Forsyth County’s wrestling teams may not have achieved the level of success they were hoping for at state sectionals on Saturday, but 19 local athletes qualified for the state tournament.
North Forsyth and West Forsyth will each send six wrestlers to Macon on Thursday, while Lambert qualified four, Forsyth Central advanced two and South Forsyth one.
No local wrestler finished higher than third place at sectionals, but the top eight qualify for state.
"I was proud of the way our guys stepped up," West Forsyth second-year head coach Steven Stromie said.
"Our sectional is pretty tough. The weight classes we were wrestling at are very, very competitive."
Nick Vogel (145 pounds) led West with a third place finish at the Class 6A east sectional at Chattahoochee High School. Tanner Horak (126) placed fourth, Denver Stonecheck (106) fifth, Will Brown (195) sixth, Jacob Miller (113) seventh and Gavin Hutchinson (160) eighth.
North received third place finishes from two of its wrestlers — Luke Slaton (126) and Austin Thornton (182). Also qualifying for state was Jake Nash (113) in fourth place, Matt Carroll (160) and Shane Cross (145) in fifth, and Chad Warner (152) in eighth.
Lambert advanced four wrestlers from sectionals, with Gantt Bauer (220) earning the top finish for the Longhorns in fourth place.
Andrew Morin (113) placed fifth, while Matthew Sheetz (106) and Joey Salgado (170) each took eighth.
Sheetz is the Longhorns’ first freshman to ever qualify for state.
Lambert head coach Kevin Contardi said his wrestlers were somewhat disappointed by their placements, but he’s optimistic about their chances in Macon, particularly Bauer, who was runner-up in Class 4A last season.
"We probably had a bad sectional tournament," Contardi said.
"We were probably thinking we’d get five [wrestlers] through [to state] and we only got four. In our opinion and the boys’, they should have been a couple places higher, each of them.
"If [Gantt] wrestles a little bit better he can be the state champion."
Michael Scullin was South Forsyth’s lone state qualifer out of seven War Eagles who reached sectionals. Scullin placed third on Saturday.
"I think [he’s] in a good place going into state ... being ready to hopefully redeem himself against the kid he lost to," South head coach Danny Sinnott said of Scullin. "He’ll [wrestle] him in the quarters, hypothetically."
Both of Forsyth Central’s wrestlers who reached the Class 5A east sectional in Loganville qualified for state.
Nathan Kistler (106) claimed sixth place, while teammate Conor Fenn (120) earned seventh.