In the Region 6-7A duals tournament, West Forsyth found the sledding tougher than expected but still came out on top. Just under a month later, the Wolverines cruised to the region traditional title Saturday at Denmark.
West Forsyth racked up 237 points to easily outdistance the rest of the region's Forsyth County contingent. South Forsyth finished runner-up with 161.5 points; Lambert placed third with 152 points; Forsyth Central compiled 140 points to come in fourth; and Denmark produced 126.5 points in winding up fifth.
The Wolverines qualified 13 wresters for sectionals, which will take place Feb. 11 at Valdosta. West Forsyth saw five of its nine finalists emerge victorious, including reigning state champions Reed Walker (120 pounds) and Noah Danforth (132).
Other Wolverines to finish first were Santosh Bonda (126 pounds) Matthew Rogers (175) and Walter Tinney (190). Alex Blanc, Cole Ewing, Caide Daltro and Joe Zereini each came in second.
Carter Amick and Sean Jones produced third-place showings for West Forsyth, while Dylan Stonebaker and Griffin Knapp both nabbed the fourth and final spots in their respective weight classes.
South Forsyth's Nathan Reid and Cole Williams captured the 113- and 215-pound crowns, respectively. Mikey Meersman, Cole Turner and Rhett Belue fell in the finals.
All 11 War Eagles who competed wound up advancing to sectionals — with Nate Nickell and Thomas McCoy placing third, while Owen Wardle, Andrew Meersman, Carter Lancaster and Kyle Fogarty all finished fourth.
Lambert leaned on quality over quantity, as five of the Longhorns' eight sectional-qualifiers earned individual titles.
Sri Dhanabalan won the 106-pound championship before Alexander Kelly (144 pounds), Max Sciro (150), Dylan Lobdell (157) and Elijah Castillo (165) reeled off victories in four successive weight classes.
Drew Wentworth finished second; Aveneesh Subramaniam earned third place; and Jong Hun Lee came in fourth.
Luke Sacchetti became Forsyth Central's lone champion by winning the 285-pound division.
Seven other Bulldogs landed sectional berths, including runners-up Cameron Haynie, Connor O'Neil and Preston Kerr.
Andrew Barabolkin, Jesus Morales and Jordan Huggins finished on positive notes with victories in their respective third-place matches. Lucas Haynie placed fourth to lock up a spot in sectionals.
Host Denmark registered nine wrestlers, including 138-pound champion Joshua Wayland, for the next step towards the state championship in Macon.
Joining Wayland in Valdosta will be region runners-up Michael Rytov and Aleric Marsden; third-place finishers Rohan Sahasrabudhe, Nick Pixley, Juan Bayona and Suleyman Ismailov; and fourth-place qualifiers Basel Homaid and Drew Stolz.
Milton, which finished sixth with 75 points, managed to send six grapplers to the next stage. However, only one of those Eagles managed to reach the region finals, with Matthew Nichols losing by fall to Walker.
Champion Raiders send all 14 wrestlers to next round
On the heels of a runner-up finish in the Class 6A duals state tournament, North Forsyth shined in the Region 8-6A traditional Saturday at home.
The Raiders not only captured the region title, finishing a season sweep in that category, but also qualified all 14 wrestlers for sectionals.
Six North Forsyth grapplers emerged with individual region crowns to help the hosts edge Jackson County, 269-245, for the top spot in the team standings.
Reece Meyers won the 120-pound championship 6-5 in an ultimate tiebreaker. Michael Gryder followed with a pin in the 126-pound final. Cody Scroggins landed the 165-pound title with a pair of pins after a first-round bye. The Raiders ran off three straight wins in the largest weight classes, with Colin Kelley (190), Collin Miller (215) and Seth Daugherty (285) emerging victorious.
Four other North Forsyth athletes — Isaac Hall (132 pounds), Dmitriy Vostrikov (144), Christopher Henderson (150) and William Verdirame (175) — fell in the finals.
Xavier Martinez and Joab Araujo, respectively, triumphed in the 113- and 138-pound third-place matches. Arcadian Eaton (106 pounds) and Reece Davis (157) secured the final sectional berths in their weight classes.
North Forsyth's sectional will take place Feb. 11 at Lanier.
Pair of Broncos reach sectionals
The East Forsyth wrestling program finished 10th in the Region 8-4A traditional tournament Saturday at Walnut Grove.
With 45 points, the Broncos only outpaced Cedar Shoals (43) in the team standings.
Miller Allen and Jackson Moffit each placed third to qualify for a Class 4A sectional Feb. 11 at Seckinger.
Allen dropped a 7-5 decision in a 138-pound quarterfinal before reeling off four straight wins to end the day on a high note. At 157 pounds, Moffit finished 3-1 on the day, overcoming a semifinal defeat to ultimately finish third.
Forsyth County girls wrestlers advance
Four girls wrestlers from Forsyth County will compete at the sectional stage after advancing last week from the Area 8 tournament.
North Forsyth's Artemis Eaton will have a bye in the 100-pound weight class after claiming the area championship. The freshman is currently 12-0 on the season after a trio of matches that took 1:13 total to wrestle.
Mariana Perez, of Denmark, took home the 130-pound area championship and will seek similar success in hopes of reaching the state tournament. Perez used a pair of pins to improve to 14-2.
East Forsyth's Isabell Carrington will be among the 155-pound weight class competitors following a runner-up showing at the area tournament.
Addie Cissell, of West Forsyth, placed fourth in the 105-pound division.