The Finals are here and the Chattooga Indians have multiple wrestlers competing today for the ultimate prize. After a 7:30 am weigh in, the 5th & 6th Place consolation matches will take place at 10 am. For the Indians, Efrain Hernandez (170) has battled back through the consolation bracket and will be competing for 5th place. In the Consolation Finals, at 11:30 am, it will be Austin Jones (195) taking the mat for 3rd Place. Head Coach, Brian Beasely has two wrestlers competing in the big show at 3 pm with two of the best Freshmen wrestlers to ever wear the Red & Black; Griffin Jarrett (106), with his record setting season of 66-3 (Most Wins in a Season) and Alex Mears (220) with his 44 pins (Most Pins in a Season). The two freshmen, wrestling at opposite ends of the weight class spectrum, have the Indians sitting at #7 in the State as they enter the finals. The four remaining Indian wrestlers have the potential to push Beasley’s Chattooga team into the top five with big wins today. Currently within three points of the Indians are Area 7AA rivals, Armuchee Indians and the Pepperell Dragons, easily making this NW Georgia region a hotbed for some of the best wrestlers in the state.
The top wrestlers don’t stop with the Double A Division. The Trion Bulldogs, led by Head Coach Eric Brock, are currently sitting in the #2 position as they enter the finals. Trailing only powerhouse Commerce, the Bulldogs have four wrestlers going for 5th in the state this morning as Francisco Alonzo (106), Jamey Floyd (120), Lincoln Maddux (126), and Branson Bowman (152) all battle at 10 am. In the consolation Finals, Seth Cox (220) has his sights set on a 3rd Place finish while the Bulldogs send three wrestlers into the Championship Round for 2017. Some of Trion’s best career wrestlers, Cole Luallen (138) is a two-time State Runner Up, and has been on this big stage before. Facing a familiar opponent, Luallen knows he has to win convingly after a hugely controversial loss in 2016 and he will be taking the mat with something to prove. Jake Wells (182) has been a dominant force in Blue for over a decade and nothing but Commerce senior Mitchell Patton stands in his way of a spot at the top of the podium. Logan Blevins (195) has spent many years alongside Wells as practice partners and the two have honed their talents into an art form of power and aggression. Blevins, a Trion junior, has destroyed to state competition and now faces a Commerce opponent of his own in undefeated senior Cole Chancey (23-0). Coach Brock feels like this is the Dog’s Day and the boys in blue have three chances to knock Commerce off their pedestal in the finals.
Single A wrestling programs from NW Georgia cover the top of the rankings as Trion #2, Darlington #4, and Gordon Lee #6 are all region opponents from the State’s toughest single A area. Chattooga resident, Hunter Burnette (106) is a freshman at Gordon Lee and will be competing in the consolation Finals for 3rd Place today. The Triple A division is also crowded at the top of the rankings with NW Georgia teams as Bremen #1, Sonoraville #2, and Ringold #6, all are stocked with talent. Chattooga County’s own Trevor Burdick had a scare in the opening round of the State tournament where he won a Sudden Victory in Overtime 7-3. Burdick is now in the Finals chasing his 2nd GHSA State Crown and his 11th consecutive Georgia Championship after claiming 9 straight USA Wrestling Titles in the Georgia youth wrestling program.
Stay tuned to All On Georgia for updates on all the GHSA wrestling action at the State Championship in Macon, Ga.