January 9, 2014 – In Macon as the second team, we drew another Area’s champion.  It also happened to be one of the best in the state in North Forsyth.  However, like against Collins Hill last year, we did not go down easily.  We were the last two teams wrestling of all 8 matches.  Isaiah barely lost (OT), Brandon won by pin as did Jeron.   Jason, Daniel, Jelani, Abraham all lost.  Brad lost 0-5 to a state placer he wrestled in this same facility last year at the State Individual tournament – but by less margin (small mental victory.)  Will lost as did Dareon.  Alex picked us up and won a tough match  6-5.  Jonathan followed with a victory and then Anthony lost a heartbreaker 6-8 in OT.   Dalton ran up on a superior opponent and we fell 18-42, but everyone, including all the other fans, knew MHS was for real.

0110-08

We returned the next day to wrestle Douglas County in the wrestlebacks.  Not really close here with MHS rolling up a 45-15 victory.   Brandon, Brian Marshall, Jason, Daniel all got pins.  Jelani, Abraham and Brad scored decisions.  Will and Dareon lost close matches, but Alex – in his usual squeaker fashion – scored a 4-2 win.  Anthony and Jonathan got pins.  Dalton lost a close one and then Isaiah finished them off with an 11-7 win.
Next up Newton County.  A little pay back at stake here.  Kennesaw Mountain lost to Newton County in the first round, so we had a chance to advance past them and achieve a moral victory over the Mustangs.  Jeron started us off strong with a pin.  Jason had a football score win of 17-13 and Daniel had a pin.   Jelani got a 6-0 win an were up 18-0.  Abraham fell at 126 0-10, but Brad rebounded with a pin.  Will lost a close match 3-4.  Dareon followed with a 13-7 victory.  Alex won 6-2 (hey four point margin – a virtual runaway!)  and then Anthony skunked his man 3-0.  Jonathan got a pin and we were up 39-7.  Dang, we are hitting our stride here.   Dalton lost a close match, but Isaiah scored 6 for the Big Blue with a pin.  Brandon finished them off with a 10-3 victory and some good feelings were had with a 48-10 win.

0110-31

We drew Etowah next and all found out why Cobb County is a much better place to live than Cherokee.  On the mats, we started out with a pin from Jason Caldwell.  Daniel got teched then both Jelani and Abraham got pinned.  Not the start we needed – Down 6-17.   It got really bad then – at least for the King family.  Brad drew last years State Finalist at 120 lbs and after 8 matches of wrestling since his shoulder injury, fell on it again in the same way and had to injury default.  We wanted to see how he matched up against Joey Paton, but were devastated when he reinjured his shoulder.   Will, Dareaon and Alex all lost decisions and Anthony got pinned.  This is not looking good.  Jonathan got in a real dog fight and eventually lost 4-6 with their coach getting penalized by the refs for unsportsmanlike conduct.  Dalton got us going with a pin and Isaiah won a major decision.   Brandon won by forfeit and Jeron won the last match of the tournament for the Devils with a 6-5 victory.  We were sent packing 25-40, but feeling good that we advanced further than last year.  Winning two matches down there at the state tournament was impressive and gets us a worst case top eight finish.   However, with a little better wrestling, a few breaks here and there, this Etowah team could have been beaten.
Congrats to all the wrestlers, coaches,  wrestlerettes and sports med folks who were a part of these two tournaments.   Thanks to Karen Neary who spearheaded the hasty travel preparations/hotel arrangements for the team.  Go Big Blue!

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