Woodland absolutely dominated and Cass earned a pair of wins, as both Bartow County wrestling programs reached the semifinals of the Class 5A state dual tournament on Thursday at Macon Centreplex.
The Wildcats proved why they earned the No. 1 seed in the 16-team tournament by utterly destroying Arabia Mountain in the first round and Ware County in the quarterfinals.
Woodland didn’t allow a single point in an 82-0 rout of Arabia Mountain. The Wildcats landed five forfeit wins and pinned all but one bout that actually took place. Against Ware County, Woodland rolled to a 70-6 victory with eight pins.
Caleb Jones, Bryce Shedd, Demarcus Williams and Jalen Hudson each pinned twice on Thursday for the Wildcats; Victor Rosati, Randy Buchanan, Kyle Gollhofer, Caleb Henson, Caden McCrary, Colby Cochran and Beau Jernigan had one pin each; and Tommy Duke claimed wins by decision in both of his matches.
Meanwhile, sixth-seeded Cass eased into the second round with a 49-28 win over Southwest DeKalb that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate. The Colonels followed with one of the biggest victories across all classifications with a thrilling 31-27 triumph against No. 3 seed Locust Grove.
With the match starting at the 152-pound weight class, Cass managed to build a 25-10 lead ahead of the flip to the lower classes. Noah Hoffmeier, Reed Davis and George Rojas each picked up wins by fall, while Kendall Arnold and Cameran Hill earned wins by decision — the former a major and the latter a minor.
Following the turn to lower divisions, the Colonels put the match away. Isaac Linley, Bryce Kresho, Hunter Rees and Ben Mills each pinned their opponent for an unassailable lead, leading to Cass forfeiting the final three weight classes.
Things didn’t start off quite as smoothly for the Colonels in the next round. Locust Grove built a 9-0 lead through two matches before Hoffmeier (minor decision) and Davis (major decision) pulled Cass back within two points.
Locust Grove added nine more points at the top two weight classes, including a forfeit at 285, to built an 18-7 edge. However, the Colonels used their advantage in the lower weights to storm into the lead behind minor-decision wins by Linley and Kresho, an injury win by Rees and a pin by Mills.
Three consecutive minor decisions allowed Locust Grove to rally for a 27-25 edge entering the final match. Arnold needed just a minor decision — worth three points — to earn a victory, but his opponent wound up being disqualified for stalling. The call gave Cass a full six points for a four-point win.
Win or lose, Woodland and Cass will wrestle just one matchup tonight at 6. The Wildcats will face Veterans in one semifinal. In the other, the Colonels will meet Buford — two-time defending state champion in both the dual and traditional tournaments.
Semifinal winners will meet at 3 p.m. Saturday in the championship round. The losers fall into the consolation semifinal round and can finish no better than third.