DULUTH, Ga. - Heritage moved a step closer to winning the Class AAA team title at the GHSA Traditional Wrestling Championships with a strong showing in the quarterfinals Friday. Gordon Lee, meanwhile, is in a heated three-way battle for the Class A title.
Heritage leads rival Gilmer County, 64 points to 52, after the quarterfinals. The Generals have five wrestlers in the semifinals - Madison Martin (126 pounds), Landon Reed (132), Logan Perkins (145), Andy Bratton (170) and Michael Moore (195) - to four for the Bobcats. In addition, Heritage still has five competitors alive in the consolation brackets, while Gilmer has just four.
Gordon Lee trails Holy Innocents 47 1/2 to 46, with defending champion Bremen close by at 40. Holy Innocents, which won a controversial duals championship over Gordon Lee last month, has eight wrestlers into the Class A semifinals, while the Trojans have seven - Johnny Ragsdale (106), Chase Woods (113), Will Jacks (132), Kory Allmond (138), Ethan West (160), Clayton Reeves (182) and Corey Jewell (195). Bremen has six into the semis.
Other area wrestlers also advancing to the semis are LaFayette's Caleb Mariakis (106), Ringgold's Sam Shepard (in a huge upset of Gilmer's Justin Karr at 120), LaFayette's Brady Hart (152), Dalton's Sidney Wheeler (182) and Southeast Whitfield's Carlos Fraire (220) in Class AAA.
In Class AA, Chattooga's J.J. Blankenship (120) and Brandon Stiffles (152), Calhoun's Donnell Anthony (138), Hunter Knight (170) and Paul McKnight (195), Sonoraville's Bricen Romine (126) and Layson West (145) and LFO's Nathan Long (182) are alive, while in Class AAAA, Northwest Whitfield's Dustin Pendergrass is in the 145-pound semis.