MACON, Ga. - Never accuse Sam Snider of not knowing his competition.
The Gilmer County wrestling coach predicted a week ago that his team had not seen the last of Region 7 rival Cass, and that foresight was validated Friday at the GHSA State Duals Championships. Snider's top-ranked Bobcats won a pair of comfortable matches in the Class AAAA competition Friday, beating Glenn Hills 55-18 in the quarterfinals and downing surprising Chestatee 45-16 in the semifinals.
Cass, meanwhile, upset second-seeded Alexander in the semifinals, 39-28, to set up a rematch of last week's area final against Gilmer.
"I thought our region was strong, and Cass proved it by also reaching the finals," Snider said. "We know them and they know us. We beat them 36-18 in the areas, but some of those matches were very close and could have gone either way. It should be a good one."
Against Chestatee the Bobcats got off to a strong start as heavyweight Levi Seabolt earned a third-period pin. Following a decision from Domingo Reynoso at 106, the score was 18-3 when stalwart Cameron Perry pinned Drake Barnes at 132, and Dustin Lacy, Mel Mosley and Johnie Flakes had five-point technical falls in the next four bouts to build a 39-6 lead.
"Chestatee has had a strong run, defeating the fourth and fifth-ranked teams in the state, and they came in against us believing they could win," Snider said.
In Class AAA, Area 3 champion Sonoraville lost 44-25 to Buford but rallied in the consolation round and edged Appling County 36-35. The Phoenix will wrestle Morgan County this morning in the consolation semifinals as they hope to earn a third-place finish.
Sonoraville went back and forth with Appling, trailing 9-0 but leading 30-29 with two bouts to go. However, Abel Diaz had to forfeit at 195 pounds for his weight being too low to wrestle, but 220-pounder Hugo Hurtiz saved the day with a pin 23 seconds into his match. The Phoenix rallied earlier behind a technical fall from Kyle Chastain at 120 pounds and pins from Matt Charles at 132 and Austin Tillman at 138.
Contact Lindsey Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6296.