Seven Bulldog wrestlers are going to state

Ervin Mincey (right) wrestles Lumpkin County's Zach Matthews for 1st place
Ervin Mincey (right) wrestles Lumpkin County’s Zach Matthews for 1st place

Seven Toombs County Bulldog wrestlers have survived the grueling, two-day GHSA Class 3A -A Sectional in Madison and have qualified for the state tourney. That number compares favorably to the past. Nine Bulldogs qualified for state in 2010-11, eight in 2008-09 and seven in both 2007-08 and 2011-12. Last year five Dawgs made it and the year before the total was six with four winning state championships in the Toombs County Middle School Gym.

Ervin Mincey lost his first place match 10-4 to junior Zach Matthews from Lumpkin County. Zach is now 36-2 and Ervin will go to state for the first time with a 42-17 record.

Nathan Belch won his third place match 5-0

Cruz Arredondo finished fourth at 106

Ricardo Santana finished fourth at 113

Gage Clark finished seventh at 120

Justin Hall placed sixth at 132

Carson Roberts finished eighth at 152

Those above are the seven Bulldogs who are going to state

Deven and Luke will be alternates

Sebastian McKee was 10th at 126

Deven Matthews ninth at 138

Luke Anderson ninth at 145

106 pounds- freshman Cruz Arredondo (49-6)- Cruz won his first two matches on Friday with a first round pin and a 20-11 score. On Saturday, in the semifinals, Cruz lost to Devin Mullinax (Banks County) (33-3) by a first round pin. He won 2-0 and the lost by a second round pin and finished fourth to qualify for state for the first time.

113 pounds- freshman Ricardo Santana (44-6)- Ricardo won his first two matches with bye and a second round pin. In the semifinals he lost 8-5 to junior Hector Torres (Jackson County) (13-3). Santana then won 6-1 and lost 3-2 to finish fourth and qualify for state for the first time.

120 pounds- sophomore Gage Clark (39-13)- Gage lost 9-5 and won with a second round pin in the consolation round. Clark beat Kevin Arias (Dawson County) (17-7) by a tech and then lost 8-2 and won by another tech to finish seventh and qualify for state for the first time.

126 pounds- junior Sebastian McKee (34-21)- Sebastian lost by a second round pin and won by a second round pin in the consolation round. McKee lot 9-3, won with a first round pin and lost by a first round pin and finished 10th.

132 pounds- junior Justin Hall (29-17)- Justin won his first two matches with two second round pins. In the semifinals Hall lost by a first round pin to senior Tanner Thurmond (Jefferson) (40-0). Then Justin lost 9-0 and lost 4-3 to finish sixth and qualify for state for a second time.

138 pounds- junior Deven Matthews (39-21)– Deven moved through the first round on a bye and then lost in the second round on a technical decision. In the consolation round Matthews lost 7-2 to junior Cole Hopkins (Lumpkin County) (22-20). Then Deven rallied and won a match with a pin late in the second period and he won the ninth place match 17-10. He will be an alternate

145 pounds- junior  Luke Anderson (36-12)- Luke lost by a second round pin and then won 11-6 in the consolation round. Anderson lost 9-8 to junior Carter Hopkins (Lumpkin County) (35-12). Then Luke bounced back with a second round pin and a 10-6 win to place ninth and he will be an alternate.

152 pounds- junior Carson Roberts (28-11)- Carson won with a second round pin and lost 16-14 in the second round. Roberts won 5-1 over junior Dalton Brannon (Appling County) (24-12). He then lost 5-4 and 6-0 to finish seventh and qualify for state for the first time.

160 pounds- senior Nathan Belch (47-11)- Nathan won with a first round pin and a 13-3 decision. In the semifinals Belch lost by a second round pin to fellow senior Chris Couch (Oconee County) (41-6). Belch then won 11-7 and then took care of Jefferson freshman Mason Corbett shutting him out 5-0 to win third place and earn his first trip to state.

220 pounds- sophomore Ervin Mincey (39-17)- Ervin won with a first and a second round pin. In the semifinals Mincey won in triple overtime over junior Dalton Sikes (Oconee County) (44-7). In the finals Ervin was matched up against senior Zach Matthews from Lumpkin County. Matthews had lost only two times this season and he won two of his matches with pins and the other by a 7-4 score.

Nobody scored in the first two minute period. Matthews finally earned two points late in the second period. Matthews opened up a 5-0 lead and then Mincey scored two points. Matthews scored the next five and led 10-2. Ervin scored two points making the final score 10-4. Mincey finishes second and earns his first trip to state. Matthews heads to state with a 35-2 record.