A tight race among the top teams in Area 3-AA provided some exciting matches as Saturday’s competition wrapped up at Armuchee High School.
How they will fit in with the rest of the state will be decided soon enough.
Armuchee had three wrestlers win area championships, including a pair of defending state champions, Rockmart finished with four atop the podium, and Chattooga edged the host Indians to take the team title at the Area 3-AA Traditional Tournament.
The day served as the proving grounds for state with the top four in each weight class advancing to next weekend’s Class AA “B” Sectional Tournament at Rockmart High School.
Jacob Henderson became a three-time area champion at 182 pounds as the Armuchee senior and defending state champion won all three of his matches by fall. Wes Conley, the Indians’ defending Class AA 113-pound state champion, won his division’s area title as well.
Armuchee senior JC Burkett fought his way to an area championship at 220 pounds against Heard County’s Logan Moran. The two were tied 2-2 after regulation and went to three overtime periods before Burkett separated himself with a six-point run that gave him the 8-4 win.
The Indians had seven total qualify for sectionals, as did Rockmart, which had six wrestlers reach their respective finals with Truett Bowman (138), Zoryan Hendricks (152), Griffin Pace (160) and Deacon Allen (285) all coming out on top.
Pepperell’s Landon Camp (120) and Isaiah Bevels (132) won area championships, leading a pack of eight Dragons who punched their ticket for the sectionals.
Griffin Jarrett (106) and Alex Mears (195) each won area titles for Chattooga, which finished with 202 points to win the team championship. Armuchee came in second with 198, while Rockmart was third with a final tally of 184.5 and Pepperell was fourth with 174.
Chattooga and Armuchee were first and second in the team standings heading into the consolation finals.
The host squad had a direct opportunity to overtake Chattooga in the 106-pound final but Jarrett, the defending state champion, defeated Cameron Espy 18-5.
Coming in second for Chattooga were Austin Kiser (152), Ty Veatch (160), Jacoby Cottrell (170) and Luis Medina (285).
Model 126-pounder Walker Byrd, who won the 113-pound area title last season and was the state runner-up, won his championship match Saturday over Kevin Hendrix of Heard County, 10-6. A total of six Blue Devils qualified for sectionals.
Coosa had three wrestlers finish fourth in their classification to advance to sectionals — Travis Pelfrey (106), Greg Wheeler (195) and Brooks Moore (285).