Competition at the Darlington Classic continued to live up to expectations over the weekend as the annual wrestling tournament welcomed 16 teams from Georgia and Alabama to Rome.
A usual warm-up for the Georgia High School Association area traditional tournaments, this year’s Darlington Classic had some local wrestlers getting boosts before the postseason kicks off this weekend.
Winning their weight classes Saturday were Pepperell’s Drake Miller, Model’s AJ Woods and Cedartown’s Tanner Mason, while Model finished with 136 points to come in second in the final team standings behind Mt. Pisgah, which had 157.5 points.
Miller, a junior, won the 170-pound title after pinning senior Hezekiah Hunter from Alabama’s Benjamin Russell High School in the first minute of their finals match.
Woods, who wrestles at 182 pounds, survived a tight match with Dade County’s Cody Williams in the championships, winning by sudden victory with a final score of 6-4.
Mason led an all-local top four in the 138-pound weight class as the Bulldog got the win over Pepperell’s Thomas Zenga in the finals by fall, while Armuchee’s Joey Espy pinned Model’s Duncan Blankenship in the division’s third-place match.
Model’s Joe Wallace lost by decision to Benjamin Russell’s Saxon Coker in the 152-pound championship, while the Blue Devils’ Jacob McAdams was the runner-up at 195 pounds following his loss to Carterville’s Rashun Hurst in the title match.
Armuchee’s Cameron Espy finished second at 126 pounds after Mt. Pisgah’s Tyler Nelson won the final by decision.
Coosa’s Travis Pelfrey was the Eagles’ top finisher, reaching the 113-pound championship match before falling to Mt. Pisgah’s Catherine-Grace Bertrand.
Darlington’s Luke McDurmon (120) and Armuchee’s Joey Green (220) each finished third in their division.
Cedartown’s Roy Tracy (170), Damian Forgette (195), Tristan Gibson (220), and Kobe Holloway (285) all came in fourth, as did Model’s Pierce Fincher (113), and Tommy Herod (132).
Also finishing fourth in their class were Pepperell’s Jake Roberts (152) and Waylon Miller (160), Armuchee’s Cade Cordle (182) and Darlington’s Adam Robertson (106).
Darlington will compete in the Area 4-A traditional tournament at Trion on Saturday, while Area 5-AA, which includes Floyd County teams and Rockmart, will have its tournament Saturday at Chattooga.