February 9th, 2013 – Sectional Tournament was held at Kennesaw Mtn HS and the results were impressive.  We took 10 wrestlers into the tournament from Area and are advancing 6 to the state tournament.  That is awesome.  Congratulations to all the young men and Coaches! Details as follows:
CHAMP!  Lawton Ward took the field by storm and claimed the 170lb title.  With a 1st round lengthy match that eventually left the Collins Hill wrestler defaulting due to injury and pins in both the quarterfinals AND semi-finals, Lawton headed into the finals with a lot of mat cred.  He was challenged in the final, but built up a strong lead and wrestled smart to earn the crown with a 10-9 victory.    Lawton is healthy and wrestling well as he heads into the state tournament with a nice position in the bracket.  Excitement is an understatement, but, Lawton, everyone will love you and support you no matter what happens this weekend.  We are so proud to have you on our team and representing MHS as such an exemplary student athlete. 
We had 5 other wrestlers place 5th, 6th or 7th.   There are two sectionals (East and West) with top 8 in each tournament going on to state this weekend.  
Brad King (126) finished 6th.  As Area 4 champion, he faced Area 7’s #4 finisher, but lost this first round match mainly due to some mental mistakes.   However, he rebounded and won three straight matches in the wrestle backs before falling in the consolation semis to the eventual 3rd place finisher.  He then faced a good, but beatable Peachtree Ridge kid for 5th place.  He was down 6-1, but came back to tie the match at 7pts in regulation and went into OT.  In sudden death 1st OT Brad had a great shot, but got a little loose in the finish and his opponent made a successful last ditch maneuver to not only deny the takedown, but reverse position and score first – securing his victory.   It was a tough way to end the tournament for Brad, but he will bounce back.   State tournament as a sophomore is a great achievement, but he has the ability to secure a medal!  Go get ‘em!  
Shomari Holmes (138) – Finished 7th – Shomari had a tough draw first round and lost to the eventual 3rd place finisher.  He also rebounded quickly and got his two wins to secure a ticket to the state tournament.   His second win was a real thriller as he secured it in OT with a 4-2 win.   He then dominated in the 7th place match with a 12-4 major decision.   Shomari has impressed many of us greatly at times this year.  With his strong showing and finish at Sectionals, he could surprise some people and end up with a medal at the end.  
Jonathan Gates (160)- Finished 7th – Jonathan had a very exciting tournament that could easily have found him wrestling in the semi-finals Saturday morning as he lost a very close quarterfinals match.  He then came back strong and beat a talented Roswell Hornet in OT to face the eventual 3rd place finisher losing only 2-6.   He ended very strong with a pin for the 7th place spot.  Jonathan, if you wrestle smart and win a few more close matches, you should come home with a medal! 
Isaiah Borne (195) – Finished 5th – Isaiah got the pleasure of wrestling the beast from Etowah and Area Champion and favorite to win state, Mavric Rechsteiner .   He tried hard, but with a monster throw, our man was off to the consolation bracket.  At that point, he kicked serious butt.  Isaiah plowed through three straight opponents before losing a close match in the consolation semis.  He then recovered and won a nail biter 8-7 for fifth place.    Isaiah is the reigning Cobb County Champion which tells you he is a force to be reckoned with.  Anything could happen in this weight class at state and I would not be surprised to see Isaiah come home with some serious hardware – maybe even gold! 
Brandon Hill (220) – Finished 7th –  Brandon had a solid pin in the 1stround, but then ran into a wrestler who, for a change, was about as tall as him.  His trademark underhook was working until they both reached the apex and it was almost a question of which way the magnetic flow was at the moment which way they would fall.  Unfortunately, Brandon wound up on bottom and it was off to consolation for him too. After a solid win over Peachtree Ridge (and earning a ticket to state) he lost a tough match to McEachern.   However, he fought back and helped avenge Isaiah’s loss by pinning an Etowah kid to claim 7thplace.   In the big boy weight class, it is common for upsets to occur, so go for it Brandon.  You too might come home with some impressive hardware!
Trager Kviten (145) finished 9th and is the alternate for the #8 placer.   Trager started his tournament by wrestling and falling in a decision to the eventual #4 placer. He then faced and only lost by 1 point to the eventual 3rdplace finisher in a real heartbreaking match.   With only a 1 point close finish separating 3rd and 8th place, this weight class defines parity.  It was really tough to see Trager not make the main draw at State his senior year by such a slim margin.  But, keep the faith Trager.  Injuries do happen and people do show up and not make weight.   You may indeed get one last chance to make your mark.  We all hope so!
Good luck and make us all proud down in Macon!  
Jason Caldwell (only a freshman) and Jordan Marion-Plaines (a senior) lost in the 1st round and then both won their first match in the consolation bracket, but then lost again and were eliminated from the tournament and unfortunately neither were able to secure the alternate position.  Dalton Brans, a sophomore, who wrestled many pounds above his weight, did not secure a place either and unfortunately his season ended also.    These three wrestlers were truly valuable members of this team and just getting to the sectional tournament is a great accomplishment for any wrestler in this part of the state.   Congrats to you all for a fine season.

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