Dawson County High School junior wrestler James Evans, 112 pounds, finished in second place at the AA State Traditional Wrestling Tournament last week at the Gwinnett Arena in Duluth.
Evans was pinned in the championship match on Saturday by Quintri Noel from Spencer High School.
“I felt like he could get on the podium going in, but being in the finals was a totally unexpected surprise,” said Head Coach Arron Haynes.
The Dawson grappler advanced with wins over Carter Clinebell from Greater Atlanta Christian School in the first round 11-2. Evans then won a battle against David Sobasky from Jordan by a close 3-2 score.
On Friday, Evans won a thrilling victory over Mason Patton from Banks County, 6-4, in overtime with a take down to get the win.
Evans was trailing 4-2 with 30 seconds left and got a reversal to tie the match.
The match then went into a 1 minute overtime, where the first wrestler to score wins.
“I am really excited about James because he went into the tournament as the number five seed from sectionals and upset a sectionals champion en route to being the state runner-up,” Haynes said.
Evans finished the season with a 35-10 overall record.
The other placers at 112 pounds were third place Josh Harris of Jefferson, third place; James Bearden of Morgan County, fourth place; David Sobasky of Jordan, fifth place; and Mason Patton from Banks County finished in sixth place.
“He wrestled the best tournament of his life and showed enormous heart throughout the weekend. I couldn’t be more proud of how he wrestled and presented himself,” Haynes said.
Also wrestling for Dawson County was junior Preston Adams at 152 pounds.
Adams was injured in his first match with Chip Ness from Buford and was unable to continue in the tournament.
“I am excited that he took advantage of being able to go to sectionals as an alternate, and hate that his tournament was cut short by injury,” Haynes said.
Ness went on to win the state championship.
“Both wrestlers are looking forward to leading their team into state next year,” Haynes added.