It was a successful Saturday for a number of local wrestlers as a combined 35 grapplers from the Catoosa and Walker County area qualified for the state sectionals next weekend.
Gordon Lee will be sending 10 of its wrestlers to the next round following the Area 4-A tournament at Trion High School.
Hunter Burnett was the lone individual champion for the Trojans as he claimed the title at 113 pounds. Burnett got a bye in his first match and won his second match by pin before holding off Trion's Daegan Vaughn, 2-0, in the championship bout.
Penn Askew (126), Nathan Hunley (138) and Timy Duke (160) all finished second in their weight classes. Zane Murdock (106), Montgomery Kephart (152), Logan Webb (182), Austin Crowley (220) and Michael Akins (285) all finished third, while Tomy Duke (132) placed fourth.
Trion, the Class A State Duals champion, took the team title with 275 points. Mount Zion-Carroll (198) was second and Gordon Lee (167) was third in the nine-team field.
The Ringgold Tigers turned in a solid fifth-place finish at the Area 4-AAA wrestling tournament at LFO High School on Saturday and will send six wrestlers to state sectionals.
Seth Parker (145), Luke Mills (170), Kaiser Cross (182), Luke Parks (220) and Scott Clinton (285) all finished third in their respective weight classes, while Noland Rohrer (113) was fourth. Zane Rohrer (106) will be an alternate for sectionals as he finished fifth in his weight class.
Sonoraville took the team title with 299.5 points. Adairsville (194) was second, followed by Calhoun (160), Coahulla Creek (155) and Ringgold (105). Haralson County (101), North Murray (99), Murray County (62) and LFO (0) rounded out the team scores.
The Ridgeland Panthers and the LaFayette Ramblers will both send seven wrestlers to state sectionals, while Heritage will have five wrestlers competing following the Area 6-AAAA tournament at Pickens High School in Jasper.
Dylan Fowler took first place for the Panthers at 152 pounds. Fowler received a first-round bye and a won by injury default in the semifinals, but held off Northwest's Blake Allen, 8-5, in the finals. Aiden Raymer was second at 126 and Elijah Langston took third at 120.
Four other Panthers, Camden Bain (132), Garrett Romans (138), Ethan Morgan (160) and Matthew Ballew (170), all placed fourth, while Aiden Barber (106), Caleb Woody (182) and T.J. Atkins (285) all placed fifth to earn alternate spots.
LaFayette had four wrestlers in the finals, but had to settle for four runner-up finishes. Those second-place finishers included Avery Sullivan (132), Karson Ledford (145), David Paterson (220) and Matthew Wallin (285).
Hunter Deal (152) took third, while Cyrek Johns (113) and Keegan Johns (120) were both fourth. Jacob Brown (160) placed fifth and will be an alternate for the sectionals.
As for the Generals, Drake Parker (182) won his weight class for the second consecutive year. Parker cruised to the title by pinning all of his opponents in the first period, including sticking Gilmer's Mike Owens in the finals in 1:35.
Tate Thomas (106) finished runner-up in his weight class. Drew Dietz (113) and Mike Stokes (138) both placed third, while Alex Eacret (195) was fourth. Heritage will also have a state sectional alternate in Christian Merrill (145), who placed fifth.
The team standings were led by Gilmer (253.5 points), who had seven individual champions. Northwest (221) had three winners and took the runner-up trophy, while LaFayette (121) edged Ridgeland (120) for third place. Pickens (113.5), Southeast (105.5) and Heritage (85) rounded out the standings.
Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.
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