Knights earn four victories at State Tournament

Wes McCard

February 26, 2014

The Upson-Lee Knights advanced six members of their wrestling team to the State Tournament after the Sectionals a couple of weeks ago. However, after an injury knocked out sophomore Bo Cummings (170 pounds), the Knights only entered five competitors in the event.

The tournament was originally scheduled to take place at Gwinnett Arena, where all classifications would take part in their tournament. Unfortunately, after the snow storms created havoc all over Georgia, the event was moved and the GHSA separated all six classifications and placed each tournament at a different high school in the state.

The Knights traveled to West Laurens High School in Dexter to take part in the AAAA State Tournament. On Friday Upson-Lee’s Kolby Schadenberg (So. 120 pounds), Michael Kirschmann (Jr. 145 pounds), Keyontae Robinson (Fr. 152 pounds), Jacob Gross (Sr. 195 pounds), and Jeffery Bloodworth (Sr. 220 pounds) competed in the first round of the tournament.

Upson-Lee sophomore Kolby Schadenberg (25-9) took on the No. 2 seed from Region 7 in Omar Ruiz (50-9) and eventual State Runner-Up from Northwest Whitfield. Schadenberg went all three rounds but lost a decision by a 15-5 score. On day two, Schadenberg earn his first career win in the State Tournament by pinning Eli Lines (27-13) from Veterans High School. Schadenberg finished with a 1-2 record in the event.

The Knights’ Michael Kirschmann (24-10) wrestled in perhaps one of the toughest weight classes in the entire tournament. Kirschmann wrestled Tony Johnson (59-7) from Alexander in the first match. The Upson-Lee junior was pinned by Johnson in the second round. Johnson would go on to win the State Championship in the 145 pound division. In his second match, Kirschmann was edged by Cameron Butler (30-9) from West Laurens in a close 13-9 decision.

Upson-Lee freshman Keyontae Robinson (22-12) was the only freshman in his weight class in the entire tournament. Robinson faced off with Chris Achenbach (51-11) from Alexander and was defeated by pin. Achenback finished as the State Runner-Up in the division. In his second match Robinson pinned Alfonzo Williams from Burke County. In the Sectionals, Williams defeated Robinson, but at State, Robinson got his revenge. In his third match, Robinson went into double overtime before losing to Andrew Davis from Lumpkin County. David made the podium in the tournament, placing sixth overall in the division.

In the 195-pound weight class, Upson-Lee senior Jacob Gross (17-7) won his first match by pinning Zach Allen (56-11) from Gilmer High School. Gross was defeated by the eventual State Champion Murphy Hagen from Carrollton (42-1) in his second match. Gross, would finish the tournament with a 1-2 record.

Senior Jeffery Bloodwoth (26-8, 220 pounds) earned a victory by forfeit over Kaaun Daniel in the first round, but suffered a loss to Tyler Smith (46-5) from Southeast Effingham in round two. Smith finished as the State Runner-Up in the weight class. Bloodworth finished the tournament with a 1-2 record.

Wes McCard can be contacted at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @WesMc21.