The Pickens County Dragons have poured their hearts into wrestling this season, and it’s certainly been one to remember. But – it’s not over, yet.
Just one week after hosting the Burnt Mountain Classic, where the Dragons finished 2nd overall, the team came together to hit the mats with a lot more on the line this time than just ‘braggin’ rights. Gilmer hosted this year’s AAAA-Region 6 area tournament, and the Dragons were one of the team favorites coming into the competition,
In traditional area wrestling, the top four individual competitors in each class qualify to compete at the GHSA AAAA Sectionals meet next weekend at Woodward Academy. On the other side of Sectional competition, Jefferson will host Area winners from areas 2, 3, 7 and 8. Jefferson won the team dual state championship last month, their 17th straight GHSA state dual championship. Gilmer County finished 2nd in that tournament.
With Pickens wrestling in what is arguably the most competitive region in the state, the team faced off against rival Gilmer, as well as quality wrestlers from Ridgeland, Heritage and more. The day turned out to be one of the best in school history, with a record number of sectional qualifiers and three traditional area champions: Zack Meadows, CJ Murphy and Michael Burrell.
Dalton Brunner also had a big day, finishing 2nd in his class.
Other qualifiers for the Dragons include Michael Hernandez (3rd) and Joseph Ferguson (3rd), as well as 4th-place finishers Nate Davis, Jared Edwards, Kelley Dover and Sam Stout.
The overall performance by the Dragons varsity wrestling squad earned them 6AAAA Area Runner-up honors, behind defending champion Gilmer High.
TeamFYNSports would like to wish the Dragons wrestling program all the best as they prepare for sectional competition this week!
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The Burnt Mountain Classic took place on Friday night and Saturday at Pickens Co. High School. The Classic comes with high expectations by the teams attending – and although inclement weather forced school cancellations throughout the week – the tournament still lived up to the bill.
Although the weather was rough all week, 15 of 19 Varsity teams that were scheduled came off the buses ready to strap on their head gear and hit the mat. Fannin County was one of 22 varsity teams scheduled to attend but like a handful of the teams who cancelled, they followed the school cancellation schedule due to potential hazardous road conditions.
The acclaimed Gilmer Bobcats varsity squad, who have been living up to their legacy of absolute domination all season long, was originally scheduled to attend as well. After speaking with head coach Josh Ghobadpor about his decision to give his varsity the weekend off, he stated that with the weather being what it was during the week, they hadn’t been able to practice. Rather than put his varsity in a high-pressure situation so close to area and sectionals, Ghobadpor focused instead on taking his junior varsity team to compete in the JV Scramble.
“We tried to get to the gym to train but with ice on the roads we didn’t want to take any chances. This weekend we decided to bring our JV and let them get the extra work in, though. After all the JV is the future of Bobcat wrestling,” Ghobadpor told TeamFYNSports.
As the wrestlers laced up and shook hands, match-by-match the competition began to heat up right away. Pickens, Lumpkin, Creekview, Etowah, Cherokee High, Calhoun, Alcoa, Milton, Sequoyah, Chestatee, Towns, SE Whitfield, Walker, West Hall and River Ridge all came in pursuit of conquest.
With each win or loss, the cream began to rise to the top. While all in attendance had much to be proud of, two standout teams battled for the heralded prize of tournament champions. As the dust (and sweat) settled, congratulations went to the Creekview High School Grizzlies for capturing the crown in the team scoring with 219 points. Narrowly taking the runner up award in the team points was the host: the Pickens County High School Dragons.
On Saturday, the action heated up with the JV Scramble. The young freshmen and sophomore athletes showed up and showed out on the mats with Calhoun Yellow Jackets taking the JV trophy. Individual award winners from Pickens County included: Zach Meadows(113 lbs) 2nd Place, C.J. Murphy(120 lbs) 2nd Place, Joseph Ferguson(152 lbs) 2nd Place Michael Burrell(160 lbs) 1st Place, Tyler Vreeland(170 lbs), Kellie Dover(182 lbs) 3rd Place and Dalton Bruhner(195 lbs) 4th Place.
Other results were not available at the event. Congratulations to all athletes and best of luck in Area Competition and State!
Last Saturday, the varsity and JV Cross Country teams traveled to Atlanta to run in the Saucony Battle of Atlanta in Nash Farms. With several teams competing, the Dragons and Nettes runners would have impressive showings. Ranked 4th in the 4A poll, the varsity boys team would finish 5th overall out of 41 teams while the varsity girls would finish 9th out of 31 teams. The JV boys would finish 7th out of 29 teams. Sean Parker would finish 9th overall with a time of 16:23. The teams have an off week this week but will be in action again on Saturday, September 13th in Canton, Ga at the Warpath Invitational at Boling Park.
The Pickens High School Dragonettes varsity volleyball, led by head coach, Ben Banard, traveled to Tennessee to take on the Lady Cougars of Copper Basin in a battle of GA vs Tenn. The Nettes would take this one in straight sets.