Postseason wrestling arrived in the state of Georgia over the weekend and there was plenty to be excited about among Polk County’s programs.
Rockmart, which has been near unstoppable as a team in duals tournaments and meets this season, won the Area 4-3A duals title for the second year in a row, while Cedartown’s Mat Dawgs battled to earn second place at the Region 7-4A duals.
Both teams will compete in the GHSA State Duals preliminary round this weekend with a chance to earn a spot in the championship round. Rockmart will host their four-team portion of the bracket Saturday at 10 a.m. while Cedartown will travel to Thomas County Central on Friday.
A team will have to win twice at each site this weekend to qualify for the state dual championship round on Jan. 22.
“You’ve got to make the first step to get to the next one. So we’re excited,” Rockmart wrestling coach Drew Lindsey said after his team went 3-0 Friday at its area duals. “Area champions is always one of our goals. We’ve checked that one off, and now we’re moving on trying to make the Elite Eight.”
The Jackets hosted their area’s duals tournament with a round-robin format against Greater Atlanta Christian, Adairsville and Westminster. The host team passed through with flying colors as Rockmart defeated each opponent handily, blanking GAC and Westminster with scores of 82-0 and 76-0, respectively, and winning 60-18 against Adairsville.
“We had some people step up when some people got banged up, so it was a team effort. I told the guys it’s about the team the next three weeks because this is the team aspect of wrestling,” Lindsey said.
Rockmart’s Gunner Chambers pinned all three of his opponents at 126 pounds, while teammates Nahzir Turner (160 pounds) and Jakamron Ammons (220) each went 3-0 with two pins each. TK Davis (113), Bleu Winters (138), Skyler Edwards (152) and Jase Davis (285) each won their only two matches with pins.
Izaeah Beavers got a technical fall against Adairsville and pinned his Westminster opponent at 120 pounds. Hunter Wilson pinned his Adairsville opponent and then won his 145 pound match against Westminster by sudden victory, 8-6.
Greater Atlanta Christian had several weight classes forfeited meaning many Rockmart wrestlers only wrestled twice.
Friday’s results mean Rockmart has a duals record of 38-1 leading up to Saturday’s prelims, but Lindsey knows they’ll likely have to face Gilmer County, the team which handed them their lone loss early in the season.
“The 38 wins are great. We try to focus on the good, but we also look at that one (loss) and that one is a team we’re gonna have to beat in two weeks in a good Gilmer County team,” Lindsey said. “We’re trying to stay hungry to get towards that ultimate goal that we set at the beginning of the season. We feel good about where we are right now. So we’ll see.”
In other action, Cedartown finished second at the Region 7-4A duals hosted by Heritage-Catoosa and had two close wins to do so.
The Bulldogs got a pin in the final match against Pickens to win and advance to the second-place match against Heritage where Cedartown skirted past the Generals 40-39 to grab the regions No. 2 seed.
Cedartown is in a four-team prelim hosted by Region 1-4A champion Thomas County Central. Rockmart will host Ringgold, Franklin County and Jackson.