The Gilmer High Bobcats wrestling squad had eight win region championships and 13 qualify for sectionals at the 2020 Region 6-4A traditional tournament Saturday, Feb. 1, at Pickens High in Jasper.
Senior Caleb Waddell, who has multiple Division-I offers, led the way for the Bobcats. Waddell was the top seed in the 170-pound bracket, earning him a bye in the first round. He defeated No. 4 seed Bradey Ensley from Southeast Whitfield Co. by pin at 1:20 in the second round, then defeated James Seay from Northwest Whitfield by pin at 40 seconds to win the region title. Waddell is the defending state champion at 170 pounds.
At 106 pounds, Gustavo Morales brought home the region championship to Ellijay. Morales, a senior, was the No. 1 seed in the bracket. He defeated Esteban Chavarria from Southeast Whitfield Co. by pin at 2:36 in the second round, then defeated Tate Thomas from Heritage by pin at 1:28 to win the title.
Lucas Lopez, a senior, won the 120-pound title for the Bobcats. Lopez was the top seed in the bracket. He defeated Elijah Langston from Ridgeland by pin at 2:42 in the second round before taking down Riso Webb from Southeast Whitfield Co. by a 2-1 score to win the championship.
Junior Brock Sumner won the 132-pound title for the Bobcats. The top seed, Sumner defeated Garrett Pennington from Heritage in the second round by pin at 4:40, then defeated Avery Sullivan from LaFayette by a score of 6-2 to win the title.
Diago Jacinto, a freshman, was the top seed in the 138-pound bracket and won the title for Gilmer. Jacinto defeated Garrett Romans from Ridgeland by a 6-3 score in the second round, before winning the championship 6-4 against Manny Barreiro from Northwest Whitfield.
Junior Abel Jacinto brought home the title in the 160-pound class. As the No. 1 seed, Jacinto defeated Ethan Morgan from Ridgeland 14-4 in the second round, before defeating Jordan McCamish of Northwest Whitfield 3-2 to win the region title.
In the 220-pound class, No. 1 seed Samuel Tercero, a junior, defeated Kaleb Nicholson of Pickens 3-2 in the second round and David Patterson from LaFayette by pin at the three-minute mark to win the title.
Second seed Jacob Cruz, a sophomore, brought home the region title. He defeated Eli Rittenberry of Pickens by pin at 1:04 in the first round, Freddie Ambriz of Southeast Whitfield Co. by pin at 2:40 in the second round, and No. 1 seed Matthew Wallin of LaFayette by a score of 4-0 in the title match.
Junior Walter Lopez placed second in the 113-pound division as the No. 2 seed. Lopez defeated Cyrek Johnson of LaFayette in the second round, 7-1, before falling to No. 1 seed Victor Pineda of Northwest Whitfield by a score of 10-3 in the title match.
At 182 pounds, senior Mike Owens place second for Gilmer. The No. 2 seed, Owens defeated Daiman Banta of Northwest Whitfield 10-6 in the second round before falling to No. 1 seed Drake Parker of Heritage in the title match by pin at 1:35.
Miguel Jacinto, a sophomore, placed third at 126 pounds. After winning his first-round match against Joshua Hernandez of LaFayette by pin at 1:30, Jacinto fell in the second round to No. 2 seed Aiden Raymer of Ridgeland by pin at 2:30. In the third-place bracket, Jacinto defeated Ashton Pruitt of Southeast Whitfield by pin at 1:40, before defeating James Buck of Northwest Whitfield by pin at 4:43 to place third.
Freshman Hunter Brown placed third at 145-pound for Gilmer. Brown, the No. 5 seed, defeated Christian Merrill of Heritage 17-0 in the first round before falling to top-seeded Trenton Miller of Northwest Whitfield in the second round by pin. In the third-place bracket, Brown defeated Nate Davis of Pickens by a score of 6-4 to place third.
At 195 pounds, sophomore Dylan Galloway placed third for the Bobcats. Galloway, the No 2 seed, fell to Dalton Brunner of Pickens in the second round by a 5-3 score. In the third-place bracket, Galloway defeated Daniel Gonzalez of Southeast Whitfield Co. with a pin in 19 seconds, before taking down Alex Eacret of Heritage by pin at 2:21 to place third.
At 152 pounds, sophomore Domingo Escabor placed fifth for Gilmer.
The top four finishers from the region match will go on to wrestle in the sectional match, which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7 and 8, at Lanier High in Buford.
There are two sectionals for the entire state, with the top eight wrestlers from each schedule meeting at the state tournament in a 16-person bracket to determine the state champion.
Weigh-ins for the sectional tournament are set to begin at 10 a.m. on Friday morning.