Dawson County High School Wrestling Coach Arron Haynes' Tiger team finished in third place at the State Sectionals tournament Feb. 7 and 8 at Sonoraville High School.
The Tigers amassed 109 points, just behind winner Woodward Academy (130.5) and runner-up Sonoraville (129.5). There were 22 teams wrestling in the tournament.
Dawson County will send five wrestlers to the State Traditionals meet at the Gwinnett Arena in Duluth. The tournament will be Feb. 13-15.
The top four wrestlers automatically qualify for the state meet. Fifth and sixth place finishers serve as alternates to the meet.
Haynes proudly crowned two Tiger wrestlers as winners of their particular weight classes. Junior Gavin Brown is champion of the 182-pound weight class and Senior Keaton Toal captured the 220-pound division.
Brown was undefeated in the tournament with a 3-0 record. The talented wrestler defeated Stephen Dykes of Gordon Central, in the first round by a 4-0 decision. In the second round, Brown defeated Cai Glencross of Woodward, with a pin to enter the championship match. The final match was not close with Brown winning a 7-1 decision against Coltin Gulledge from Adairsville.
In this weekend's state meet, Brown will match-up with Isaiah Hale from North Hall. Hale comes into the meet with a 30-19 record.
Keaton Toal also went undefeated in the tournament with a 3-0-record. Toal pinned Wade Jessie from Ringgold in the opening round. In the semis, Toal demolished Callis Whaley of Gordon Central, 17-2 with a technical fall. In the championship match, Toal won a 15-9 decision over Brooks Alford of Carver-Columbus High School.
The Tiger senior will face Justin Loredo from Buford in the first round of the upcoming tournament. Loredo comes into the state tournament with a 29-18 record.
In the 195-pound weight class, Brett Whalen represented the Tigers. Whalen picked up a third place medal with an injury win over Dimitrie Miller from Gordon Central. Whalen finished the tournament with a 3-1 record. Whalen had wins over Chandler Butler from Central Carrollton, pin, and Charlie Silvers of Adairsville, pin.
Whalen will now face Darrien Ingram from North Hall this weekend. Ingram has a 36-18 record this season.
Tiger Harrison Adams came in third place and will advance to the state sectionals this weekend. Adams (132 pounds) defeated Brandon Reeves from Cartersville to take third place. The Tiger wrestler was 3-1 in the tournament. The two other wins came against Austin Ard of Pike County, and Chris Blackston of Adairsville.
Up next for Adams will be Michael Carew from North Hall High School. Carew has an impressive 47-8 record this season for the Trojans.
At 113-pounds, Justin Evans finished with a fourth place finish and a spot at the State Traditional meet. Evans was 2-2 last weekend with wins over Alex Gambino and North Murray, and Brennan Banks and Pike County, before losing to Francisco Sanchez and Coahulla Creek, in the third-place match.
Evans will now wrestle Chris McCrackin from Banks County in the first round this weekend. McCrackin comes into the state tournament with a 45-3 record this season.
Alternates for the state tournament will be Zach Guy (160 pounds) who finished in fifth place despite his 2-2 record.
Also serving as alternates will be sixth place finishers Jacob Haberkam (285 pounds) and Jeremy Whalen (138 pounds).
Dawson County also had wrestlers Quade Bettendorf (120 pounds) and Josh Poe (106 pounds) participate in last weekend's state sectionals.