The new year is off to a great start as the Banks County mat Leopards kicked off 2011 with a tournament win at the Georgia-Carolina Classic, Jan. 1.
Banks County returned as the champion of the 17th annual Georgia-Carolina Classic, hosted by Hart County, after defeating area opponent Jackson County in the final round. Last year the Jackson County Panthers defeated the mat Leopards in the final, and were favored this year as the champion.
Jackson County was a fourth ranked team in the state while Banks County was ranked at sixth heading into the final match. Banks County secured the win 39-30, but a last match forfeit by the Panthers finalized the win 45-30 for the mat Leopards.