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Wrestling: West completes region sweep at traditionals
Wrestling_traditionals27

Region 6-7A Traditionals Results:

1. West Forsyth 218

2. Lambert 140

3. North Forsyth 135

4. South Forsyth 100

5. Gainesville 81.5

6. Denmark 73.5

7. Forsyth Central 65.5

West Forsyth is the Region 6-7A champion. They've got the brooms to prove it. 

Three weeks after capturing their third straight region duals championship, the Wolverines once again flexed their muscles Saturday by winning seven of 14 weight classes on their way to a second straight traditionals championship.

West collected 218 team points, a healthy 78 points in front of second-place Lambert.

Reed Walker (106), Noah Danforth (113), Chase Murray (132), Ethan Rickert (160), Spencer Bovenizer (195), Jay Helstone (220) and Dylan Fairchild (285) each claimed an individual title for West, which promptly broke out a box of brooms following the final match of the day.

"Ever since Coach Goff came on board, we've turned it up another level than it's ever been," Murray said. "He works with us every day and is always there no matter what we need. He'll come in at 5 a.m. if we want to work out or stay late if we want to work out. He's always willing to drive us anywhere we want. Just a great guy."

In fact, Goff plucked Murray from West's hallways as a freshman and convinced him to try wrestling. 

Murray told Golf he would give it a shot. 

And on Saturday, Murray became a region champion following a 5-2 win against Lambert junior Ethan Kidd in the 132-pound weight class.

"We wrestled a couple weeks back at region duals. It was a close when then, too," Murray said. "I knew I just had to keep scrapping and get it out."

Lambert had a pair of region champions in Mason McClung (126) and Jacob Zearfoss (138), and four more Longhorns finished as runners-up to solidify the team's second-place finish. 

McClung defended last year's region championship with an 11-4 win over West junior Tony Tanory, while Zearfoss made waves after he pinned West senior Brody Knapp in the title match.

Zearfoss, a freshman with a nearly unblemished record, hopped to his feet and put his index finger over his mouth to silence the crowd as he walked over to his teammates to celebrate.

North sophomore Michael Gryder pinned his way to a region championship in the 120-pound weight class, which included a victory against reigning region champion Noah Amick in the semifinals.

Gryder, who pinned South junior Owen Wardle in the first round, followed with another pin against Denmark junior Zach Recker in the championship round.

"It was not very sophomore-esque," North head coach Travis Jarrard said. "We've never wrestled Recker before that I'm aware of — they might have, maybe on JV. Amick has beaten the brakes off of us a couple of times, so that was a big match. It wasn't so much that he won the match, but it was late in the second period and he was in control of the match, too. It wasn't a down-from-behind, throw-a-hail-mary and pin the kid."

Bentley Wheeler defended his title to give North a pair of region champions.

Wheeler, who is undefeated this season, outlasted Lambert senior Lucas Tellion after two overtimes, 4-3, breaking free from Tellion's grasp to earn a last-second point after starting the period in the down position.

Central, Gainesville and South each had one region champion.

Central senior Avery Krippner, also unbeaten this year, earned a 6-2 decision over North junior Tristan Graham, while South senior Matthew Meersman earned an impressive win against North sophomore Cody Scroggins, pinning his opponent in the 170-pound championship match for his second pin of the day.

Meersman qualified for the Class 7A state championships, along with younger brothers Andrew and Mikey.

Gainesville junior Kendice Cavazos beat Lambert sophomore Dylan Lobdell 6-2 to win the 145-pound title.

West captured the final three classes, featuring another nearly effortless first-period pin by Fairchild.

"The top four in heavyweight in this region are legit," Jarrard said. "Honestly, the top eight in the entire state might be at Region 1 and Region 6. The Camden, the Colquitt, the Tift and the Lowndes kids, then our four here. They're loaded."

Forsyth County's top wrestlers now turn their attention to the Class 7A state championships will begin at 1 p.m. Friday at the Macon Centreplex.

"That's the goal. That's the main goal," Murray said. "I've been working for it all summer and all offseason."

Region 6-7A Individual Champions

106 - Reed Walker (West Forsyth)

113 - Noah Danforth (West Forsyth)

120 - Michael Gryder (North Forsyth)

126 - Mason McClung (Lambert)

132 - Chase Murray (West Forsyth)

138 - Jacob Zearfoss (Lambert)

145 - Kendice Cavazos (Gainesville)

152 - Bentley Wheeler (North Forsyth)

160 - Ethan Rickert (West Forsyth)

170 - Matthew Meersman (South Forsyth)

182 - Avery Krippner (Forsyth Central)

195 - Spencer Bovenizer (West Forsyth)

220 - Jay Helstone (West Forsyth)

285 - Dylan Fairchild (West Forsyth)