August 4, 2021

Cannon leads Braves to State Sectionals

(Rome, GA) — The Braves varsity wrestling team traveled to Armuchee High School in Rome Saturday for the GHSA Class AA Traditional Area 3 Wrestling Finals which featured individual competitors representing 14 different high schools from around the state.

For the second consecutive year, six Braves scored top four finishes to punch their individual tickets to next Saturday’s GHSA Class AA State Sectional Meet at Rockmart High School.

These Braves will be looking to earn top four finishes again next week at Rockmart in order to earn spots on the biggest stage of all, the GHSA State Wrestling Championships at the Macon Centreplex February 8-10.

Class AA Area 3 Champion Gage Cannon

Seasoned junior grappler Gage Cannon led the way for Coach Kyle Yates Saturday afternoon winning the area championship in his weight class.

Cannon defeated Preston Decker of Temple in the finals match and could be a strong contender to win the Braves first ever individual state wrestling title in Macon next month.

This will be Cannon’s third straight trip to sectionals.

Three Braves scored strong runner-up finishes Saturday including junior Logan Moran who lost a very close finals match to Armuchee senior JC Burkett in the 220 pound class.

Moran and Burkett were tied 2-2 after regulation and went to three overtime periods before Burkett finally pulled away with the points win.

Junior Kevin Hendrix brought home the second place medal for the second year in a row in the 126 pound weight class, falling only to Model’s Walker Byrd 10-6 in the finals.

It was yet another strong showing for the veteran Hendrix as Byrd was a state runner-up at 113 in 2017.

Another junior, Sam Brown, rounded out the Brave top two finishers dropping on the finals match to Coosa. Brown is also making his second straight trip to the sectionals after a fourth place finish at area last year.

Senior Matthew Nilsen (3rd place) and sophomore Wyn Denney (4th place) are also headed to sectionals next week. It will be Nilsen’s first time at sectionals after a sixth place area finish last year and Denney will advance for the second straight time.

Two other top Brave grapplers, Jakab Moon and Matt Cole were unable to make the trip and compete due to the flu. Each had an outstanding shot to advance and it was a tough way for their respective seasons to end.

Teams competing at Saturday’s area meet included Armuchee, Rockmart, BEST academy, Chattooga, Coosa, Dade County, Gordon Central, Model, Pepperell, Temple, Therrell, Washington and South Atlanta.

Opponents in next week’s sectionals will include the same Area 3 schools as well as Banks County, Butler, Elbert County, Glenn Hills, Harlem, Josey, Laney, Oglethorpe County, Putnam County, Rabun County, Social Circle, and Westside, Augusta from Area 4. Social Circle is one of the most storied and successful programs in the state.

State sectionals will take place next Saturday at Rockmart High School (9:00 AM) in Rockmart, GA. The first round of the Class AA State Meet takes place Friday morning, February 9 in Macon.

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