The Cougars of Alexander and the Tigers of Douglas County led the locals on Saturday, sending all 14 of their grapplers to the State Sectionals. Alexander managed to do it in the 5-AAAA Tourney at LaGrange, while DC accomplished the feat in the 3-AAAAAA tourney at East Coweta. It was the first time in school history that every wrestler qualified for both schools.
AHS was led by five region champions: Trae Green at 106, Bryce Hollomon at 113, Cody Starnes at 120, DeAndre Sims at 170, and Maverick Way at Heavyweight. Also qualifying for the Cougars were Roman Boylen (2nd, 126), Morgan Hollomon (2nd, 138), Cody Johnson (2nd, 145), Cody Dickerson (2nd, 152), Spencer Grey (2nd, 182), Canan McKinney (2nd, 220), Deon Evans (4th, 195), O’Neil Thompson (4th, 160), Chris Achenbach (132, 4th).
To have the whole team qualify for state is a first for our school in any individual sport,” said AHS co-coach Daryk Cochran. “We wanted to have them all there and they went out and made that happen. We are proud of the work they put in.”
“It is a great feeling for the kids because this has been a goal all year long,” added co-coach Sean Moistner. “To have the hard work pay off means a lot heading into the state.”
Alexander as a team, finished in first place with 228.5 points, and for the second time, beat out Carrollton this season, who finished with 205.5.
The Tigers were led by seven first place finishers: Keywan Gaines at 113, Drew Sanders at 152, TJ Beaird at 170, Woodrow Kavannagh at 182, Desmond Wareham 195, Michael Parris at 220, and Quinzavious Sands at heavyweight.
Sands’ championship did not come easy as he entered a dogfight with a kid from Westlake. the DC heavyweight found himself down 10-1 after the first period after being put on his back twice. However, Sands recovered and picked up a second period pin-fall for the victory.
“I was so proud of him,” said DC coach Jereme Fountain. “It was like watching a pro fight and he fought back.”
Also qualifying for the Tigers were Gavin Finch (2nd, 106), Solomon Green (2nd, 138), Brandon Lowe (3rd, 120), Malik Andrey (3rd, 126), Kalum Lo Vargas (3rd, 132), Nick White (3rd, 145), and Casey Vosselman (3rd, 160).
The Tigers won the team competition, putting the entire field well behind them despite a slow start.
“In the first round we were dead,” Fountain said. “In the matches we won we did not look good and we lost some we should not have. We had a meeting after that and they stepped up pretty well. There were a lot of times when they could have quit, or did less, but they didn’t. They recovered well.”
DC will now prepare for the 6A West Sectionals, which will take place at Kennesaw Mountain High School on Friday and Saturday. Matches will start at 5:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday. Alexander will also be on the road Friday and Saturday, heading to Pickens County for the 4A West Sectionals. Matches will start at 4 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday.
Chapel Hill competed in the 4-AAA tourney at Central-Carroll Friday and Saturday where they advanced two grapplers to the West Sectionals this weekend at Ringgold.
Advancing for the Panthers were Khyree Walker (220-pounds) and Keymonte Figures (152).
Walker remained the only undefeated wrestler in the county when he beat Adairsville’s Charlie Silvers by pin-fall in the second period of the championship match.
“He is just technically sound,” said CHHS coach Marcus Harley. “Every move that someone tries to put on him, he is always ready to counter.”
Figures finished fourth after falling by pin-fall in the third period against Jarrett Thomas of Central-Carroll in the third place match Saturday. But he was able to advance to sectionals.
Chapel Hill performed well as a team, placing seventh out of 13 teams despite having to forfeit seven weight classes per match.
The Panthers will compete on Saturday at Ringgold, starting at 9 a.m.
New Manchester and Lithia Springs High School at Allatoona on Friday and Saturday in the 5-AAAAA Traditional Wrestling Tourney.
The Jaguars did not qualify anyone for the State Sectionals, officially ending their 2012-13 season.
Overall, coach Raymond Leonard wrapped up the year, saying the team grew and is starting to work together more as a unit. New Manchester has no seniors on the team and will get nearly everyone back next season.
“We wrestled hard and as a team showed improvement,” Leonard said. “These guys are getting familiar with the sport now and will mature more going into next season and our expectations will be high.”
Lithia Springs results were not reported to the Sentinel by deadline on Monday.