In a meeting that came down to the last individual match, Woodland got a pin from one of its seniors to defeat the Buccaneers, 32-27, in front of the Wildcats’ home fans.
“It was a great performance by our kids,” said Woodland coach Adrian Tramutola, whose team hosted the Area 5-AAAAA duals. “We lost to them earlier in the year [when] we had a kid missing [from our lineup].”
The Wildcats were at full strength this weekend, dispatching Villa Rica 65-6 in the first round before triumphing over South Paulding, 44-30, in the semifinals to set up the championship match with Allatoona.
“They’re a great team,” Tramutola said of the Buccaneers. “They match up well against us.”
Woodland led by five after Jermel Lewis’ match at 182 pounds, but Allatoona went back ahead with a pin at 195. Having bumped Isaiah Ross up to 220, the Wildcats had one of their veteran leaders on the mat for the final match.
Ross did not disappoint, getting the pin to give Woodland the win.
“… We had a great team effort,” Tramutola noted. “We had some kids that got pinned earlier in the year [who won this time]. … The kids had an unbelievable [tournament].”
Jahvar Lewis, who wrestled at 106, was one of the Wildcat wrestlers who reversed his result from the team’s first meeting with the Buccaneers, beating an Allatoona wrestler, 7-3, who had defeated him at the start of the season.
Lewis finished the day undefeated for Woodland. He was joined by Ross, Logan Sims and Jake Huffine, who each ended the duals tournament unblemished as well.
Seeding for the Class AAAAA state duals will be determined today in Thomaston, where Tramutola is headed to find out the path awaiting his Wildcats. Woodland has finished as runner-up in the state duals two straight years. In 2011, the Wildcats won the entire state duals to claim the wrestling program’s second duals championship.
Adairsville clinches 2-seed from Area 2-AAA
Following a disheartening loss to Sonoraville, 19-50, the Tigers wrestling team produced the type of effort that had its coach beaming afterward. Adairsville regrouped against Rockmart to win, 41-35, claiming a true second place, and the final qualifying state duals spot out of Area 2-AAA.
“Early on, one of our team goals was to qualify [for state duals]. At times throughout the year, we weren’t sure of that …,” said Tigers coach Joey Harris, whose team defeated Coahulla Creek 38-28 and nipped Ringgold 35-33 prior to the loss. “When that match [against Sonoraville] was over, we were kind of hanging our heads a little bit. All I had to do was remind ’em that our goals were still intact. … When we stepped on the mat with Rockmart, it was tight for a while and then we started to pull away. …
“The boys, they showed up and they wanted it.”
Notching three wins for Adairsville over the weekend were Salvador Grimaldo (3-1), Chance Bishop (3-1), Brett Burgess (3-1), Daelen Harrison (3-0) and Charlie Silvers (3-1). Other victors for the Tigers included Coltin Gulledge (2-1), Chris Blackston (2-0), Bobby Daley (2-2) and Brett Gutkowski (2-2).
For wrestlers like Blackston and Daley, as well as Gutkowski, Saturday offered an opportunity to deliver in a key spot for their team.
“We had guys that are not our varsity guys that stepped up,” Harris acknowledged. “The guys were unselfish and they trusted us to move ’em in the lineup. … It speaks highly of the kids for being ready.
“I’m really proud of their mental preparation.”
Colonels qualify for state duals
Cass wrestlers earned the right to compete in the state duals Saturday.
The Colonels defeated NW Whitfield late Saturday, 48-18, and earned the No. 2 seed at the area duals, held at Gilmer County. The Colonels defeated Dalton, 56-12, and LaFayette, 44-22, and lost to defending state AAAA champion Gilmer, 36-18, earlier.
“This gives us the chance to go to Macon on Thursday for the state duals,” Cass head wrestling coach D.L. Koontz said. “It is definitely a great opportunity for the kids.”
He said the Colonels have pushed themselves to reach the state. “These kids have worked really hard and our juniors and seniors have done a really good job of working toward this goal,” Koontz added. “I’m really excited for the kids to be able to go and make a run at it.”
The coach said it took a lot of good performances by the team to qualify and a lot of youngsters have gained experience this winter that should help them at the duals.
“I wrestled a lot of kids throughout the matches,” he said. “Everybody did what they had to do. The guys that needed to win for us pretty much did that. Against Gilmer there were some bright spots and maybe based on what we learned against them, our performance in the state duals will be a little different.”
The coach said Cass wrestlers were really focused during the season.
“They were working to get pins and wins, pushing for bonus points, which is big in the area and state settings,” Koontz added.
He said he is proud of what his team has accomplished.
“We’ve accomplished our first goal,” he said. “Our kids know we have done something. Now we have another higher goal, to go as far as we can in the state. We also know we are one of the top teams in AAAA in the state.”
Cass will wrestle Thursday and Friday and hopes to still be competing on Saturday.
“I think we have a shot at having a good performance at the state,” Koontz added.
—The Daily Tribune News’ David Royal and Chike Nwakamma contribued to