Chestatee forfeits girls state wrestling title after losing appeal

Chestatee, the winner of the GHSA’s first traditional wrestling state tournament for girls, must forfeit its championship because one of its athletes was academically ineligible during the February meet in Macon, Hall County schools confirmed this week.

Chestatee is the second Hall County wrestling program in three years to vacate a state title. North Hall’s boys had their 2021 Class 3A championship stripped because of an eligible athlete.

Vacated state championships are otherwise extremely rare. The North Hall case was the first since 1986, when Rockdale County gave up a boys basketball title. The Rockdale County forfeiture was the first of its kind in GHSA history.

In 2022, the GHSA stripped Chamblee’s girls soccer team of the Class 5A championship when it determined that a Chamblee assistant had coached three Chamblee players in club soccer the previous fall.

Hall County Schools announced the GHSA’s decision regarding Chestatee on Tuesday. Chestatee reported the infraction, the school district said. The GHSA forced the team to forfeit all 2022-23 victories, placed the program on “severe warning status’' and fined the school $500.

Gilmer and Carrollton finished tied for second in the meet, but the GHSA does not recognize champions when vacating titles.

This academic year marked the first in which the GHSA held official state championships in girls wrestling, though Chestatee had won a statewide GHSA girls meet in 2021 when girls wrestling was considered an exhibition sport.

This year as an official championship sport, Carrollton won the duals tournament, which has teams go head to head, while Chestatee won the traditional points championship, which awards teams points for matches that individual wrestlers win in weight-division brackets. Both were conducted as all-classification championships.