That was on display during the 2013-14 season as Bartow County had 27 state qualifiers, 17 state placers and three state champions in the traditional season.
Woodland and Cass each finished second in the state duals with Cass losing by one point on criteria.
Cass repeated its second-place finish in the state traditional meet, falling only to perennial powerhouse Gilmer.
Meanwhile, Woodland finished sixth in the state traditional meet to go along with its first-place finishes in the Bartow County championships and the area duals championship.
Adairsville also had a strong showing in the traditional season and finished 11th as a team.
In the duals season, both Adairsville and Cass finished second in their respective area duals championships.
Cass sent an impressive 12 wrestlers to the state traditional meet, Woodland sent seven, Adairsville sent five and Cartersville sent three.
Because of all the success Bartow County teams shared, each weightclass was stacked with talented wrestlers, providing plenty of competition for the all-county team.
WRESTLER OF THE YEAR
113 — Logan sims — Woodland
Just a sophomore, Logan Sims has already won two state championships, the first wrestler in Woodland’s program to accomplish the feat. Sims was perfect on the season, finishing 39-0 and was not taken down once the entire year. Among his 39 wins was an area, section and state championship.
“You name it, he won it,” Woodland head coach Adrian Tramutola said. “When he wrestled, he won. No one did what he did. He was the anchor of our lineup.”
106 — Jahvar Lewis — Woodland
Lewis was another Wildcat who had an outstanding season, winning the region in his weight class, finishing third at the sectionals and fourth at the state traditional meet. In his first year starting varsity after wrestling behind Sims a year ago, Lewis spent time at the 113-pound weight class before moving down to 106 where he dominated the competition for the majority of the season and finished with a 34-7 record.
“He had a great year for us,” Tramutola said. “He was a hammer for us all year.”
120 — Jake Huffine — Woodland
Huffine was Sims’ practice partner and, like Sims, won the traditional region and section championships. However, he fell just short in the state meet and was the runner-up, one of the few blemishes on a 43-4 season.
“Sometimes it’s more fun to watch [Huffine and Sims] go at it in the room than it is to see them against other guys,” Tramutola said. “They’re such competitors. They’re both so good. Whether it’s in the classroom, weight room, running, they just do it the right way.”
126 — Blake Walker — Cass
Walker was Cass’ state traditional champion as well as the area and sectional champ. He compiled a record of 44-2 and has placed in state all four years of his career. He finished fifth as a freshman, third as sophomore and second as a junior. Of his two losses, one was an injury default.
“Stud,” Cass head coach D.L. Koontz said of Walker. “He was just very diverse. He was always looking to score, it doesn’t matter what position it is.”
132 — Rashad Williams — Cass
The senior is a three-time state qualifier and placed fifth at state this season after finishing sixth a year ago. He was the area runner-up and came in fourth at sectionals. He also was Walker’s practice partner, which Koontz credited to helping Walker win the state championship.
“He definitely benefited a lot from having Blake as a drill partner, and Blake benefitted a lot from him because, for the whole practice, they were just after it. It made them both that much better,” Koontz said of Williams. “He’s just a great kid, a hard worker.”
138 — Chance Bishop — Adairsville
The junior produced a record of 38-9 on his way to a second-place finish at the state traditional meet. He also was the area and sectional champ to follow up his sophomore year when he was the area runner-up and came in fourth at the state meet.
“Chance is hard worker. He puts a lot of time in during the offseason. He doesn’t have the most God-given ability, but he works extremely hard,” Adairsville head coach Joey Harris said. “He works his game plan to fit his abilities and finds ways to win. He started the season slow and then he went on a streak of about 20 wins when he got to 138.”
145 — Evan Cole — Cartersville
The senior was the lone state-placer on Cartersville, which finished 21st in Class AAA. Cole compiled a record of 54-2, with his only losses coming to the Class AAAAAA state champ and in the Class AAA state championship match. As a result, Cole finished as the state runner-up.
“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 of Cole finishing as the runner-up. “He had his goals set on being a state champion.”
Still, Cole was the area and sectional champ, and won eight individual tournament championships over the course of the year.
152 — Devin Wills — Cass
Wills actually competed at the 145-pound weight class during the traditional state championship meet when he was the runner-up, but he and Cole are both deserving of recognition. Wills finished third at the area meet and fourth at the sectionals to qualify for the state meet for the second time in his career. The junior finished 21-9 this season.
“Devin definitely put a lot of work in in the summer,” Koontz said. “He’s another one that was just full pedal to the wall all the time in the room. He’s a great kid, always has a great attitude about everything.”
160 — Daelen Harrison — Adairsville
The sophomore won a state championship this year after being a state alternate in 2013. Harrison compiled an impressive 47-2 record this season in addition to becoming area champ and finishing second at sectionals.
“Daelen is an extremely hard worker. He never looks for the easy way out,” Harris said as to what made Harrison so successful. “He pushed everybody in the room, doesn’t matter who he was wrestling. He approaches every match the same, tries to push the tempo and tries to wrestle efficiently the entire match. I’m real proud of his accomplishments this year.”
170 — Jermel Lewis — Woodland
The senior went 32-15 while qualifying for the state traditional meet, finishing fourth in the area and sixth in the sectionals, a remarkable turnaround for a wrestler who posted a 1-32 record in his sophomore year.
Tramutola said Lewis is a good student and practice competition for Woodland’s state runner-up at 195, Isaiah Ross.
“Jermel had a good year for us,” Tramutola said. “It didnt end how he wanted it to, obviously. He fell just short, but made it to the round of eight in the state tournament.”
182 — Cedric Jett — Cass
Jett only wrestled half the season but still managed to earn a 22-8 record on his way to a third-place finish at sectionals and area, and a fifth-place at state.
Koontz wrestled with Jett in practice and said he posed some of the toughest competition the coach has faced.
“In the 10 years I’ve been at Cass, he’s the only kid I really had to work to get my leg back from,” Koontz said of Jett. “He was just that physically strong. He’s so athletic that anybody who went against him, for them to beat him, it was going to be with some trickery. He was just that strong and that athletic.
“It’s hard to describe him because he’s unconventional in the fact that he has long arms, long legs, and once he got on your leg, you were not getting it back.”
195 — Isaiah Ross — Woodland
Ross went 44-3 this season, won the area traditional meet and sections, and was the Class AAAAA runner-up.
Tramutola believes Ross could have very well won the state championship match and almost did.
“Had there been three more seconds on the clock, [Ross] probably would have been state champ,” he said.
However, even with Ross’ accomplishments, his influence as a leader matched his exploits on the mat.
“He’s another 4.0 kid, as was Jermel,” Tramutola said. “He was a leader, FCA leader. He’ll be hard for us to replace next year and I’m not talking about wrestling-wise, and he did a great job wrestling for us.”
220 — Montavius Parker — Cass
The senior, headed to Reinhardt University to play football, utilized his strength and athleticism to post a 19-7 record. He won the area championship, was the sectional runner-up and placed sixth in state after sustaining an injury during the meet. He is a two-time state qualifier.
“Monti is a very gifted athlete. I’ve only seen two other individuals come through our wrestling program that were as physically strong as him and he juggled a lot more than most high school kids,” Koontz said of Parker. “When he goes out there, you can sit down and rest comfortably knowing that he is going to get a win.”
285 — Tyjuan Jett — Cass
Jett resumed his wrestling career after a year’s absence and, as a result, caught the Cass coaching staff off-guard with his accomplishments. The junior was the area and sectional champ and finished as the runner-up at the state meet. He compiled a 43-6 record on the season.
“Tyjuan was a pleasant surprise. He wrestled for us freshman year, wasn’t able to make weight, and we couldn’t get him out last year,” Koontz said. “He’s just so competitive against himself. He’s not the traditional 6-foot-4 rocked up heavyweight. But he is, hands down, one of the most athletic kids on the team.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Adairsville — Salvador Grimaldo, Brett Gutkowski, Coltin Gulldege, Charlie Silvers; Cartersville — Robbie Earick, Brandon Reaves; Cass — Chandler Blum, Hunter Quinn, Tyler Larson, Montavious Turner; Woodland — Jacob May, Spencer Cooper, Matt Evans.