Area Tournament 2/1/2014

Marietta Blue Devils – 2014 Traditional Area Champions!!!!!!!



February 1, 2014 – What a great tournament.  The team did really well from top to bottom.  Marietta avenged the defeat to KMHS in the Dual Area tournament by beating them in the Traditional Area Tournament.   Quite honestly, this is the tournament crown most coveted as most teams are at their strongest as this tournament is the first step to the State Tournament.   If an individual does not finish in the top 4 in this tournament, they do not advance to the sectional tournament which precedes the State Tourney.
Here is a recap of each Weight Class:
106 – Sophomore Jason Caldwell reached a major goal this season by earning his first Area Title in dominating form.  He pinned his way all the way to the Championship with all of them happening early in the match.  Total domination!  Congrats Jason, Area Champion!


113 – Junior Daniel Leon placed 4th in Area and qualified to go on to the Sectional Tournament.   He won his first match against Campbell 10-7 and then lost in semi-finals in a close 3-5 decision.   After pinning the North Cobb wrestler to reach the consolation finals, he was defeated and took fourth place.  Solid tournament Daniel and good luck at Sectionals!
120 – Jelani Miller had a very good tournament.  He won his first round match against S. Cobb 6-0.  He lost to a very experienced wrestler in the semis, but bounced back  and ascended to the 3rd place finish by beating a McEachern and the S.Cobb wrestler again.  Congrats on third place and good luck at Sectionals.
126 – Abraham Leon lost in the opening round and then fought valiantly through the wrestlebacks and earned the alternate spot in his weight class for Sectionals.   He pinned the S. Cobb wrestler, lost to Harrison, but beat the Pebblebrook opponent in the 5th place match.   Be ready, a lot of alternates do make it to the tournament!
132 – Brad King came into the tournament as the 2013 Champion last season.  He has done limited wrestling the past month with a shoulder injury and there was some question whether he should wrestle any more this season.  Brad was committed to trying to help the team win the Area crown and score as many points as possible.  He opened up against S. Cobb earning a 2nd period pin.  In the Semi-finals he had a tough Harrison wrester, but prevailed 7-1.  In the finals, he wrestled a KMHS wrestler that had beaten him earlier when shoulder was already hurt.  We were hoping for a better result, but Brad lost a heartbreaker 2-3 on an edge takedown.  The defeat hurt bad, but he is very happy to have contributed to helping the team win the title.  Congrats on Area runner up Brad and good luck at Sectionals.
138 – Will Turner finished fourth after a grueling day on the mats.   He lost in the opening round to McEachern and then suffered a shocking defeat after being up 13-0, but getting pinned.  He fought back through the wrestlebacks defeating the Harrison kid 9-0.  He fell a second time to the McEachern kid in the consolation finals and had to settle for 4th.  Will has also struggled with injuries this season and displays a ton of grit by going out there and trying to help his team score points.  Thank you Will for your efforts and congratulations on 4th place!  Good luck at Sectionals.
145 – Dareon Agurs lost a squeaker in the opening round 5-6.  He bounced back to pin the Harrison wrestler, but lost in the next round to the Hillgrove kid.    However, he ended on a high note by pinning the S. Cobb wrestler in the 3rd period and took fifth place.  Again, alternates do frequently make the Sectional Tournament, so be ready!
152 – Alex Ambio showed a lot of promise last season as he continually improved throughout the season.  He also worked very hard in the off season and came back this year a different wrestler.  He wrestles a tough, defensive based style that keeps him in every match.  At this tournament, he started out with a 10-2 win against McEachern which due to bracket formulation put him in the finals.  He wrestled a thrilling, controversial match where he scored a takedown with about 30 seconds left to take a 5-2 lead.  However,  after an escape it was 5-3.   Then, the referee called Alex for stalling twice in less than 10 seconds with final one coming right at the buzzer which put the outcome in doubt.  After a few minutes at the scoring table as the crowd roared, the ref awarded the second point and we were headed into overtime.   Alex came out roaring and attacked aggressively and got a beautiful takedown  to secure the 7-5 victory and his first Area Championship!  Congratulations Alex on a great victory and well deserved Championship.  He is a good example of how hard work does pay off.  Good luck at Sectionals.  We expect great things from you at Sectionals and State!
160 – Anthony Neary had a fine tournament.  He pinned the S. Cobb kid in round one, but lost a close 3-6 semi-final.  He bounced back to beat both the N. Cobb and Harrsion kid in the consolation finals to take 3rd place.  Anthony aka Naga has improved steadily and it was no surprise he placed in this tournament and will be going to Sectionals.  I think he will surprise some people there.   Congrats and good luck!
170 – Jonathan Gates was very impressive coming into this tournament and was seeded #1.  He did not disappoint and won this tournament running away.   He pinned against S. Cobb and beat both Harrison and McEachern wresters with impressive decisions, 11-4 and 9-1 respectively.   Jonathan will be fun to watch progress through Sectionals and at the State Tournament.   Congrats Area Champion Jonathan Gates!


182 – Dalton started strong by pinning the N. Cobb kid in the third.  However, he fell in a close match in the semi-finals 7-10.  However, Dalton bounced back and after an injury forfeit he defeated the McEachern wrestler in the consolation finals to take 3rd place.  I know he will do well at Sectionals and surprise some people in the State Tournament.  Good luck Dalton and Congratulations on 3rd place!
195 – Isaiah had a great tournament after being badly injured just 10 days ago.  He had a 1st period pin in the opening round over Hillgrove which put him in the finals.   He dominated the Harrison wrestler 12-4 to take the Area Title.  Isaiah had a solid sectional and state tournament last year.   If he can stay healthy, it should be very exciting to watch him progress to challenge for a State Championship!   He also made us all proud by having the highest announced GPA of all the finalists!  Congratulations Isaiah!
220 – Brandon Hill was seated #2 in the tournament and it might as well be a coin flip between one and two.  After a tough 3-2 match in the semi-finals, he met the McEachern wrestler in the finals.  They have meet multiple times and end up in OT again.  This time they stayed deadlocked at 3-3 all the way through the 1st overtime period and each scored an escape in the double OT periods.  However with the first score of the match determining choice of position for the triple OT sudden death, the McEachern wrestler got to start on bottom and was able to escape to secure the win (for readers info:  If Brandon been able to hold him down, he would have been awarded a point and the victory.)   It was a heartbreaking loss for Brandon, but the match could have gone either way.  I predict, if these guys can be bracketed away from each other, they will probably meet in the Sectional Finals and hopefully the State Finals too.   We will get him next time!  Congrats Brandon on a fine finish and scoring a lot of points for the team!
285 – Wow, what a finish for the Blue Devils in this Tournament.  Jeron Holsey could not have looked stronger after he too was recently injured and even on crutches less than a week ago.    He pinned his man in the 1st round and then beat KMHS wrestler 8-5 in the semis.  He dominated the Campbell kid in the finals 11-3 to win his first Area Championship!  Great job and we expect great things from you in Sectionals and State!   Congratulations Jeron!


So, with every wrestler on our team either qualified for Sectionals or an alternate, it was an amazing performance.   Congratulations to our 5 Champions: Jason Caldwell, Alex Ambio, Jonathan Gates, Isaiah Borne and Jeron Holsey as well as both Brad King and Brandon Hill for making the finals.   Congratulations to the WHOLE team, coaches, managers and sports med folks for achieving the Area Championship.  A great accomplishment.  And thank you to all the fans who turned out also.  We rivaled McEachern in their own gym for having  the largest, most supportive group of fans.    Next week’s Sectional Tournament info will be forthcoming.   Go BIG BLUE!!!!!!!!

Click here to read the MDJ recap:

Marietta Daily Journal Article


Go Big Blue!!

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