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February 2, 2013 – Well, as the season crescendos to the final tournaments of the year,  it is do or die time on the mat.   The Area 4 AAAAAA tournament was held at North Cobb.  We were short our 120 lb wrestler, so we only had 13 guys to compete as a team, but I do have some really great news to share.  We qualified 10 of our 13 wrestlers for the Sectional tournament this coming weekend at Kennesaw Mountain.  That is a huge accomplishment and was better than either of the two teams that finished above us at the tournament, Kenn Mtn and Hillgrove.   Kenn Mtn was the Region winner and Hillgrove was close behind.  We were a scant 11 points back which was definitely within striking distance.  Had we had a few more victories and pins, this 2013 MHS team could have easily been team area champions.   Here are the individual results:
Area Champions:  Brad King (126) – Seeded 4th, Brad defeated the #1 seed in the semis (and avenged a loss at Cobb County) and then defeated the #2 seeded McEachern wrestler 12-5 in the finals to claim his first Area Championship.    All his matches were real battles where strategy, will to win, conditioning and skill all had to be there. 
Lawton Ward (170) – Lawton lived up to his #1 seed and captured his THIRD consecutive Area Title. He defeated Rene Gutierrez for the third time this season (Area Duals and Blue Devil Brawl) in a tight battle that could be the state title bout that never seems to end.   Lawton was gracious in victory and was quoted in the MDJ “I won this medal, but it goes to my team.  I am proud to represent Marietta and get the gold.”  We could not be happier to have him speak for MHS! 
Brandon Hill (220) – Brandon, who was seeded #2, is peaking at the right time and seems to be getting better and better every match.  He defeated quality opponents, all of whom are seniors, I might add, from Campbell (Pin), McEachern and in the final, Hillgrove, to claim his first Area Championship.
We had no runner-up finishers since all three of our finalist won.  We did have four 3rdplacers:
Jason Caldwell (106) – He lost in the first round to a finalist, but battled back through the consolation bracket to face Christy Powell, a senior and seasoned veteran from Hillgrove, and defeated this great gal grappler soundly to claim third place.  Super Job Jason!
Jordan Marion-Plaines (132) – Suffered a last second loss in the first round that was truly heartbreaking.   We were all so proud that he was able to come back from that to wrestle extremely well and put an exclamation point on his day with a pin in the consolation finals!  Great Job Jordan! 
Trager Kviten (145) – Without KMHS, Trager might have won this tourney, but he came up a little short on beating this guy and it put him in the consolation bracket.  However, he remained focused and kept his head high and fought for a last second granby roll escape victory in the consolation finals!  Very Exciting to see! 
Jonathan Gates (160) – He lost 2nd round, but fought back hard by pinning his next opponent to reach the consolation finals where he defeated a talented Kenn Mtn wrestler (with a pin!) to take 3rd
Rounding out the Sectional Qualifiers by finishing fourth were:
Shomari Holmes (138), Dalton Brans (182) and Isaiah Bourne (195).  Each one of these guys had some great things happen at this tournament.   In short, placing forth in this region is a major accomplishment!  If you doubt it, just ask the 5 guys from each weight class that had their season end on Saturday.  Shomari had a pin and only lost his last match 2-4.  He wrestled very hard.   Dalton is always impressive wrestling opponents that sometimes outweigh him by more than 15 lbs, and it showed when he won the JV tournament in his actual weight class (170) earlier this season.  Isaiah lost a heartbreaker in the semis 1-2 and then sprained his ankle in the consolation final and had to forfeit.  Hopefully he will be OK for Sectionals.
We had 2 wrestlers place 5th, as alternates for Sectionals:  Alex Ambio (152) and Jeron Holsey (285.) They earned these spots by defeating 2 opponents each and each had a pin for the day, which added to the total team points.

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