The Colonels have now finished second in the area duals, state championship duals and area traditionals, all since Jan. 3.
Cass did not need to defeat Gilmer Saturday to win a state championship in Macon in two weeks, but the Colonels did take the first step to putting themselves in position to beat the Bobcats as Cass qualified 13 for sectionals and a 14th as an alternate.
“We’ve had great battles with Gilmer. You use it for what it is. It’s another close weekend with them, and they just put a few more champions in the finals than what we did, but they’re a great team. You obviously hate coming in second, but at the same time, the overall goal is to get to sectionals for next week. When you get to sectionals, you have to get to state, and then that’s when you get to work,” Cass head coach D.L. Koontz said. “I think it’s the first time that I’ve been with the program that we’ve had all 14 in the semis. Overall, it doesn’t really matter where you qualify. Getting the guys down there, taking 13 to sectionals, is a really good thing. Hopefully, the 14th will get called in as the alternate.”
Cass finished second with 267, behind Gilmer’s 276.5 points. The two ran away from third-place finisher Heritage, which scored 161.5 points. The Colonels will move on to the sectionals at Fayette County High this weekend and each wrestler will try to make the top eight to move on to the states.
“They dont give [a state championship] out today,” Koontz said after the meet Saturday. “What we tell our guys is the goal is to get them to sectional. That’s all this weekend is about. Then next weekend it will be to get to state. Whether its first or eighth, the goal is to get to state. We’ll take care of that and then we’ll worry about [the state championship] once we get to that.
“We’re going to go into a nasty sectional between us, Gilmer is going to be there, Carrollton is going to be there, Alexander is going to be there, pretty much the best teams in the state. We’re going to go in and beat each other up again.”
Of the 13 who qualified for sectionals, three Colonels won their weight class to become area champions. Blake Walker at 126 pounds, Montavius Parker at 220 and Tyjuan Jett in the heavyweight class were the champions of their weight classes.
Micah Barron also had a strong performance at 170 pounds. He finished second, but defeated the top seed Jonas Ritter from Cedartown with a pin in the semifinals.
“Ritter was runner-up last year in 160. He’s the 1-seed. Normally, that’s your top seed. [Barron] goes out and pins him and gets himself into the finals,” Koontz said. “I definitely knew we would qualify him, not sure that he would be in the finals. That’s what this sport is about. It doesn’t matter, a guy can beat anyone, anytime.”
Adairsville wins area
The Tigers avenged their second-place finish to Sonoraville in the area duals last month as Adairsville won the area traditionals Saturday at Sonoraville High and will send nine qualifiers for sectionals next weekend at Sonoraville.
“We brought 11, nine qualified for sectionals and we had seven in the finals. I would say that’s a good day for anybody,” Adairsville assistant coach Patrick Konen said. “We’re super young, but we really peaked at the right time. We only brought 11. Sonoraville had 12 and Rockmart had 14. Having a small team, everybody has to contribute.”
The Tigers had five wrestlers win their weight classes as in the area championships. Salvador Grimaldo won at 106 pounds by major decision. Chance Bishop won at 138 pounds; Galaen Harrison won at 160 on a major decision; Coltin Gulledge won at 182; and Charlie Silvers won at 195.