Derrck Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Alexander senior Vinnie Ferrara placed second at the Class AAAAAA Sectional meet on Saturday.

There will be 17 wrestlers from the county headed to the state championships next week in Macon.

Alexander had 12 wrestlers to advance out the Class AAAAAA Sectional meet on Saturday followed by New Manchester with three wrestlers qualifying for the state tournament at the Macon Centreplex next weekend.

Lithia Springs had two wrestlers to qualify for the Class AAAAA meet.

“I’m very pleased to get these guys through and qualified for state,” New Manchester coach Jerry Flippin said. “It is the second year that we have had multiple state qualifiers. We are seeing results from our hard work.”

Last season, the Jaguars had four wrestlers to qualify for state and the previous year it set one.

“I’m very excited because I see an upswing in the program,” Flippin said. “We are still growing and getting results.”

Senior Justin Frazier placed fourth in the 138-pound division as the highest finisher for the Jaguars. Senior Antonio Dean was seventh in the 152 class and Joshua Chollette, a senior, was eighth in at 132 at the sectional meet.

The top eight in each weight class advance with an alternate.

Qualifying for Lithia Springs, which wrestled at Buford High on Saturday, was senior Cameron Brown, who was sixth at 195 while sophomore Thyking Morris took eighth in the 145 division.

Alexander was led by seniors Vinnie Ferrara (126), Zayd Ansari (138), Little Nelson (152) and DeAndre Burton (160) who all finished as Sectional runner-up in a meet it hosted.

“We are disappointed because we didn’t wrestle that well,” Ferrara said. “It gives us some more motivation going into state. We get another chance to wrestle.”

Senior Gabriel Santiago was third at 170.

Three other wrestlers - David Jackson-Dodd (106), Wade Warnock (182) and Zach Loner (220) finished fourth overall.

“We got 12 guys going to state and that’s over 90 percent of your team,” Ferrara said. “We are excited because we got a lot of people through.”

Alexander finished as state runner-up in last month’s team dual championship to Richmond Hill. The Cougars are the defending state champions in the team dual and traditional meets.

Richmond Hill had all 14 wrestlers to qualify for state including one as a Sectional champion.

“It should be a very competitive state meet,” South Paulding coach Michael Kositzke said. “There are about four or five teams that could win it.”

Also making the trip to Macon from Alexander will be junior Nathaniel Green, who was fifth at 120, Chandler Cadman (132, fifth), freshman Dawson Mathews (145, fifth) and Reid Rogers (195, sixth).

“We have to do a lot better next week,” Nelson said. “We wasn’t on top total but we are looking to come out on top next week.”

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