such a good program. We're trying to get there in Class AAA."
It's the second time in school history that Buford has had a pair of county champions in the same year. Billy Anderton and Scottie Forrester did it in 2009.
"Gwinnett County is a tough tournament," Carlyle said. "You win here and it means you'll do well at other big tournaments and maybe even state."
Barber only has a month of varsity wrestling experience, but you couldn't tell by watching the freshman. Barber won the 113-pound county championship, a week after being named most outstanding wrestler at the Brookwood Invitational.
"I was a little nervous," Barber said. "I'm only a freshman and I'm going against a lot of seniors."
Barber posted a 2-0 victory over Archer's DaQuan Olbert, a county champion a year ago.
"I knew he could do it," Carlyle said. "We prepared for that match. He's got a good head on his shoulders."
Barber was a 10-time youth state champion at the folkstyle, freestyle and Greco-Roman level. He's only lost two matches all year, including one to a three-time South Carolina state champion.
"I've been working hard," Barber said. "I've been staying after practice and doing extra things."
Hartley was fourth at the county tournament a year ago and posted a 5-2 win over Archer's Grant Aycox to win county. The win improved Hartley to 30-3 on the season.
"I had all the confidence just because of my Faith," Hartley said. "I knew God was watching down on me the whole time."
Buford only brought seven wrestlers to the county tournament, so Carlyle was happy to come away with two champs. It was a confidence boost for Barber and Hartley as they head into the second half of the season.
"It was big wins for both kids," Carlyle said. "They've both wrestled hard all season."
North football players shine on mat
North Gwinnett's football team reached the Class AAAAAA quarterfinals two weeks. A trio of football players continued their winning ways at the county tournament on Saturday.
Avery Elford, Jalen Brooks and Alex Stoehr won county titles in their first tournament of the season.
"They wrestled tough," North Gwinnett coach Phil Daniel said. "They are not in the best shape, but everyone wrestled good."
Elford, a linebacker for North, won the 170-pound championship with a 1:50 pin over Archer's Robbie Kwarteng.
"I just got out of football. I figured I'd try my hardest and see what happens," Elford said.
Brooks, a Maryland commitment, posted a 5-3 overtime win over Duluth's Alexander Brown at 220 pounds.
"It's a good start to the season," Brooks said.
Alex Stoehr, an offensive lineman, won the 285-pound county title with a 6-4 win over Archer's M.J. Couzan. Stoehr placed second at county a year ago.
Lewis doesn't give up on county title
With five seconds left in triple overtime, Leivon Lewis was down one point to Archer's Thomas Bullard.
The Central Gwinnett wrestler heard his coach yell "attack" and Lewis went for one final shot. Lewis took down Bullard with one second left to win 6-5 and claim the 145-pound Gwinnett County championship.
"My coach was yelling 'attack.' I went for the shot and I didn't let go," Lewis said.
Lewis' final shot gave him a county title a year after taking third.
"It couldn't happen to a better deserving kid," Central Gwinnett coach Kyle Norred said. "He could have given up, but that never crossed his mind. That's the sign of a true champion."
Lewis improved to 15-1 on the year with his only loss coming by injury default when he bumped up to 160 pounds.
"The sky is the limit for him. He can get so much better," Norred said.
Parkview's Shakur wins title for brother
Khalil Shakur found out this week his younger brother Kamaal would miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
The Parkview wrestler made sure he honored his brother at the county tournament. Shakur posted a 5-4 victory over Archer's Orlando Nawade to win the 160-pound title.
"With my brother being hurt, it made me want to get it all the more," Shakur said.
The tournament title is quite a turnaround from last season when Shakur was sick at county and went 2-2. The third-year wrestler hopes the county title is a sign of good things this season.
"It's just the first step to reaching my dream of being a national champion," Shakur said.