Brave senior wrestler Hank Barnes captured an area wrestling championship for the second consecutive season Saturday at the area wrestling finals held last weekend at Jasper County High School in Monticello, Ga.
Barnes and six other Braves who each finished in the top four in their weight classes will now move on to the Class AA West Sectional at Lamar County High School this Saturday morning. Barnes, who competed in the 182-lb weight class, was unstoppable all day long pinning all four of his opponents.
“Hank Barnes wrestled the tournament of his life,” stated Brave second year head coach Justin Ransom.
In the 285-lb class Taron Person grabbed a third place finish to advance to sectionals. Ransom feels that both Barnes and Person could make serious noise at the state championships with a good draw.
Five other Brave wrestlers advanced to the sectionals with fourth place finishes including senior Cody Stephens (195), junior Tori Rogers (145), sophomore Jordan Timmons (120), and freshmen Andrew Cannon (152) and Matt Brown (170).
This Saturday’s all day event will begin with weigh-ins early in the morning. Quarterfinal matches will begin at 10:00 a.m. and the finals are scheduled for 5:00-7:00p.m.
Coach Ransom spoke about his team’s performance at area: “We wrestled extremely well in some weight classes but in others we struggled. It felt like everything was going against us throughout the tournament and we ended up on the short end of the stick in every close match. I felt that we could’ve easily sent 10 to sectionals, along with having more finalists and 3rd place finishes, which would have helped our draw at Lamar County,” stated Ransom.
“Our area was extremely tough, all of the teams in our area had kids who can contend for a state title in two weeks at Macon.”
As a team, the Braves finished in fourth place out of the 14 teams at Monticello.