Saturday proved to be a historic day for two Hall County wrestling teams, as Chestatee and Flowery Branch set school records by each qualifying eight wrestlers for state at their sectionals meet.
Chestatee, the Area 8-AAAA and Hall County champion this season, visited West Laurens High in Dexter for the Class AAAA state sectionals, with Bart Velasquez (113 pounds) finishing second, Christian Zapatero (126) placing third, Jose Reyes-Lavallee (106) and Tommy McCormack (160) taking fourth, Zach Cheshire (132) finishing fifth.
Cody Humphries (170) and Grayson Entrekin (195) each placed sixth for Chestatee, and Austin Donaldson (120) earned seventh to advance to state.
“I’m very proud of these guys,” War Eagles coach Carey Whitlow said. “Five of six years ago, we had 11 on the team. This year we took 11 to sectionals.
“I’m very happy to take eight wrestlers to state.”
Flowery Branch traveled to Loganville for the Class AAAAA state sectionals, with Zach Winter leading the Falcons by placing second at 138 pounds. Ronnie Couch (113), Nolan Alspach (120), Ben Horton (126), Brady Dyer (145), Grant Simonds (182), Devante King (195) and R.J. Deyton (285) are also headed to state after recording top-eight finishes at Loganville.
In Class AAA, North Hall qualified had five wrestlers qualify the state championship weekend in Macon. At Morgan County, Tyler Kratzer (145) finished first, while Michael Carew (120) placed second for the Trojans. Taylor Marett (106) placed third for North Hall, and David Lush (136) and Tyler Goss (126) were both fourth in the Class AAA East Sectional.
East Hall’s Edward Vergara placed third and Corey Reece finished fourth in Class AAA’s East Sectionals.
West Hall’s Elliot Raiford finished second at 152.
In Class AAAA, Lumpkin County’s Greg Hilliard placed first at 113 at West Laurens.
Eddie Daniels (152), Tristin Duckworth (106) and Micah Mihok (120) also qualified for state tournament.
Classes AAAA-AAAAAA open the first round of state matches at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Macon Centerplex in Macon. The quarterfinals, semifinals and wrestle backs begin Friday with the finals following at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
Class A-AAA, which sends eight qualifying wrestlers from each weight class to state, begins the first round at 11 a.m. Friday and the finals at 3 p.m Saturday at the Macon Centreplex