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Bartow wrestling produces 37 state qualifiers, including 13 sectional champions

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While 29 schools were represented, three local programs combined to win 11 of 14 boys weight classes during a Class 5A sectional Feb. 5 at the LakePoint Sports Complex.

Bartow County wrestlers captured two additional sectional titles and two dozen others punched tickets to the upcoming traditional state tournament in Macon.

Cass, this season’s 5A duals winner, produced a whopping seven champions, meaning half of the boys first-place finishers in the sectional were Colonels. In keeping with their duals success, Cass dominated in the light weight classes, taking the top spot in six of the seven lower divisions.

The champion Colonels were Lee Camp (106 pounds), A.J. Piatt (113), Cole Hunt (120), Jake Crapps (126), Bryce Kresho (138), Tyler McKnight (145) and Zach McKnight (170).

They were joined at the top of the podium by a trio of Woodland wrestlers — Caleb Henson (152 pounds), Cole Cochran (160) and Champ Higdon (195) — and Cartersville heavyweight Shadre Hurst.

In girls action at the 5A sectional in Emerson, Anetra Witherspoon gave the Canes a champion at 197; Cartersville’s Elora Waterman came in runner-up at 102; and Cass’ Abigail Gentry placed third at 122.

Elsewhere, Adairsville advanced eight of its 12 sectional qualifiers to Macon, led by defending state champion Isaac Linley. The senior dominated his way through the 132-pound bracket during a 3A sectional at Lumpkin County.

In addition to Linley, the Tigers will be sending five wrestlers as top-three seeds. That includes sectional runner-up Jaxson Owens (120 pounds) and third-place finishers Jamori Speights (145), Jaimon Long (182) and James Lynch (195).

Adairsville also qualified Howard Bailey (138) and Luke Story (285) as No. 5 seeds, along with Ethan Blome, who finished sixth in Dahlonega.

Outside of their champions, the Wildcats (six), Canes (five) and Colonels (four) combined to send 15 other wrestlers to the season-ending event.

Woodland, which is looking to extend its run of traditional state titles to four years, produced three runners-up — Carson Bailey (126 pounds), Colton Bishop (132) and Beau Jernigan (285) — at the sectional.

Despite no third-place showings, the Wildcats managed to qualify a No. 4 seed (Randy Buchanan, 138 pounds), No. 5 seed (Kwadrus Wilson, 220) and No. 6 seed (Jeremiah Rhodes, 182).

Behind Hurst, who is a returning state finalist, Cartersville will look to rack up points in the lower weight classes during the state tourney, as the Canes’ handful of non-champions came from the six lightest divisions.

At 106 pounds, Grant Adams placed fourth; Eaiden Neal came in third at 113; Camden Greer and Talan Nix finished sixth at 126 and 132, respectively; and Giles Turner (138) produced a third-place showing.

As for Cass, only two of the Colonels’ 11 state qualifiers will enter Macon as lower than a No. 2 seed. Kriecg Roe (160 pounds) and Parker Dunn (182) both finished second at the sectional, while Eli Doolittle (152) and Tripp Adams (195) each came in sixth.