Area wrestlers set their sights on state tournament

SANTA ROSA BEACH, FL (WJHG/WECP) Several area high school wrestlers are packed and ready to rumble at the State Championship in Kissimmee this weekend.

In fact, sixteen local wrestlers qualified with top four performances at regionals last weekend, led by four each at Arnold and South Walton.

The Seahawks began the trip after school this afternoon, familiar with the travel plan and the pressure of competing in this event.

Ethan Pickren is a three-time regional champion. Seth Weinthal, making his third appearance, Harris Barton with two straight. Only Chase Maddox is a state rookie in terms of the South Walton wrestlers heading south.

Ultimately, the tournament comes down to talent and toughness, but experience goes a long way towards comfort before and during their bouts.

"It makes you feel more comfortable every time you go." Pickren told us. "A little more used tot he scene, used to seeing all those people walking down on the floor, things just seem familiar. You look up, and it's not even the mass amount of people, it's just how big the arena is."

Barton agrees with how invaluable that experience from a previous trip to State can be.

"I went last year so I kind of know what to expect, but then again, expectations are always the same going into any tounament: just to win the thing."

Also competing, 170 pound region champ Garrison Kovas from Mosley.

Marianna sends three wrestlers to State, Rutherford a pair, Bay and Wewa with one each. The wrestling begins Friday and wraps up Saturday with them handing out medals for State Champions.