The Gordon Lee Trojans, the 2012-2013 Class A State Duals champions, took the first step toward a state title sweep on Saturday as they rolled to the Area 3-A traditional championship at Mt. Zion High School while qualifying all 14 of their wrestlers for next week’s sectional tournament.
Gordon Lee put 12 wrestlers in the finals, had eight individual champions, four runners-up, and a pair of fourth-place finishers as they won the team title with 266.5 points.
Mt. Zion (180.5) was second, followed by Darlington (140), Trion (126), and Walker (77). The rest of the field included Mt. Paran (74), Pace Academy (42), North Cobb Christian (24), and Whitefield Academy (12).
Blake Clayton (120 pounds), Corey Jewell (195), and Dallas Goodlet (220) recorded pins in all of their matches on their way to individual area titles. Clayton needed just 32 seconds to record his three pins on the day.
Also winning individual championships for the Navy-and-White were Stihl Lance (106), Jonny Ragsdale (113), Dylan Skipper (132), Will Jacks (145), and Shane Farmer (182).
Mika Clark (126), Alex Spires (138), Clayton Reeves (170), and Dallas Alder (285) all narrowly lost in the finals. Sydney Rhinehart (152) was forced to injury default to fourth place, while Jonathan Bettis (160) also finished fourth.
“It was a good tournament and we wrestled well,” Gordon Lee head coach Brent Raby said. “Even the matches we lost were close, and we think we can turn around and win those matches (at sectionals) next week. I think we have a chance to be just as good, if not better, next week.”
Darlington will send eight wrestlers to next weekend’s sectionals, including area champions Jule Peek (126), Jordan Beck (152), and Hayden Cook (170).
Chandler Latham (160) was the lone individual champion for Trion, who will send nine wrestlers to sectionals.
Darlington will host the Class A West Sectional tournament Feb. 8-9, which will consist of the top four wrestlers in each weight classes from Area 2-A and 3-A. The top four wrestlers in each weight class at the sectional will qualify for the State tournament, which will be held Feb. 14-16 in Macon.