clawing for third seed
Crucial playoff seeding for both the Leopards and Lady Leopards
relies on the outcome of Friday night's game with Dawson County.
Both Banks County teams will be fighting Region 8-AA South opponent
Dawson County for the number three spot in the subregion.
The 8-AA region tourney begins with play-in games on Monday between
the number four and five seeds in each subregion. On Tuesday,
the regular tournament begins at East Hall. The semifinals and
finals of the region tourney will be held at White County.
The top four teams from the region will advance to the state
tournament being held at Gilmer County.
Even with a win Friday night, the Lady Leopards' seeding for
the region tourney will remain clouded.
If Banks County's girls win, they will have an identical subregion
record and an identical record in the north subregion with Dawson
County. The Lady Leopards' win would result in a tie for third
place in 8-AA South, leading to a coin toss to determine seeding.
Should Banks County win the coin toss, the team will secure the
number three seed and face Towns County on Tuesday. Banks County
would have to defeat Towns County to move to the state tournament.
Losing the coin toss would put the Lady Leopards in a play-in
game against Apalachee Monday afternoon. The girls would have
to defeat Apalachee and win their game the following night to
advance to the state tournament.
But if the Lady Leopards lose to Dawson County Friday, they will
automatically claim the number four spot in 8-AA South and will
have to face Apalachee Monday.
By beating the Tigers Friday, Banks County can clinch sole possession
of the number three spot in 8-AA South, putting their first tournament
game Tuesday against White County. They would then have to defeat
White County to move on to the state tournament.
But if the Leopards lose to Dawson County, they will have to
defeat Apalachee in a play-in game Monday and win their game
the following night to advance to the state tourney.
Adding pressure to the Leopards is the questionable availability
of leading scorer Mike Ivey. Ivey injured his ankle against East
Hall last week and is listed as day-to-day.
Leopard senior Ryan Loggins is also nursing a knee injury he
received late last week.
roll in area tournaments
The prep wrestling season that began in early November will end
Saturday, as the Georgia High School Association presents its
five state championship tournaments.
In preparation for this weekend's state meets, teams from Jefferson
and Jackson County enjoyed a great deal of success in last weekend's
respective area tournaments.
Jefferson became one of only three Class A schools to qualify
all 14 wrestlers for the state tournament in Adairsville, as
the Dragons swept past Area 4A host Social Circle and rival Commerce
Saturday to claim the area team crown.
Jefferson finished with 210 team points in the event, ahead of
the Redskins' 173.5 and Tigers' 173.
Wesleyan (93) was fourth, followed by Providence (72) and Buford
Other Class A area champions were Walker, Bremen and McIntosh
County Academy. All will carry a full contingent to Adairsville,
except Bremen, which qualified in 13 of the 14 weight classes.
Meanwhile, at Cross Creek High School in Augusta, the Panthers
were edged out of the area 4AAA title by six and one-half points,
thanks to the Red Devils from Loganville.
Jackson County's 215.5 fell short of the Red Devils' 222, but
placed them ahead of Elbert County's 198.5.
Jackson County will send 10 of their 14 wrestlers to the state
Class AAA tournament Friday and Saturday in Fitzgerald.
Also winning area titles in Class AAA were Dublin, North Forsyth
and longtime wrestling powerhouse Lovett.
Lovett's Lions, winners of the past two Class A state trophies
and favored to repeat the feat in AAA, moved up two classifications
this year as a result of the GHSA's massive realigment last spring
that multiplied private schools' enrollment by a factor of 1.5
to determine classification.
All 14 wrestlers from Lovett and Loganville will make the trip
to Fitzgerald. North Forsyth sends 13, Elbert and Westminster
11, and the tournament host will also field 11.
For individual results from the area tournaments and directions
to Adairsville and Fitzgerald, see this week's Jackson Herald.
Seven Tiger Wrestlers
Qualify For State Tourney
The Commerce High School wrestling team picked a good time to
do their best work of the season. Now, if they can do just as
well next week ...
All of the 11 Tigers who competed at the Area Meet Saturday in
Social Circle qualified to go to state this Friday and Saturday
at Adairsville (competition starts at noon on Friday), and the
Tigers placed third in the area.
Jefferson, as expected, placed first with 210 points, followed
by Social Circle with 173.5 points. Commerce had 172.
"I was real pleased," said Coach Joe Hames. "We
wrestled the best we've wrestled all season. I've been telling
the kids that the season is the buildup to area, which puts you
in a position to go to state. We wrestled our best at the right
time. Now, if we just wrestle that way this weekend, we'll be
in good shape."
Four Tigers won first place.
Leading the pack was Lee Sorrow, who is now the CHS all-time
leader in pins. He surpassed Wes Smith's 59 pins last week and
now has 64. He wrestles at 145 pounds. So far, Sorrow hasn't
lost. He'll face a big challenge at the state, said Hames, where
he will likely meet Brookstone's Bickerstaff in the semifinal
That, of course, assumes both wrestlers reach that point.
Sorrow was third at 135 pounds last year and had a third-place
finish in his sophomore year as well. Sorrow pinned Chase Howe
of Wesleyan in the first period in the semifinal round, then
did the same thing to Eli Carino of Social Circle in the finals.
Other first-place winners included:
·Blake Milford, 125. He pinned Joe Brinson of Buford in
the second period in his first round, pinned Charlie Cook of
Providence in the semifinals and pinned Jamie Pugh of Social
Circle in the finals, also in the second period.
·Kevin Wilson, 160 pounds. He pinned Ryan Nord of Wesleyan
in the first round, beat David Parks of Jefferson, 8-6, in the
semifinals and beat Chris Swearengen of Social Circle in the
·Justin David, 275 pounds. David pinned Jefferson's David
Parks in the first round of the semifinal match, then pinned
Josh Gauntt of Social Circle midway through the second period.
Other Tigers who qualified to go to state include:
·Jonathan Beasley, 112, who placed second. He defeated
Brendon Gallagher of Wesleyan in the semifinal round with a second-period
pin but was beaten 5-0 by Richard Andrews of Providence Academy
in the finals.
·Wes Prickett, second, 130. He pinned David Murphy of
Providence in the first period of the semifinal round, then lost
to Jefferson's Blake Gooch in a first-period pin in the finals.
·Kyle Moore, second, 152. Moore pinned Alex Smith of Wesleyan
in the first period of the first round, beat David Meadows of
Providence 6-4 in the semifinal round and was beaten 8-4 in the
finals by Jeremy Smith of Jefferson.
·Taylor Massey, second, 189. Massey beat Corey Hill of
Jefferson, 11-5, in the semifinal round but fell to Tilnemo Dorsey
of Social Circle, 14-5, in the finals.
·Greg Elrod, third, 135. Elrod beat Chip Douglas of Wesleyan
12-3 in the first round, only to be pinned in the first period
of the semifinals by Scott Nix of Jefferson. He then lost to
Josh Scoggins of Social Circle in the consolation finals with
a third-period pin.
·Greg Gamble, fourth, 140. He lost the opening round to
Buford's David Anderson on a first-period pin. In the consolation
round, he beat Ray Ritcher, Wesleyan, 4-1 and in the consolation
finals was pinned by Buford's David Anderson in the second round.
·Adam Cochran, fourth, 215. Cochran was pinned in the
first period of his semifinal match by Tommy Peters of Social
Circle. He pinned Wesleyan's Geoffrey Rowson in the second period
of the consolation round, then fell to Buford's Nathan Tullis
on a third-period pin in the consolation finals.
The Tigers have been without wrestlers in the 103 and 119-pound
categories all year, and Nick Cox, who normally wrestles at 171,
was unable to wrestle, due to an injury.
Two Raiders qualify for
state wrestling tourney
Two Madison County Red Raiders - Matt Cleghorne and Richard Stowers
- muscled their way into this week's Class AAA state wrestling
tournament in the south Georgia town of Fitzgerald.
The tournament will be held Friday and Saturday.
Cleghorne, who has consistently been Madison County's most dominant
wrestler this season, took second in the 119 lb. weight class
in the Class AAA Area IV tournament in Augusta this past weekend.
He lost to an Elbert County opponent in the finals.
"That's the first time I've had a wrestler in a championship
match in the area tournament," said third-year Raider wrestling
coach Greg Gaines.
Stowers earned a state berth by placing fourth in the 171 lb.
"He (Stowers) was the Cinderella story of the day,"
Stowers, who was not seeded as one of the top wrestlers in his
weight class, won three matches to secure a state tournament
berth. These included victories over the third and fourth seeded
wrestlers in the 171-lb. class.
Madison County placed sixth out of 12 teams with 63 total points.
Loganville won the tournament, followed by Jackson County, Elbert
County, Eastside and Winder. Those finishing behind the Raiders
included Stephens County, Hart County, Cross Creek, Westside,
Richmond Academy and Monroe.
"We didn't have as many qualify for state as I expected,"
said Gaines. "But we had six guys place and that's quite
an accomplishment. Because if you think about it, that means
that they (those who placed in the top four in their weight division)
are one of the top 25 wrestlers in Class AAA."
Gaines said the Raiders had some tough breaks in the tournament.
For instance, Randall Ballenger, one of Madison County's top
wrestlers this season, was dropped on his head and forced to
leave the tournament due to an injury in the fall. Ironically,
Randall's brother, Jason, left the area tournament a couple of
years ago after being dropped on his head.
Gaines said this had its "ups and downs."
"It was rocky," said Gaines. "We had sick and
hurt guys. But we overcame that and beat some guys who had beat
us before. I am proud of the guys."