MADISON -- Area 4-AAA, led by Banks County, will have a large contingent of wrestlers at next week's Class AAA traditional state wrestling tournament after a solid day Saturday at the East Sectionals at Morgan County High School.
Banks County, the area champ, had eight advance to the state meet, including two sectional champions. The top four in each weight class advanced to the state tournament.
The Leopards were led by senior Mason Patton, who won the 126-pound title, and junior Wes Faulkner, who took the 160 title. Frehsman Chris McCrackin (106) and senior Eli Smallwood (170) both finished second for Banks County.
Senior Francisco Hurtado (132), junior Tony Fultz (138), and sophomore Matt Dilbeck (195) each took third. Senior Hayden Dilbeck (182) was fourth. Senior Taylor Wood (120) finished fifth and will be an alternate.
Banks County coach Kasey Hanley said it was a good day for his Leopards.
"We would have liked to have gotten all 10 guys in but eight with one alternate is solid overall," Hanley said. "That could give us enough for a shot at the state title. Woodward Academy should have a big group going as well."
North Hall had five of seven wrestlers advance to the Class AAA state traditional wrestling meet scheduled for next week. The Trojans also had another wrestler place as an alternate.
Senior Tyler Kratzer again led the way with a dominating day at the sectionals. Kratzer won the 145-poun class with two pins and a technical fall in his three matches.
"He was very dominating and was a great example of rthe younger guys," North Hall coach Jay Hargis said.
Kratzer was only champion for North Hall on the day. Michael Carew (120), finished second while Taylor Maret (106) took third for the Trojans. David Lush (132) and Tyler Goss (126) each took fourth for North Hall.
Matthew Scavuzzo (152) finished fifth and will be the alternate for the state tournament. Scavuzzo will get the call if any of the top four wrestlers cannot compete.
Buford will send four, including two champions, to the state meet with one more as an alternate.
Darius Bunch came away with the title at 106 with a major decision in the finals. Chip Ness won a decision in the finals at 182 to win a title. Jack Barber (113) and Brayden Hartley (126) each took second. Dima Aguero will be an alternate at 195.
East Hall had two advance to state with two more slated as alternates. Corey Reece took fourth at 160 and Edward Vergara was third at 152 to qualify for state. Will Davidson at 113 and JD Holloway at 285 each finished fifth and will be alternates.
West Hall's Elliott Raiford also placed second at 152, while White County's Andrew Posten finished second in class, Will Stonecypher third and Dylan Freeman fourth. Anthony Hooper will be an alternate.
Jackson County also had wrestlers compete at the Class AAA meet. We will update this story as other results from the day come in.