GHSA

A total of 22 wrestlers, representing Catoosa and Walker Counties, will head to Macon next weekend for the GHSA state championships.

The LaFayette Ramblers had arguably the most successful weekend of any of the area's local teams as they saw six wrestlers qualify for state, including one has sectional champion.

That wrestler was Matthew Wallin, who took the 285-pound weight class with a 4-3 victory over Gilmer's Jacob Cruz on Saturday in the Class 4A sectionals at Lanier High School.

Teammates Avery Sullivan (132) and Karson Ledford (145) both made the finals on Saturday, but both had to end up settling for second place. Hunter Deal (152) and David Paterson (220) both took fifth place at sectionals, while Cyrek Johns (113) finished seventh.

Drew Dietz of Heritage (113) finished runner-up for the Generals. Alec Eacret (195) made it to the championship semifinals, but eventually finished fourth. Drew Parker (182) placed fifth, while Tate Thomas (106) and Mike Stokes (138) both placed seventh to qualify for state.

As for Ridgeland, its top finisher was Aiden Raymer (126). Raymer lost in the championship semifinals, but battled back for third place. Dylan Fowler (152) took fourth and Garret Romans (138) made it to the semis and eventually finished in sixth. Elijah Langston (120) finished seventh and Camden Bain (132) placed eighth.

Also at Lanier High, senior Laneyah Fairbanks took fourth place in the 142-pound girls' division.

At the Class 3A sectionals at South Forsyth High School, Seth Parker was the only Ringgold Tiger to qualify for state as he finished sixth at 145 pounds. Noland Rohrer (113), Luke Mills (170), Kaiser Cross (182), Luke Parks (220) and Scott Clinton (285) were unable to secure top six finishes.

And at Bremen High School, Gordon Lee had four wrestlers qualify in the Class 1A sectionals. Their effort was led by Makayden Martin, who placed second in the 112-pound class in the girls' division.

Hunter Burnette (113) advanced to the championship semifinals, but ultimately placed third overall. Penn Askew (126) also made it to the championship semis and eventually finished in sixth place, while Timy Duke (160) also made the semis. Duke had to also settle for sixth place.

Nathan Hunley (138), Montgomery Kephart (152) and Austin Crowley (220) all finished seventh for the Trojans. Those three will be alternates for the state tournament next weekend.

LFO did not have any wrestlers to qualify for state sectionals.

Wrestlers in Classes 1A-3A had to finish in the top six at sectionals to qualify for state, while wrestlers in Classes 4A-7A needed to finish in the top eight at sectionals to secure spots in the state tournament field.

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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