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Samantha Patton, first Lady Hornet to win state championship in wrestling

Samantha Patton hugs Coach Destry Walker after her big win as the first Lady Hornet to win the state championship in wrestling

Photo by Amber Cloy Photography

Congratulations to Cook High School’s Samantha “Sam” Patton, 17, for winning the State Championship in the Girls 130LB Weight Class Division at the 2024 GHSA Traditional Wrestling State Championship, held Friday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, Feb. 17, in Macon.

Sam Patton, a junior, made her mark in the records book at Cook High by becoming the first Lady Hornet to become a state champ in wrestling.

“She won in dominant fashion with a pin in the first period!” said Hornet Head Coach Destry Walker. “Sam only had three total points scored on her this entire tournament! We are so proud of you and all of the work that you’ve put in this year!”

“The greatest part of this sport is watching it change a kid’s life,” Coach Walker said. “The second greatest part is seeing the joy they feel when all of their hard work pays off! Sam lost in the State Finals last season. The following week, she was back on the mat and has been on it since! A year’s worth of sacrifice and hard work took her from not scoring a point in the State Finals to only giving up three points in the entire State Tournament this year. She is the epitome of the C3 mentality!”

Cook Wrestling noted a fun fact: There are no classifications in Georgia for female wrestling. “To be the champ as a female, you must be the absolute best in the ENTIRE state!”

Samantha Patton

Sam remarked: “I told ya’ll you’d see me at the top!!!

“All kidding aside, the challenging practices, camps, and conditioning last off-season were worth it for the outcome of not only being the first female State Champion for Cook, but also the first State Champ since 2012. My name finally gets to go after Coach Destry Walker’s as I accomplished the long-awaited goal of needing a new banner.

“If I’ve learned anything from this sport, it is that if you want results, you must put in the time and effort. Or as Coach Destry says, ‘Nothing worth having in life comes easy.’

“It’s time to continue to put in work because I get to do it all again one more time and I plan on keeping my spot at the top!”

Sam added that she would like to thank her Cook Wrestling Family: “In all honesty, when I stepped onto the mat for my final match, I was filled with nerves. That was until I looked into the crowd and found my people. 

Not only do I want to thank my own family who were either there each day with me or supporting me from home, but also my coaches, my teammates, and their families. 

Not only did these people show up and show out with their cowbells, clappers, and pom-poms but they also gave me strength and a sense of calm as I stepped on the line. 

“The Wrestling Program is like a family and will always take the time to make sure every kid is supported. These people are my backbone, and I am extremely grateful to each and every one of them!”

Sam, the daughter of Nichole Deason, said she has been wrestling for three years, since she became a freshman at CHS and “wanted to try it out.”

She plans to attend college, but is uncertain at this point which one she will choose. She hopes to attend on a wrestling scholarship.

Sam is the first Hornet wrestling state champion since 2012, when her current coach Destry Walker, as a CHS student, won in the 285-pound weight class. Coach Walker is proud to see Sam continue the legacy of a long list of Hornet state champs. 

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