Cass, Woodland lose heartbreakers in state championship
by Staff Reports
Jan 12, 2014 | 1521 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wrestlers at Woodland and Cass high schools claimed second place in the state in their respective classifications Saturday.

Wildcat wrestlers fell to Pope, 37-29, and Cass wrestlers fell to Gilmer County in a tie-breaker, 31-30.

Gilmer 31, Cass 30

The odds were against Cass entering Saturday’s Class AAAA championship match.

After all, the Colonels’ opponenent, Gilmer, came into the day with four consecutive state championships and had defeated Cass the previous week by 18 points in the area duals.

However, Cass gave Gilmer all it could handle Saturday at Macon and just missed capturing the AAAA team duals championship, falling to Gilmer County on criteria, 31-30.

Cass head coach D.L. Koontz now has led the Colonels to four state runners-up. In those four championship matches, Cass has lost by a combined seven points, twice by one.

“It’s disappointing. For them to feel this pain is what bothers me. They deserve to feel excitement. In our eyes they earned it,” Koontz said. “They are winners. For somebody to say something else other than that, come down to my neck of the woods, I’ll have something to say to them.”

Cass trailed by three points heading into the heavyweight match when Tijuan Jett won a three-point decision to tie it at 30.

The match then went to criteria where Cass lost on what was an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when one of the Cass wrestlers elbowed his Gilmer opponent. The referees deemed the elbow intentional.

According to Koontz, his wrestlers showed grit throughout the tournament.

“Words cannot describe how proud I am of our kids. This is a great group of kids with great heart,” he said. “They brought it all weekend. It was a tough match. It’s definitely one that’s going to be remembered. To come that close, it’s tough to take.”

Cass had lost to Gilmer, 36-18, in the area duals, which were held at Gilmer County Jan. 4.

Cass reached Saturday’s championship by defeating Crisp County, 54-24, in the first round. In the second round the Colonels overpowered West Laurens, 53-17. They topped Alexander, 39-28, in the semifinals.

Gilmer’s path to the championship round included a 51-9 defeat of LaFayette in the first round; a 55-18 defeat of Glenn Hills in the second round; and a 45-16 victory over Chestatee in the semifinals.

Alexander and Lumpkin County finished third and fourth, respectively.

Koontz hopes his team will use the tough loss as motivation in the upcoming individual season.

“I definitely hope the boys use this as a springboard to work even harder in the traditional season, because they can still win a state championship,” Koontz said.

—The Daily Tribune News Staffers David Roayl and Jason Greenberg contributed to this report.

Pope 37, Woodland 29

Woodland did not get the pin it had to have and fell to Pope in the Class AAAAA state team dual championships held at the Macon Centreplex on Saturday.

Adrian Tramutola, Woodland head coach, said the Wildcats turned in three good three days of wrestling and kept the state championship in their sights until the very end.

“The kids did a great job to get there,” Tramutola said. “It was our fourth-straight year. This year, for it to come down to the last match, that was tough.”

The coach said Woodland needed a pin at the end in the heavyweight division and that dictated it not just try for a win in that event.

“It was a match our wrestler could have won but he had to try to get a pin,” Tramatola said. “If he had just won without a pin, we would have lost the championship by one point.”

The performance by the Woodland wrestling team was one to remember even if the athletes didn’t get the result they wanted.

Last year Pope had dominated the Wildcats, 50-14, but it was a battle all throughout the matches on Saturday.

“They were way better than we were last year,” Tramatola said. “This year we felt we could compete with them and win, but we came up one match short.

“I’m super proud of our kids.”

Woodland plowed through some strong schools along the way to reaching the finals.

In the first round the Wildcats overpowered Warner Robins, 73-0. They defeated Ola in the quarterfinal round, 50-19, and in the semifinals handled Creekview, 38-20.

Tramatola noted the Creekview win was a particularly sweet one for the Wildcats.

“We avenged a loss to Creekview earlier in the season,” he said. “That win put us back in the finals.”

The winning performances in the championship were turned in by Woodland’s Jahvar Lewis, 106, who won by pin; Logan Sims, who won by major decision; Jake Huffine, 113, who won by pin; Jacob May, 126, who won by major decision; Jermel Lewis, 182, who won a regular decision; and Isaiah Ross, 195, who won by pin.

Pope’s path to the championship included Ware County, who they defeated, 43-25, in the first round; Whitewater, who they topped, 44-13, in the quarterfinal round; Allatoona, who they handled, 45-21, in the semifinals.

Allatoona placed third and Creekview fourth.

—The Daily Tribune News Staffers David Roayl and Jason Greenberg contributed to this report.