Bartow County high school teams once again proved how formidable the county’s wrestlers are in another impressive season.
The four schools put a combined 31 wrestlers through the sectionals to the state traditional tournament. Woodland put all but one if its wrestlers through to state, while Cass qualified 11, Adairsville qualified five and Cartersville qualified two.
The county also produced four state champions this season — Kyle Gollhofer, Logan Sims, Hunter Quinn and Cody Cochran.
Woodland and Cass had strong dual seasons as the Wildcats placed second in the state for the fourth consecutive season, while Cass finished right behind Woodland in third.
WRESTLER OF THE YEAR
Logan Sims — Woodland (132)
Sims will graduate as possibly the most accomplished wrestler in Woodland’s history as he won three state championships, four area championships and four sectional championships. The Chattanooga signee won a state championship in each of his first two years, and if it weren’t for an injury, may have won a state championship all four years.
This year, he took the title in the 132-pound weight class, rolling through the state traditional tournament.
“Without a doubt,” Woodland head coach Adrian Tramutola said when asked if Sims is one of the best to ever wrestle for Woodland. “I’ve only been here eight years. We have a chance with guys who are in school right now to maybe outperform him in their four-year career, but he’s by far the best wrestler we’ve had since I’ve been here.
“We can sit here all day and talk about what he has meant to our team and to our program. He was a hammer for us. He won wherever and whenever we wrestled.”
Kyle Gollhofer — Woodland (106)
Just a freshman, Gollhofer announced his presence on the state’s wrestling scene with a state championship. He won the area and sectional championships, and went 43-1 in his debut season.
“He was a hammer in our lineup from Day 1,” Tramutola said of Gollhofer. “He started out the season on 113. He was pretty much undefeated there. He had one loss in the state duals when he was already down to 106 and we bumped him up. I believe he bonus-pointed all the way to the finals. I believe he had three pins and a major through the state tournament. So he had as good of a year as he could have had for us.”
Salvador Grimaldo — Adairsville (106)
Grimaldo was Adairsville’s senior leader. He was the area runner-up and placed fourth at state this season after a third-place finish last year. He would have placed higher at state, but lost by one point in the semifinals.
“He was, without a doubt, our standout leader from the beginning of the season until the end,” Adairsville head coach Ryan Torrence said of Grimaldo. “[Fourth-place at state] was not what he worked for. He ran into a kid that wrestled a different style than what he was built for — a real tall, lanky kid. So, stylistically, he didn’t match up with the kid. The kid stalled much of the match and Salvador couldn’t score that last point.”
Jesus Montero — Woodland (113)
Montero was one of Woodland’s state qualifiers this season. In his first year regularly in the varsity lineup, he started out in the 126-pound weight class, but went down to 113 to help give Woodland its 13 state qualifiers.
“He had a good year,” Tramutola said of Montero. “He’s the ultimate team guy for us. He did whatever the team needed best. He qualified for state for the first time this year. He had a really good year. We look for a lot of big things to come from him next year.”
Devin Garrett — Cass (113)
The junior went 48-18 on the season, placing sixth at state, seventh at sectionals and third in the area traditional tournament.
“He was definitely one of the kids that we would count on for points from him,” Cass head coach D.L. Koontz said. “I would say, the last couple of years, he underachieved. I would say there was a couple of tournaments this year when he underachieved. But, this year, he turned it on at the end of the year and wrestled to his ability.”
Jahvar Lewis — Woodland (120)
Lewis is a three-time state placer. As a senior, he was the area champ and placed fifth at state.
“[Fifth-place at state was] probably a little lower than he would have hoped for,” Tramutola said of Lewis. “But he was one of our top point scorers and was big in our lineup all year long for us.”
Dawson Woods — Woodland (126)
Woods, a junior, is a two-time state placer. He was the area champ and placed third at state this year.
“He had a great year,” Tramutola said of Woods. “He was 106 last year and started this year 132. He eventually made his way down to 126. A lot of people were skeptical of him going up three or four weight classes and him being successful. He was extremely successful for us. He finished the year third in the state in, arguably, the toughest weight class in 5A. ... We’re going to look for him to get over the hump and win that title as a senior.”
Robby Earick — Cartersville (126)
Earick placed fourth at state, his second year qualifying for the state traditional tournament. He placed fourth at area and sixth at sectionals. He produced a record of 45-9.
“I was very proud of his effort and extremely proud of him at area, sectionals and state,” Cartersville head coach Garvin Edwards said. “He worked real hard. He had a tough weight class in our area with Gilmer and Heritage, and Ridgeland had a very solid kid. ... So he had a tough road to hoe to get there, but he wrestled well. He really wrestled well at the end of the season.”
Hunter Quinn — Cass (138)
One of Bartow County’s state champs, Quinn went out on top as he completed his senior year 40-5. He was the area runner-up and sectional champ. He is a four-time state placer, placing third as a sophomore and junior and fourth as a freshman. This season, Quinn defeated a two-time state champ and a returning runner-up to earn his state title.
“I would say, hands down, he is the best scrambler in the state. He knows his job. He goes out and does it. He’s a workhorse wrestler,” Koontz said of Quinn. “He’s my silent assassin. He just works. He doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t complain about anything. He puts more time in than probably 90 percent of the wrestlers in the community.”
Spencer Cooper — Woodland (145)
Cooper was in a competitive weight class his senior year, but still managed to place fourth after his runner-up finish a season ago at state.
“He had another good year,” Tramutola said of Cooper. “He was a guy who was a senior leader for us. He probably was in the weight class with one of the toughest guys in the state. To finish up fourth, we’re proud of his performance.”
Cody Cochran — Woodland (152)
Another state champ for the Wildcats, Cochran has won the state title in each of his first two years in high school. He also won the area title. He cruised to his second state title, recording three pins and a major decision at the state tournament.
“He validated what he did last year. He had another great year,” Tramutola said of Cochran. “He’s a guy where, if you need him to wrestle in heavyweight, he’ll just go out there and wrestle in heavyweight. He got beat at regionals, which I think was actually a great thing for him. It put him on high alert a little bit.”
Daelen Harrison — Adairsville (160)
After winning a state title as a sophomore, a shoulder injury prevented Harrison from repeating as a junior. As a senior, he was once again the favorite, but fell just short, finishing third at state. In the consolation semifinals, Harrison handily defeated the wrestler who beat him earlier in the state tournament.
“If he hadn’t gotten caught, he would have won a state championship, no doubt about it. He was the favorite. He, arguably, was the favorite in the state in all divisions. No matter what classification it was in the state, everybody knew he was the best at 160 pounds,” Torrence said of Harrison. “Daelen was our hammer. We always knew that when he went on the mat he was going to win. He always wrestled really intense. He was in your face. He controlled the match the entire time.”
Joseph Jones — Woodland (160)
Jones came on strong toward the end of his senior year, placing second at sectionals and fifth at state.
“I’m super proud of his efforts. He made it to state last year, went 0-2. This year, he came out and had an OK region tournament and came out blazing in sectionals,” Tramutola said of Jones. “He took second there and took fifth-place at state. He finally got on the podium. That was big for him and big for us as coaches to finally see him achieve that goal. I felt like he wrestled to his potential this year.”
Houston Jones — Cass (170)
Jones, a junior, finished the season 32-11 and qualified for state after placing third at sectionals and second at area.
“Houston is a tough kid,” Koontz said. “All year long I kept him at  just because we had a big hole there. It got him to state, but you talk about a kid who’s just tough. When you think of wrestlers, that kid is just as tough as can be. He doesn’t let things stop him.”
Chance Scrutchins — Cass (182)
Scrutchins finished his junior year 33-14, qualified for state, placed fourth at sectionals and was crowned the area champ.
“Chance really came on this year. He bought into our system,” Koontz said. “The weight room really helped him out. He’s so athletic. He still doesn’t know a ton wrestling-wise. He’s just athletic as can be. Some of the things he can do with his body are just impressive. Some of the situations most people get taken down in, he’s able to get out of.”
Tripp Breeden — Cass (195)
Breeden was the state runner-up in Class 5A and compiled a 49-8 record during his sophomore year. He was the sectional and area champ as well.
“Man-child,” Koontz said of Breeden. “[Breeden was] the only person to push [Torrez] Finney all year long, who was the state champ last year and this year. He made some young mistakes early on, listened, corrected those. He worked after practice to get some more things in. You just look at him, he’s going to be chiseled like David by the time he’s a senior. He’s only a sophomore and already as big as can be.”
Hunter Hardin — Woodland (220)
Hardin was a region champ and a state qualifier for Woodland. He was another one of Woodland’s wrestlers to finish the year strong and help the team to a second-place finish at the state traditional tournament. He came within one match of placing at state, losing in overtime.
“He had a really good year for us,” Tramutola said of Hardin. “He really turned it around and placed at the McCallie tournament.”
Seven Richards — Cass (285)
Richards went 39-7 in his sophomore year and placed third at state. He also was sectional runner-up and area champ.
“Seven is a great kid — funny, fun-loving kid,” Koontz said. “He’s another kid that the weight room helped greatly from his freshman year to this year. It gave him a lot of confidence — all that strength to be able to handle those big boys.”
Dalton May — Woodland (285)
May was the sectional champ and was the area and state-runner up as a senior, overcoming a few losses to Richards earlier in the year to reach the state finals.
“We had been waiting for him all year to do what we thought he was capable of. He had some up and down results. But, looking back on it, he wrestled six or seven state champs throughout the year,” Tramutola said of May. “I think, once he started getting some guys who weren’t some of the best in the Southeast, he started getting some confidence and he kind of steamrolled it all the way to the end. He caught fire.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Adairsville — Nick Jackson, Bryce Burgess, Henry Pabst, Nick Fuller; Cartersville — Jonathan De La Cruz; Cass — Tyler Pilcher, Jordan Mitchell, Jaylen Callahan, Khalil Farmer, C.J. McKnight; Woodland — Jacob Frye, Raekwon Hicks.