February 21, 2018

Three Brave Grapplers Medal at Macon

2018 Heard County Traditional State Wrestling participants at the Macon Centreplex Saturday (L-R): Head coach Kyle Yates, junior Logan Moran (6th place), senior Kevin Hendrix (4th place), junior Sam Brown, coach Jake Yates, coach Kinley Cantrell, junior Gage Cannon (3rd place)

(Macon, GA) — The 2017-2018 Heard County High School wrestling season came to an end Saturday afternoon at the Centreplex in Macon with three individual Brave wrestlers placing in the top six of their respective weight classes in Class AA at the GHSA State Traditional Tournament finals.

Thousands of spectators packed the Macon Centreplex for the three days of wrestling action featuring 1232 wrestlers from every classification in the state.

Sophomore Gage Cannon scored the team’s top finish at the meet with a third place finish in the 145-pound weight class.

After an opening round quarterfinal pin over Elijah Thornton from Vidalia Friday morning, Cannon dropped his semifinal match with via an 8-5 points decision versus Gavin Brady from Elbert County.

Cannon closed out the tournament with two wins to finish 3-1 and claim the strong third place finish. Cannon will be another strong contender in his senior season to earn a shot at winning the first individual wrestling state title in school history.

Senior Kevin Hendrix went 2-2 at the tourney in the 126-pound class to reel in a fourth place finish in his final season as a Brave.

Hendrix fell to eventual undefeated state champion Ricardo Santana from Toombs County in the opening round before battling back with wins over Spencer and Pepperell before dropping his final match to Justin Ivey from Social Circle.

Another Brave who will likely contend at state again next year is junior 220-pounder Logan Moran who brought home a sixth place medal at the state meet. Moran defeated Dearion Monroe in the opening round before falling to him in the fifth place match to close out the tourney.

Moran was one of only three underclassmen to compete in the 220-pound class and was the Braves highest finisher at sectionals.

Sam Brown faced a tough draw at state falling to the state champion Tahjah Watts of Vidalia and Amani Byrd of Spencer.

The hard-nosed junior grappler fought through an illness to advance beyond the sectionals for his first time and like Cannon and Moran should be a force to reckon with at state next season.

For the fourth straight year, state powerhouse Social Circle brought home the Class AA team state trophy with 199 points besting second place Fitzgerald who finished with 136 points and third place Toombs County who scored 101.5 points.

Sophmore Wyn Denney just missed the cut at state with a fifth place sectional finish and should likewise be a strong contender at state in 2019.

The Braves finished in 11th place as a team with 35 points. The only Region 5-AA wrestler to claim a title was John Robinson from Temple. Justin Kiss from Callaway scored a second place finish in the 113 pound weight class.

Head coach Kyle Yates was pleased with the efforts of all of his Brave state finalists and the young program as a whole this season.

“I’m just proud of all the guys this year with us placing three guys this year and finishing fourth at the area duals,” says Yates. “The program continues to get better and that is because of the great kids we have and their will to work hard and continue to get better on the mat, in the weight room, and in classroom. I am looking forward to next year already with us bringing back a majority of the team.”

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