Hard work and dedication are two words used to describe the Area 3 Class AAA champions, the Dawson County Tigers.
The Tiger wrestling team, under the helm of Head Coach Arron Haynes, defeated defending Woodward Academy on their home mat to take the championship last weekend.
Up now, for several Tiger wrestlers, is the State Sectionals this weekend to be held at Sonoraville High School in Gordon County. Dawson County will be matched up against Area 4. The top four wrestlers from the event will advance to the State Traditional Tournament, which will be at the Gwinnett Arena.
"It truly takes great kids that buy into our system to find a way to upset a formidable opponent like the reigning state champions in Woodward Academy," Haynes said. "The coach from Woodward always has his wrestlers bring their "A" game, taking us to the wire in a battle for area."
Two Dawson County wrestlers won their weight class. Gavin Brown (182 pounds) and Keaton Toal (225 pounds) were crowned Area 3 champions.
Tiger runners-up were Harrison Adams (132 pounds), Zach Guy (160 pounds), Jacob Haberkam (285 pounds) and Jeremy Whalen (138 pounds).
Third place medal winners were Justin Evans (113 pounds) and Brett Whalen (195 pounds). Finishing in fourth place was Josh Poe (106 pounds).
The first four placers from the Area 3 tournament will compete this weekend. Wrestlers in positions five and six will be alternates.
Alternates for the Tigers are fifth place finisher Ryan Jones and sixth place finisher Gilbert Pruitt.
Haynes praised his coaching staff and this year's team leaders for the program's success this season.
"Today was a testament to the hard work and dedication of our young men and my assistant coaches who put in thankless hours," Haynes said. "I can't say how much our captain and senior leadership has meant this season, as well as the efforts of Gregg Adams, Noel Poisson, Ryan Coker, Kenny Houseal and our trainer Chris Dearwent who continues to put my boys back together again and again. We look forward to the next two weeks of state to see how we stack up against the other areas. Practice should be fun this week," Haynes said.