Ringgold nets two champs, nearly crashes team title party at GHSA wrestling state tourney

Staff photo by Olivia Ross / Wrestlers for East Laurens and host Trion compete in the GHSA Class A state duals on Jan. 21. Trion was the runner-up that day and finished third in Class A on Friday at the state traditional tournament in Macon, where Ringgold was third in Class AAA on Saturday.
Staff photo by Olivia Ross / Wrestlers for East Laurens and host Trion compete in the GHSA Class A state duals on Jan. 21. Trion was the runner-up that day and finished third in Class A on Friday at the state traditional tournament in Macon, where Ringgold was third in Class AAA on Saturday.

The GHSA state traditional tournament wrapped up Saturday at the Macon Centreplex, completing a somewhat frustrating three days for area teams and wrestlers.

Ringgold nearly pulled off a major upset in the ultracompetitive Class AAA field but fell seven points short of champion Gilmer. The Bobcats won with 115 points — by far the fewest of any team champion this week — with Pickens second at 110 and Ringgold sharing third with Bremen at 108. Franklin County finished with 107 points and Columbus 104.5

Ringgold's rise was led by a pair of sophomore individual champions in Pierce Pennington and Tristan Busch.

Pennington had to go overtime to win at 126 pounds against Pickens' Dylan Gonzalez. The final point in the 9-8 win was awarded to Pennington after Gonzalez was called for a headbutt. Busch completed an undefeated season with a 7-1 win over Franklin County's Jacob Baughcum, a familiar foe.

"We wrestled the kid at 144 three times this year," Ringgold coach David Moss said of Baughcum. "Tristan beat him in quadruple overtime the first time and by five or six points in the sectionals and then by six today. It's hard to beat somebody three times.

"The competition was really close in triple-A. If we had won one or two more matches Saturday, we could have won it. The guys did really well, and I'm excited about this team. We had two champions and five placers, and they are all coming back."

Hurting Ringgold's cause was the GHSA's decision Friday, in an effort to make up time after falling behind, to cancel all the matches to determine fifth place. The Tigers, who also had a fourth-place finisher in Hudson Moss (132), had five wrestlers who could have earned more points but had to settle for sixth.

"For sure, we could have picked up a few bonus points, but I guess the other teams could have as well," Moss said.

Gilmer and Pickens, however, did not have any wrestlers in the fifth-place bouts.

Also in AAA, Coahulla Creek's Adonnis Sanchez lost 6-4 in overtime in the 106-pound championship bout, while LaFayette's Jacob Brown (175), Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe's Nick Kapherr (150) and Gordon Lee's Landon Brown (120) were all third.

In Class AA, North Murray freshman Brandon Locke earned the 106-pound title, 7-2 over Rockmart's Malachie Macedonio. North Murray's Elijah Harden (113) was third.

Joining the three individual champions crowned Saturday were three area wrestlers who earned titles Friday in Class A. Trion's Toby Maddux (165) and Logan Eller (190) and Dade County's Landon Williams (215) each won his second title.

Trion, which had five runners-up, finished third in the team title hunt behind Social Circle and Mount Pisgah Christian.

In the girls' division, Chattooga's Kendra Heroch (140) was second and Southeast Whitfield's Terra Burse (170) was fourth.

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com.

Upcoming Events