Northgate will send 10 wrestlers to this week’s GHSA Class 6A State Sectionals after finishing in the top-four of respective weight classes during Saturday’s Area 5 traditional tournament at home.
The Vikings placed third behind only Alexander and South Paulding, each of which is coming off last year’s top-three finish in Class 6A.
Brandon Bailey (106 pounds), Tyler Walters (126), Logan Walters (152) and Michael Hoegger (160) each reached the finals of their respective weight classes to lead the way for the tournament hosts while scoring 154 points.
Northgate’s JV boys placed third with 90 points as well as its girls team, which had three top-three efforts led by Kennedy Eltz’s second-place finish.
In addition to four runner-up efforts among boys varsity finalists, the Vikings also received third-place efforts from Josh Warren (138), Nichal Johnson (182) and Kyle Kinnison (195).
Fourth-place finishers from Northgate included Ty White (132), Malyk Smith (145) and David Watson (220).
Both Justin Hale (171) and MacAthur Colton (285) placed fifth and will be state alternates.
Both Alexander and South Paulding expect to be hit hard by graduation, each losing at least six seniors at the end of 2018-19.
Of Northgate’s 10 state qualifiers, only one — Johnson at 182 pounds — is a senior.
“We’re slowly catching up,” said Vikings head coach Chris Wickstrom.
Bailey, a newcomer to wrestling, reached the lightweight final following a victory over Byron Shaddix of South Paulding before falling to Alexander’s Andrew Voiles.
Tyler Walters also advanced through the semifinals for Northgate, before being stopped in the third round of the 126-pound final by South Paulding’s Noah Van Dyck.
In the 152-pound area final, Logan Waters went head-to-head against Alexander standout Dawson Mathews, a state placer in 2018 who was sixth at 145.
Hoegger battled to the finish of the 160-pound area final, avoiding a pin against Alexander’s Carrington Johnson after opening the match with an early takedown.