After Saturday’s sectional meets, the Athens area will be well represented at the state traditional wrestling championships, which are set to begin Thursday at the Macon Centreplex.
Several teams had multiple competitors qualify for state, with defending Class 4A champs Jefferson (13) and defending Class A titlists Commerce (12) leading the pack.
The Dragons will vie for their 18th consecutive state traditional title while the Tigers will compete for their fifth straight state crown.
At the Class A sectional at First Presbyterian Day in Macon, Commerce touted eight champions – Dawson Legg (113 pounds), Tucker Flint (138 pounds), Nick Patrick (152 pounds), Chase Forrester (160 pounds), Braxton Legg (170 pounds), Knox Allen (195 pounds), Cody Ridley (220 pounds) and Cade Ridley (275 pounds).
Second-place finishers for the Tigers included Bryson Flint (106 pounds), Dylan Legg (120 pounds) and Elijah Burns (182 pounds). Kole Burchett finished third at 145 pounds.
Athens Christian’s Brian Rodriguez qualified for state by finishing in third place at 126 pounds.
At the Class 4A sectional at Jefferson, the Dragons had six champions, including Tyson Thurmond (106 pounds), Jared Blackburn (120 pounds), Ian Statia (126 pounds), Dawson Bates (132 pounds), Cole Potts (138 pounds) and Coy Strong (145 pounds).
Mason Mingus (113 pounds), Ryan Hurd (160 pounds) and Mason Corbett (170 pounds) all finished in second place, Nolan Sorrow was third at 152 pounds, Gavin London finished third at 285 pounds and James Phaturos (182 pounds) and Hunter Allen (195 pounds) both finished sixth.
Also at Jefferson, Madison County and North Oconee qualified six wrestlers each and Oconee County qualified five wrestlers.
The Red Raiders were led by Josh Kincaid, who won the 113-pound championship. He will be joined in Macon by Jasxon Hoetzel (second place, 182 pounds), Hamilton Cooper (second place, 220 pounds), Heath Sexton (sixth place, 126 pounds), Rowan Smith (eighth place, 132 pounds) and Jerry Dobbins (eighth place, 195 pounds).
The Titans’ qualifiers included Hayden Pryor (second place, 106 pounds), Sam Johnson (second place, 132 pounds), Seamus O’Brien (fourth place, 195 pounds), Gavin Bloom (sixth place, 160 pounds), Evan Head (sixth place, 285 pounds) and Luke Jarvis (eighth place, 113 pounds).
For the Warriors, Taylor Webb was second at 145 pounds, McCrae Class (126 pounds) and Hudson Grogan (138 pounds) both finished fifth, Nick Saunders (220 pounds) placed sixth and Zach Cartrette (106 pounds) finishes seventh.
At the Class 5A sectional at Buford, Clarke Central had five qualifiers and Cedar Shoals had two.
The Gladiators’ competitors at state this week include Jaysean Galloway (113 pounds), Stephen Cofer (145 pounds), Thomas Isakovich (152 pounds), Meshai Coleman (160 pounds) and Jamaris Hart (285 pounds).
Jamal Boyd (182 pounds) and Ian Morton (195 pounds) qualified for the Jaguars.
At the Class 3A sectional at Greater Atlanta Christian, Jackson County had five qualifiers, including champion Devonte Stephens at 220 pounds.
Joey Sosebee (106 pounds) and Jon Koning (195 pounds) both finished second while Jake Weatherly (113 pounds) and Ben Gilbreath (145 pounds) posted third-place finishes.
At the Class 2A sectional at Rockmart, Oglethorpe County’s Gabriel Peryam won the championship at 138 pounds and Zaine Tuck finished fourth at 114 pounds.
At the Class 6A sectional at Lanier, Apalachee’s Corbin Lange finished fourth at 220 pounds and Sam Skinner finished fifth at 170 pounds.
Winder-Barrow’s Zechariah Thomas also qualified at 132 pounds.