A quartet of Dawson County wrestlers will be advancing to the Class 3A State Sectionals after finishing in the top four of their respective weight classes at the Area 7-3A Championships hosted by Gilmer High School on Saturday, Feb. 4.
“We are excited to get four through to the first round of state this weekend and the other five as alternates still have a chance to be called up,” head coach Arron Haynes said. “I felt like the boys wrestled tough. Overall, I felt like we had a very good weekend.”(Story continues below)
Junior Alex Stewart led the way for the Tigers with a runner-up finish in the 175-pound weight class, coming into Saturday’s competition as one of Dawson’s best wrestlers with a 17-15 record.
His regular season record earned him a first-round bye and a spot in the semifinals. While that bye also meant Stewart would already be going to the state sectionals as a top-four finisher, his efforts on Saturday showed he wanted the Area title.
His first opponent was Jackson Burford of White County, who Stewart quickly gained momentum against. After just over a minute, Stewart earned his way to the final.
Stewart would face a much taller task for the Area title, going up against William Godfrey of Pickens, who held a 19-8 record coming into the tournament.
Godfrey and Stewart tussled for a while and neither gave up any ground for an extended period.
But Godfrey made his move at the right time, getting Stewart down just under three minutes into the match.
Three other Tigers had top-four finishes, all placing fourth in their class to move on to the state sectionals.
One of the most notable results of the night was achieved by freshman Mason Rosenberg, who upset Lumpkin County’s Geovany Hernandez to have his shot to advance past the tournament.
Rosenberg would then play a tight match against Aiden Pickett of White County in the third-place match, with Pickett ultimately winning on a 12-10 decision.
Junior Luke Lowe also finished fourth, winning his first match against Mason Autry of White County before falling to Bregan Berry of Gilmer.
Lowe would defeat Luke McKenzie of Pickens to advance to the third-place match before falling to Jackson Douglas of Wesleyan.
Freshman Landon Glander was the other state qualifier for Dawson, coming into the Area tournament with a team-best 21-10 record.
He won his opening match against Drew Tolbert of Pickens before falling to Davin Lightsey of White County.
Glander had a bye into the third-place match, where he lost to Jacob Matthews of Lumpkin County.
The four wrestlers who advanced to the state sectionals will travel to Upson-Lee High School in Thomaston to wrestle on Saturday, Feb. 11.