Adairsville, Cartersville and Cass each competed in their respective area tournaments, with the Tigers and Colonels making it to the second day of their area duals.
"I was really pleased with how we wrestled," Adairsville coach Patrick Konen said of his No. 5-seeded, Area 7-AA team, which won against Dade County, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe and Armuchee but lost to Model and North Murray. "We finished fifth and that's right where we were projected to finish."
In the Tigers' 42-39 loss to the second-year Mountaineers Saturday, Konen reasoned that upon closer look, Adairsville could have pulled off the victory.
"[Against North Murray], we won seven matches, they won five but we forfeited at 103 and 145 [pounds]. When you take away the forfeit, we win by nine points. ... All in all, we wrestled really, really well."
Konen thought the Tigers could have been seeded one or two spots behind where they were, making this tournament finish even merrier.
"We finished fifth, which is better than what I expected," he added.
Cass, much like Adairsville, also dealt with having to forfeit in certain weight classes, but managed to wrestle well in spite of that. Both of the Colonels' losses came to eventual fourth-place team Chattahoochee by nine points and to Rome, the third-place team, by three points.
"I was proud of their performance," Cass coach D.L. Koontz said of his Area 7-AAAA team, which won two matches including Friday's opener vs. Sequoyah. "We forfeited three weight classes; that's 18 points every time."
The Colonels, a seventh seed, were without four seniors, experience and leadership that could have benefited them, Koontz said.
"I think having the four seniors out really, really hurt," he continued. "Unfortunately, it was just the way of the draw. ... I do think if we had our regular lineup we could have made a push [for state] ... but hats off to Chattahoochee and Rome for pushing as hard as they did."
While Adairsville and Cass extended their stay in the area duals to Saturday, Cartersville failed to make it to Day 2 of the Area 7-AAA's tournament.
The Purple Hurricanes, a No. 8 seed, beat Cedartown convincingly before losing similarly to No. 1 seed LaFayette.
"[We] had some good individual effort, but they still beat us handily," Cartersville coach Garvin Edwards said of his team's loss to the Ramblers.
In the consolation bracket, the Canes lost 45-37, he said, eliminating them from the tournament.
Edwards acknowledged some disappointment in not making it far enough to allow Cartersville a chance to reach one of its season goals.
"We had set this as a goal, to qualify for state as a team. We had done a good job [leading up to the area duals]," the Canes coach said. "The guys worked hard and they all wrestled well this weekend. ... We looked better [but it is] a very tough region, very tough lineup. We're still young in some places, but we got a lot of leadership from the seniors and captains."
Cartersville, as will Cass and Adairsville, shifts its attention from the weekend to the rest of the season, with roughly a month still remaining.
"We still have a lot of team events, but now our efforts turn to the individual aspect of our sport," Edwards said. "We told our kids now is the time to make each other better. ... Our goal is to qualify as many as kids as we can for state."
Konen said he saw good performances from a few of his Adairsville wrestlers at area duals to suggest they may have good performances at the Area 7-AA traditional tournament.
"It was a really good tournament for us, especially with having only two seniors that wrestled for us," he said. "Model has a really good 215-pounder and [Dalton Johnson] ended up pinning him."
The Tigers also got key wins from 112-pounder Kevin Grimaldo and 119-pounder Hayden Randolph.
"We got some wins in there that are good for us as far as seeding purposes for the area traditional tournament," Konen said.
Koontz hopes the sting from not making the state duals helps motivate Cass's wrestlers in the month ahead.
"I do believe it bothered the wrestlers on the team because they know they have the desire and the talent to be wrestling [this] weekend down in Macon," he said. "They took it personally and I'm really hoping that's a springboard for them to do well for themselves and for the team. ... I just hope this little setback pushes them and makes them work harder for their goal of becoming a state placer and a state champion."