Cherokee, Etowah and Woodstock will send their wrestlers to the Class AAAAAA sectional at Mill Creek. Sequoyah and Creekview will compete in the Class AAAAA sectional at Cambridge, while the lone representative from River Ridge will compete in the Class AAAA sectional at Fayette County.
The top eight finishers in each weight class will advance for a shot at the state championship next weekend at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.
River Ridge coach Joseph Mullinax is hoping that what his program lacks in quantity it can make up for in quality. His wrestler, Seth Nama, is the No. 16 seed at 160.
Mullinax knows that Nama will have to wrestle hard in order to qualify for state from such a low seed. He opens with Americus-Sumter’s Eric Williams in the first round.
“Not many kids advance to state as the fourth seed from the (area), but at the same time, we wrestle a good (area),” Mullinax said. “I am just happy that we got someone to sectionals wrestling out of that (area).”
As for Class AAAAAA, Etowah’s Brandon Reibly (160) finished third in the Area 5AAAAAA tournament, but he was seeded No. 2 behind East Coweta’s Kevin Lashley. The same goes for Reibly’s teammate, Josh Thomas, (113), who placed third in the area tournament, only to be given a No. 2 seed behind East Coweta’s Matthew Durham. Woodstock’s Tristan Watson is the No. 11 seed at 113.
Cherokee’s Lee Hands is also a No. 2 seed, competing at 126 and will be joined at the same weight by Etowah’s Dylan Wagner, the fifth seed, and Woodstock’s Chris Gillmartin, the 16th seed.
Etowah also has a No. 3 seed in Joey Payton (132).
Cherokee’s Max McMahan and Etowah’s Alex Rusk will compete at 120, with McMahan No. 4 and Rusk No. 7.
Jake Wagner is the No. 4 seed at 145, while Woodstock’s Zach Shareef is No. 7.
At 152, Etowah’s Karl Davis earned the ninth seed, while Cherokee’s Evan Adcox is No. 14.
Etowah’s Bronson Rechsteiner is seeded No. 5 at 170, where Woodstock’s Duncan Morris enters as the No. 11 seed.
Woodstock’s London Demetrious is a No. 9 seed at 182. Etowah’s Jesse Sullivan will compete at the same weight as the No. 14 seed.
Etowah’s Ray Hardin (No. 10) and Woodstock’s Austin Biggers (No. 8) will compete at 195.
Competing at 285 are Woodstock’s Daniel Benitez (No. 4) and Etowah’s Brad Morgan (No. 14). They are on opposite sides of the bracket and would meet in either the championship or in the consolation bracket.
In addition to Adcox McMahan, and Hand, Cherokee will also be represented by Rod Lopusnak, the No. 10 seed at 132.
Woodstock’s Alex Gomez is the No. 13 seed at 106.
Like Etowah, Creekview isn’t lacking sectional qualifiers either. The Grizzlies will have 11 representatives.
Leading the way are Joseph Sorrentino (182), Justin Goss (132), Bryce Davis (106) and Hunter Smith (170) who all finished as Area 7AAAAA champions. Sorrentino, Davis and Goss are seeded fifth in their respective classes, while Smith is a No. 3 seed.
Also competing for Creekview are Coda Stewart (eighth, 152), Grant Slater (eighth, 120), Brock Tupman (ninth, 285), Logan Ridings (14th, 195), Ryan Camp (14th, 126), Kyle Merenda (16th, 145) and Christian Saragusa (16th, 220).
Sequoyah’s lone representative will be Alex Bryant (126), who is a No. 4 seed.