The Pickens High School Dragons wrestling team participated in the 8-AAAA Area Traditional Tournament at Cass High School this past weekend. The Area Tournament is the first step towards deciding the state’s top wrestlers at each individual weight class. Pickens picked up two place winners, Koby Milner placed second at the 106lbs weight class, and Elliot Gallagher placed fifth at the heavyweight.
The top four wrestlers from each Area compete in this weekend’s Sectionals Tournament. The Sectionals Tournament decides who the participants are, and their seeding, in the State Traditional Tournament. The top eight wrestlers from each weight class at Sectionals move on to the State Tournament.
Milner made Sectionals with his second place finish, while Gallagher will be the first alternate should an injury occur before Sectionals.
Milner beat Noah Bartenfield of Southeast Whitfield and Devin Garrett of Cass to reach the Area Finals, where he fell to Gilmer’s Alberto Perez.
Gallagher advanced as far as the semifinals before falling to Gilmer’s Levi Seabolt. Gallagher next faced Michael Robles of Northwest Whitfield in the consolation semifinals. Robles won the match and Gallagher got fifth place at 285.
Pickens took a total of eight wrestlers to Area.
Trevor Dean competed at 126. Dean advanced to the second round before falling to Dusty Lacy from Gilmer. From there, Dean made the consolation quarterfinals before being eliminated by Cedartown’s Brandon Brame.
Aaron Cannady competed at 132, falling in the first round to Dylan Pittman of NWW. Cannady advanced to the second round of the consolation bracket before elimination at the hands of SEW’s Chris Rosas.
Jesse Stevens represented the Dragons at 138. Stevens made it to the second round before a loss to Lafayette’s Cole Ingram sent him to the consolation bracket. Stevens beat Cedartown’s Colton Thompson in the second round of “wrestlebacks” before being eliminated by SEW’s Andrew Mays in the consolation quarterfinals.
Nathan Cheek competed at 145. Cheek fell to Ridgeland’s Devon Tucker in the first round. Cheek then advanced to the second round of “wrestlebacks” before falling to Gage Booth of Heritage.
Kyle Levy wrestled at 152, advancing to the second round before Cass’ Thomas Keller sent him to the consolation bracket. Levy beat Heritage’s Sam Faragalli to make the consolation semifinals, but fell in the “semis” to Dylan Burch of SEW, eliminating Levy from the tournament.
Ken Baker was the Dragons’ 182. Baker’s first round loss to NWW’s Noah Smith, sent him to the consolation bracket. Baker advanced to the second round of “wrestlebacks” before being eliminated by Heritage’s Ethan Ray.
Milner is the only Dragon to advance to Sectionals and will look to claim a spot in the state tournament this weekend at Fayette County.