Local wrestlers advance to state tournament
High school wrestling is thriving locally and it was once again demonstrated by athletes in the four local programs.
Woodland, Cass, Adairsville, and Cartersville have combined to send 31 wrestlers to the state traditional tournament next weekend, February 11-13, in three different classifications and there will be local athletes participating in each of the fourteen weight classes.
The top eight finishers at each of the two state sectionals per classification will meet in next weekend’s sixteen-man state tournament bracket.
The Woodland Wildcats’ wrestling team will send thirteen wrestlers to the Class AAAAA state tournament.
Woodland freshman Kyle Gollhofer won the sectional title in the 106-pound weight class, Logan Sims captured the 132-pound championship, and Dalton May was champion of the heavyweight division.
The Wildcats had four other finalists, Dawson Woods (126-lbs.), Spencer Cooper (145-lbs.), Joseph Jones (160-lbs.), and Raekwan Hicks (182-lbs.). Jahvar Lewis (120-lbs.) and Cody Cochran (152-lbs.) both finished third at sectional. Brett Shedd (195-lbs.) and Hunter Hardin (220-lbs.) were fourth place finishers. Jacob Frye advanced with a fifth place finish at 170 and Jesus Montero (113-lbs.) placed sixth to adance.
The Cass wrestling team had eleven members to advance from the state sectionals this weekend to the Class AAAAA state tournament.
Hunter Quinn and Tripp Breeden both won their respective weight class sectionals. Quinn won the 138-pound bracket and Breeden captured the sectional title at 195 pounds.
“The boys wrestled well and I am pleased we qualified eleven,” beamed Cass head coach D.L. Koontz. “This is just the start of the state tournament though, they now have to wrestle three more grueling days to finish off the journey.”
Cass state tournament qualifiers by weight class: 113 - Devin Garrett (7th at sectional)
120-Tyler Pilcher - 4th 126-Cody Mauldin - 9th(alternate)
132-Jordan Mitchell - 5th
138-Hunter Quinn - 1st
145-Jaylen Callahan - 4th
152-Khalil Farmer - 4th
160-C.J. McKnight - 5th
170-Houston Jones - 3rd
182-Chance Scrutchins - 4th
195-Tripp Breeden - 1st
285-Seven Richards - 2nd
“We are excited to be returning to the Gwinnett Arena,” said Koontz. “Hopefully our alternate gets called in too.” Quinn, one of two Cass seniors to advance to the state tournament, avenged his loss from the area finals one week earlier. Quinn defeated Brandon Filosi of Cambridge High School 9-6 to win his first state sectional.
Breeden, a sophomore, avenged a loss from earlier in the season at the McCallie Invitational by defeating Camden Johnson of Union Grove to win his first state sectional championship.
In Class AAA, Adairsville will have five state tournament participants following sectionals. Daelen Harrison (160-lbs.) won a sectional title, while Salvador Grimaldo (106-lbs.) was a sectional finalist for the Tigers.
Brice Burgess (152-lbs.) earned a fifth place finish for Adairsville, and teammates Henry Pabst (7th at 170-lbs.) and Nick Fuller (7th at 195-lbs.) also qualified for the state Class AAA tournament.
Robby Earick (126-lbs.) and Johnathan De La Cruz (220-lbs.) placed sixth and fifth, respectively, for Cartersville at their Class AAAA sectional.
Koontz said he expects additional excitement this year as the state tournament returns to the Gwinnett Arena in Lawrenceville. “There’s nothing like it.” noted the Colonels’ coach, “you really need to come out and experience for yourself.”
The state tournament will begin Thursday afternoon and continue Friday and Saturday with the state finals matches scheduled for 3pm.