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PSN Spotlight - Zion Rutledge, 2022 GHSA Wrestling 7A 220lb State Champ

Off the heels of winning the Georgia High School Association wrestling Class 7A 220 pound championship, Hillgrove’s Zion Rutledge reflects and says “it’s great” being able to call himself a state champion. In the final seconds of the GHSA 7A 220lb title match on Saturday, Rutledge found himself down a point and says initially, he wasn’t sure what his next move would be that could help him pick up the win. “To be honest with you, I hit this dude with everything I had,” Rutledge jokingly says adding that with having already “hit” Deonte Dozier of Camden County with most of his moves, he was not sure there was anything he could use that would work.

“I was running out of options, I was trying to figure out what to do in my head,” Rutledge remembers. That’s when he Rutledge says as Dozier was trying to push him out of bounds, as he discussed with his father, “it’s like something in the back of my head said ‘lat drop him’ so I guess it was just instinct, God, something but it was a thing of beauty when I did it,” Rutledge said as he would go on to defeat Dozier by a 6-3 decision. And after not being able to wrestle his sophomore year, Rutledge says that being able to complete his junior year of wrestling with a state championship win, is something he’s worked hard for. “To have those bragging rights, I’m a state champion, it’s a great title. A title I’ve worked really hard for”.

Rutledge praised his coaches for helping him accomplish his win on Saturday adding, “we didn’t skip a day. We worked every day, we looked at the technic, we went through all the loses, we went through all the struggles and it’s definitely great to see it all pay off”. With having success on the football field and the wrestling mat, Rutledge says that with one more year of high school athletics, he has not ruled out the possibility of competing in both sports as a collegiate athlete. “It depends on a lot of things, like some of the colleges that I get recruited by. Like maybe if I get recruited by Lehigh, I would definitely be a dual sports athlete then because I know they have a great wrestling program as well as football program,” Rutledge said of his future. But for now, we get one more year to watch Zion at Hillgrove before he moves on to the next level.


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