(Bremen, GA) — Four Brave wrestlers scored top six finishes at the Class 2A-B state sectional meet Saturday at Bremen High School to earn trips to the GHSA Traditional State Championships this Thursday through Saturday at the 9,000 seat Macon Coliseum.
The sectional meet featured wrestlers from 25 different high schools competing on four mats and in 14 different weight classes with lots of drama as the long weekend of do-or-die double-elimination grappling wore on.
Junior Brave Wyn Denney (28-10) had the strongest finish at the meet defeating a sophomore from Social Circle 8-1 in the quarters and a one loss wrestler from Hephzibah High in the semifinals via pinfall before falling on points 10-6 in Saturday’s sectional championship versus senior B.J. Bradford (46-1) from Elbert County who finished as state runner-up in 2018.
Senior Logan Moran (L) and junior Wyn Denney (R) were two of four Braves to earn top six finishes at the sectional
Denney earned second place in the 182 pound class and will be a strong contender at Macon where section 2B will be added to the mix with section 1B.
Senior Logan Moran earned his third straight trip to Macon where he will look to follow-up on his sixth place medal finish from 2017. Moran competed in the heavyweight class at Bremen and earned a solid third place finish.
Moran (32-6) defeated Demetrius Boyd from Screven County in the quarters via pinfall before falling to Qwen Moss from Early County in the semifinals. He bounced back to pin Ean Dunkle from Harlem in the third place match.
One of the biggest surprises from the sectional came in the form of a strong third place finish from freshman Brave Franklin Jackson in the 113 pound weight class.
Jackson became only the second Brave freshman to advance to the State Championships under the modern format — the first was Denney in 2017.
Jackson (30-11) defeated Quinton Tuggle from Monticello in the quarters before falling to eventual sectional champion junior Tyler Snowden (40-4) from Social Circle in the semis. Jackson bounced back to defeat Chayton Tuck (36-9) from Oglethorpe County in the third place match.
Senior Gage Cannon finished in fourth place in the 145 pound weight class to earn his third straight trip to the big dance. Cannon earned a fifth place medal at state as a sophomore and a third place prize last year and with another medal performance would become the first Brave wrestler in school history to medal st state three times.
Cannon (32-6) defeated Marty Bailey from Elbert County in the quarters Friday night before Bailey returned the favor knocking off Cannon in the third place match. Cannon’s semifinal loss came to undefeated sectional champion senior Gabriel Peryam (48-0) from Elbert County.
Sophomore Brave Caleb Phillips just missed punching his ticket to Macon for the first time with a seventh place finish but did qualify as an alternate so if another wrestler in unable to compete at state he would get a spot. Phillips (19-19) defeated Coby Westmoreland from Bacon County in the seventh place match. Junior Aiden Byrd also competed at the sectional in the 138 pound weight class.
Coach Kyle Yates was very pleased overall with Saturday’s results as he continues to build the young program into state contention.
“We got four of our six through today, and Wyn Denney just had a great weekend before coming up just short in the finals,” said Yates after the sectional. “Overall I’m pleased with how we did and we’re looking forward to seeing how far these guys can get next week.”
Heard County High School has never fielded a state champion wrestler. The strongest finish was by junior Matt Brown who brought home a second place medal after a close title match loss in 2015.
High school wrestling is a truly different kind of sport that only draws toughest and most disciplined kinds of athletes.
Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for more information on this week’s State Championships once the final Class AA brackets are released.