Three wrestlers won state championships in their respective weight classes and Cass finished second, Woodland finished sixth and Adairsville finished 11th in each’s respective classification.
Highlighting the day were the individual state champions, including Blake Walker from Cass at 126 pounds, Logan Sims from Woodland at 113 pounds and Daelen Harrison from Adairsville at 160 pounds.
Cass came the closest to winning the state championship as a team, but finished second to Gilmer for the fifth tournament this season.
However, the Colonels took 12 to state and placed nine, more than any other Class AAAA competitor.
“Obviously, everybody is chasing the first place trophy. There’s always going to be a snub. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be fun,” Cass head coach D.L. Koontz said. “I’m pleased to go from not placing in the top 10 to finishing second.”
Devin Wills and Tyjuan Jett were runners-up in the 145-pound and heavyweight classes, respectively.
“Both were really good matches. They didn’t hold anything back,” Koontz said. “At the end of the day, they can look at themselves and say, ‘I gave it my all.’”
Montavious Turner and Hunter Quinn each placed third, while Rashad Williams and Cedric Jett each came in fifth.
“All the guys had a hand in it,” Koontz said of the second-place finish for the Colonels. “We lost to Gilmer by 35 points and ended up 15 ahead of Alexander. If someone doesn’t score points, we’re not as comfortably in second at the end.”
After losing to Gilmer in the duals championship earlier in the year on criteria, another second-place finish to Gilmer is hard for Cass to swallow. However, according to Koontz, the season still was a success.
“It was an excellent season. Coming in, I thought we could challenge for both titles, but there’s no way to be disappointed,” he said. “It stinks to lose on criteria in duals. Everybody will always remember that, but the kids definitely put the work in and started in the right direction.”
Similar to Cass, Woodland was in the thick of the race for the state championship on Saturday, but ultimately finished fourth to go along with five state placers.
“We had a good weekend. We finished fourth, which wasn’t the goal, but we were right in the hunt,” Woodland head coach Adrian Tramutola said. “I thought going into it, ultimately, we would be one guy short of winning it, and throughout the tournament, we were in first place for a little bit. The top four teams shuffled around a little bit. A couple of things didn’t go our way where some teams got some good breaks and we didn’t have enough at the end to pull it off.”
Sophomore Logan Sims won his second consecutive state championship in the 120-pound class, becoming the first Woodland wrestler to win the state championship in his first two years.
Jake Huffine and Isaiah Ross also had strong showings as each were the runners-up in their respective weight classes.
“[Huffine] won last year in his weight class, but it just wasn’t meant to be for him. He wrestled hard. He lost to a kid who was better that night,” Tramutola said of Huffine’s second-place result. “Isaiah Ross lost a heartbreaker right at the end, 9-7. We felt like all of our kids could win it going into it. He had a really good shot to win it, but once you get to the finals, anything can happen. They were two evenly matched kids and one little takedown there at the end cost him the match.”
Meanwhile, Jacob May came in third place at 126 pounds and Jahvar Lewis finished fourth at 106 pounds.
Overall, five of the seven wrestlers Woodland brought placed.
“I’m proud of our guys. We’ve had a good season,” Tramutola said. “Looking back on it, I guess we’ll say we didn’t accomplish the two main goals, which was to win in both finals. We felt going into the season we had a great shot at it. Unfortunately, we lost kids to injury, which is just part of the sport, but ultimately that was our undoing. We only graduate three kids who actually qualified for state so we have a real good team coming back, and as far as we’re concerned, next season started yesterday.”
Cartersville did not share the same high hopes for a state championship as Cass and Woodland did, but senior Evan Cole came close to a state championship of his own.
Cole finished second in the 145-pound weight class, losing in the finals for just his second loss of the season.
A second-place finish at state is something to be proud of. However, Cole was expecting better.
“He was not happy with that at all. He’s been working since his sophomore year to be a state champion,” Cartersville head coach Garvin Edwards said. “He placed third last year in the same weight class. He just barely didn’t get to the finals last year. Coming back this year, he had his goals set on being a state champion. He worked hard and he’s matured so much.”
Cole was the lone placer on Cartersville, which brought three to state and finished 21st in Class AAA.
“We worked hard this year and, really, we had some high expectations, but we ended up with six of the 14 starters being ninth-graders,” Edwards said. “It just wasn’t the season that we prepared for, but we have a good group of freshmen and Brandon Reaves will be a senior. He’ll be a leader, and we’ll have a good class of 10th graders.”