Local wrestlers advance at state
By Kevin Eckleberry
The Troup Tigers will be well-represented in the state wrestling finals in Macon this week.
There were 12 Troup wrestlers participating in the Class AAAA state sectional at Woodward Academy, and they each needed to finish eighth or higher in their respective weight class to make it through to the finals.
Eleven Troup wrestlers made that happen, and they’ll be competing in the state finals that will be held in the Macon Coliseum from Thursday through Sunday.
LaGrange will have four wrestlers in the finals, and Callaway will have two.
It has been a special season for Troup, which has won two area championships while finishing fourth in the state duals in January.
Now, Troup will look to finish the season with a flourish.
The top six wrestlers in each weight class at the state finals will place and return home with a medal.
Last year, Troup had four wrestlers place, and it will look to improve on that result this week.
Among Troup’s state qualifiers are Trevor Upchurch (126 pounds), Chase Seals (145 pounds) and Byron Butts (195 pounds), who each finished second at the sectional.
Darious Hanson (120 pounds) was third, Quenton Kersey (170 pounds) and Michael Irvin (220 pounds) were fourth, Pearson Strickland (113 pounds), Scott Hicks (152 pounds) and Colby Harry (285 pounds) placed fifth, Brantly Robinson (132 pounds) was seventh, and Cade Garner (138 pounds) finished eighth.
Seals, Hicks, Butts and Robinson were all state placers last season.
LaGrange, which was also competing in the state sectional at Woodward Academy, is sending four wrestlers to Macon.
Among that group are Lane Oliver (106 pounds) and Dexter Fitzpatrick (195 pounds), who each placed fifth.
Also moving on is John Arthur (160 pounds), who placed seventh, and Matt Callaway (132 pounds), who was eighth.
Cole Everett (138 pounds) finished ninth and Charles Ray (285 pounds) was 10th, and they’ll both be state alternates.
In Class AA, only the top four finishers in each weight class advance to the finals.
Justin Kiss (113 pounds), a two-time state placer, finished second, while Matthew Wingate (170 pounds) was third.
Coming up just short were Laquize Gilbert (160 pounds) and Ladarius Williams (120 pounds), who were fifth and sixth, respectively.
They will both be state alternates.