January 26, 2013 – Marietta Middle School had their season ending tournament Friday and Saturday, split between both “A” and “B” groups to enhance competition.
Friday night,  the B-Team wrestled like they have never wrestled before. Placers from the B Tournament are:
Lisa Neary , Kirran Franklin, Wakil Byron all finished in 2ndPlace. 
Adriana Arias finished 3rd.
Darrell Haynes, Ian Finney and Nyjaquan Reddick all finished 4th.
Saturday night, our A Team knew that they would have some tough matches, and they lived up to the challenge. Places from the A Tournament were:
Reggie Kimani – 2nd Place, Tyrik Edwards-Hambright 4th and Cameron Hill 5th Place. And, John London and Jacoby McMillan finished in 6th place. 
Overall, great season. We are also very proud of the MMS wrestlers and their achievements.   These tournaments are very tough with kids from all over the metro area – some with very large and established junior programs.  Great job!
MHS hosted the Blue Devil Brawl on Saturday with multiple very strong teams attending including many time State Champion Collins Hill.  Our team wrestled very well and we had multiple champions and a lot of wrestlers place.  Some very exciting matches for sure.  Lawton won 6-4 in Overtime in what might be a preview of the state final against Guiterez from KMHS.  Jordan made a huge comeback by getting a late 3rd period reversal and putting his man on his back (5 point move) to win 7-5. And, lastly with the whole arena watching the last matches of the tournament, Brandon Hill won 6-5 in the 3rd Overtime and Jeron Holsey won a true big man type match 7-5.
 
Champions:   Jeron Holsey, Brandon Hill, Lawton Ward and Isaiah Borne.
 
Runner Ups:  Brad King, Alex Ambio and Jonathan Gates
 
Third Placers:  Dalton Brans, Jordan Marion-Plaines.
 
Fourth Placers:  Jason Caldwell, Shomari Holmes and Trager Kviten.
 
As a team, MHS finished Runner up to Collins Hill.  Great job to every wrestler who competed and every other wrestler/parent/support person that helped put the event together.  Thanks very much! 
January 19, 2013 – Cobb County Tournament 2013 is in the books.   It lived up to expectations with many intense, high caliber matches.  I can’t even count all the overtime matches with at least two into quadruple OT.   With 5A powerhouse Pope (as well as other lower classification schools) at the tourney, it is one of the few times many of the 6A teams have a chance to wrestle these kids.   For example, the 152lb final between Harrison’s Anthony Fiacco (state placer) and Pope’s Jake Henson (2012 state champ) as well as 126lb final between Pope’s Tyler Haskin and Hillgrove’s Cameron Westerman would be likely state final matches if Pope wrestled in 6A classification.
Our Devils wrestled hard, but we did not make any headlines.   However, we must remember we are young and gaining experience in every match.  That being said, there are some real accomplishments that should be noted.  Again, remember this is a tournament with every worthy Cobb County based wrestler competing.   They give out medals to the top 6 places, which like the State Tournament, is demonstrative of the level of competition. 
Medalist/placers:  Isaiah Borne – (2nd), Brandon Hill (4th), Jonathan Gates (4th) ,Trager Kviten and Brad King placed 6th.  Congratulations to all the wrestlers, coaches and managers/sports med folks for manning up at a high level.    If I was selecting the Blue Devil MVP, it would have to be Jonathan Gates.  He was not seeded in the top 6, pinned his first opponent to make the quarterfinals and then met the #1 seed, Pope’s Billy Meek, the defending State Champion.  Jonathan wrestled him hard for 6 minutes and lost 10-1.  Now, when you lose in the quarterfinals of a large tournament, it is a very arduous path to the consolation finals. With only a few breaks in the action, Jonathan first defeated the McEachern wrestler, then Kennesaw Mountain and to make it into the consolation final he pinned the Lassiter kid with 5 seconds left.  He lost a close match 2-5 vs Harrison in the consolation final and took home the 4th place medal.    Isaiah also deserves great credit for making the final and being a takedown away from tournament champion at the end.  He represented MHS well!
The results of the JV tournament are as follows: We had one champion, Dalton Brans at 170 and both David Crocket and Anthony Neary got 2nd.  Marietta took 4thplace overall!  I had two different people at the varsity tourney tell me they heard Marietta looked really strong at the JV tourney, so I feel confident saying all our kids wrestled hard.  Congratulations everyone! 
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 – We wrestled McEachern, which is a natural rival for Marietta, but this match was meaningful for another reason.  At the Region Duals, we upset both Hillgrove and Harrison to face off with Kenn Mt. in the finals.  During the wrestle backs McEachern got beat by Hillgrove.  So, we never wrestled McEachern straight up.  This was a chance for us to show everyone that Marietta going to state was NO fluke.  Lose to them and everyone could have made that case on paper. 

 

Our Devils came through!   Wrestling started at 170 and Lawton delivered 6 pts for us with a second period pin.  Dalton Brans lost a close decision and then Isaiah won a very exciting overtime match scoring a takedown about 20 seconds into OT.  Brandon Hill had a solid decision at 220 and Jeron lost a close decision.  When the lightweights hit the mat, we were up 12-6.  Jason Campbell got a forfeit and then in a shocker, Abraham Leon slipped up and got pinned as did Jelani Miller.   When Brad King came up the team score was tied at 18.  Brad earned a decision 10-9 after giving everyone a heart attack at the end of regulation giving away 4 pts in a close near fall.  Jordan Marion-Plaines won a solid decision 6-4 (close even though he seemed in control the whole way.)  Shomari wrestled one of their better wrestlers and gave up a pin.
 
We were again tied at 24 all with three matches to go with one of our seniors, Trager Kviten up at 145.  Trager delivered as any departing senior would hope to  – with a very exciting pinfall and put us up 30-24.  Alex Ambio entered the circle with the team meet victory in his control.  If Alex wins – we win as a 9 point lead with one match to go is insurmountable.   Alex not only won, but wrestled a very impressive technical match and got a pin to secure the REAL MHS win.  Jonathan’s match was the last one and he put a great exclamation point on the meet with an 8-2 win.  Final Score – MHS 39-24!  Way to go MARIETTA!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013 – Nobody thought the #6 seeded Marietta HS Wrestling team would advance to the finals.  Nobody, except the Blue Devils, that is.  Marietta upset the #2 seed Hillgrove Hawks and then the #3 seed Harrison Hoyas to secure a spot in the State Duals in Macon.  The Blue Devils lost to a tough Kennesaw Mountain team that won it’s first ever region championship.
For more, click on this link to read the article in the Marietta Daily Journal.

 

Way to go BLUE!

 
Wednesday, December 20, 2012 – In front of a well travelling (thanks fans) Blue Devil cheering section, our varsity and JV battled against Johns Creek High School in a very exciting meet. (JV also wrestled against Yeshiva Atlanta.)   Again read the article in the MDJ, but here is what we observed:
 
Match began with Alex “ close match” Ambio finally getting off the mat in less than 6 minutes scoring a dominating Pin in the second period.  Alex had the kid on his back most of the time and wrestled one his most impressive matches.  Jack Baker followed up with a quick pin and then Lawton Ward made quick work of scoring his 6 team points with a 1stperiod pin and we were out to an 18-0 lead.  Dalton Brans took the mat (well under his weight class of 182lbs) and wrestled a very strong, impressive wrestler in a way that made us all very proud of his effort, but we gave up 5 points there on the technical fall.  Isaiah Borne captured a forfeit for Blue and we were up 24-5.   Then it started to get a little interesting.  Brandon Hill at 220 lbs went out seemingly a man possessed with a quick victory.  He took little time in grabbing the headlock and throwing his opponent to the mat. However, one must be careful with the headlock as it is probably the most common reversed pinning combination and this one turned out that way.  Before anyone got a good look at the JC man’s shoulders things switched up and Brandon was down and got pinned. 24-11.   Next, we forfeited at 285 because Jeron was not available.  24-17….JC closing on us.
 
Back to the top of the lineup – our mighty mights come on the mat.  Jason Caldwell might have wrestled their best kid and by the end of the 1st period, we were ahead by only one point: 24-23.  Abraham to the rescue!  Mr. Leon delivered with a major decision 17-3 – one point away from a technical fall.  (This is a good example where one more point would have netted the team another point) We are up 31-23.  With Crockett out due to injury, Jelani Miller wrestled hard, but was pinned in the 1st.  Devils 31-29. Our 126lb, Brad King extended our lead with a 1st period pin and we were up 37-29.  Our normal 132 was also out of the lineup, but Javon Hickson filled in and did a solid job for us.  However, we did give up the 6 point pinfall in the second period and it was back to a two point match: 37-35.
With two matches to go and a slim two point lead, it is all up to Shomari Holmes and Trager Kviten. Much like baseball players like batting with the bases loaded in the 9thinning and QBS like having the ball with 2 minutes left to go and needing a score to win, wrestlers like having the dual meet victory depend on their performance – an extra load to carry, but makes victory (or protecting a small lead) very, very important to their whole team. Shomari looked like he was wrestling a clone – another very lean, tall wrestler.   They were evenly matched and looked like octopi all wrapped up around each other most of the match.  Shomari fell behind late in the match and ended up on top position in the 3rdperiod needing to score 4 points to go into OT or 5 to win.  Not easy in a close match.  Shomari did exactly what he needed to do by turning the man once and exposing his back for 4 seconds scoring 2 points for a near fall and then to the roaring cheers of the crowd, turned him again and scored the decisive 3 point near fall and was victorious 12-11.  This place was rocking as we were now up 40-35.
 
Now, all was on Trager Kviten, a senior and leader on this team.  We need a win from our senior to secure the team victory or at least not give up anything worse than a major decision.  But, Trager has missed a lot of wrestling this year due to SAT/ACT testing and cross country season schedule, so we did not know if he was up to top form yet.  Trager looked like a caged beast ready to pounce on his prey – at the beginning of the match and every time the wrestlers reset.  He was precise, methodical and made a strong statement that he can get the job done by pinning his man.  We all celebrated and felt that amazingly rejuvenating feeling of V I C T O R Y – “That’s the way you spell it, here’s the way you yell it: Marietta, Marietta, GOOOOOO Marietta!” Congrats Devils on a very hard earned 46-35 victory. 
Saturday, December 1, 2012 – Not to use too much street lingo, but our Devils definitely “showed up!”
At warm ups, we clearly had the largest team with combined JV/Varsity wrestlers taking up a lot of mat space.   And, both varsity and JV opened up this round robin format with matches against the host E. Paulding.   The JV took it to them and won 60% of their matches on the way to victory.   Meanwhile in the main Gym, our varsity Devils jumped out to a lead and never looked back.   Our 120, David Crocket had a classic “leg wrestler” dual with both young men having very similar styles.   David was able to fend off the many complex moves and finished his man off with an exciting 3rd period pin.  Lawton Ward was tested slightly with a 14 point lead as he teetered on the edge of scoring a technical fall (if you get a 15 point lead, match ends with a technical fall), but never got the extra point to put him away and settled for a dominating, but 3 period decision.  Brad King also looked to be in for a tough match, but overcame early resistance to score another 1st period pin.  Marietta had many more pins and defeated E. Paulding 68-9.

 JV had three more matches and won 2 out of the next 3 dual meets by beating Paulding and Hiram, losing only a close dual with N. Paulding.   Coach Chase made particular note of the following wrestler performances:  Anthony Neary won 3 out of 3 matches, Maxwell Boose won in very convincing style and Jelani Miller who missed his 113 pound class wrestled up and beat a large 120 pound wrestling with strong skills and determination.
 Back in the main Gym, the varsity was battling against Douglas County.  We began strong with our lighter weight wrestlers building up enough of a lead to hold off the late comeback attempt by DC at the upper weights.  Lawton made up for his long 1st match by getting the fastest pin of the year in less than 10 seconds.  Later, our flyweight 106, Jason Caldwell also had a very quick 12 second pin.   Devils prevailed 45-26.
 Next up, Hiram High.  We started strong and built a huge lead.  Alex Ambio after two early grueling 3 period matches had another long match, but prevailed with a dominating 10-0 major decision.  Shomari, Jordan and Andres all got busy and scored  pinfalls.  Also very noteworthy was Dalton Brans, who wrestled up 18 lbs to 182 and pinned his man.
 In the last match of the round robin portion was MHS vs Villa Rica, who is known for having a very solid wrestling program.  The Devils pulled off a win, but it was close at 45-32.  Jack Baker who had some of the most physical matches of the day, scored a major victory with an 18-5 win.  Brandon Hill had the most exciting match and won the land of the giants match with a thrilling pin.
 As the winner of our pool, we faced Paulding HS for the championship.  The match began at 138 and we began a little slow and PC pinned 6 of our first 9 wrestlers.  We had a chance to mount a comeback when we got back to our 106, Jason Caldwell who had an awesome tournament won by pinfall and Abraham Leon also scored a pin , but we stumbled at 120 and at 126 Brad King lost a close 2-5 decision for his first loss of the year.  Ultimately, our Devils lost the match 27-51 and took home runner up honors for the tournament.  Congrats to all the JV and varsity wrestlers, managers and coaches!
 There were some good wrestlers in the tournament, but our MHS Devils looked a cut above most.  We had our eye on the Patriots from Paulding Co. from the 1st match.  After watching thousands of matches over the years, you can spot good wrestling/wrestlers and it was clear to the Marietta fan Contingent that PC had the other team to beat.  Best two teams were in the finals.  I would love to have a rematch with them in January.

Wow, what a start to the wrestling season!

November 28, 2012 – The MMS Devils wrestled well versus Marist, who has a well-funded, long time wrestling program.    Benny Wright led them off with a tough win for a decision.  John London and Zeb Burton both got pins.  This was Zeb’s first ever wrestling match and it is exciting to hear he did so well.   Another first year wrestler, Deontay Haynes, also wrestled tough to get us a win. MMS ended the night with a tough loss at 40-59.   Congratulations to new MMS Coach Ryan Furr for hosting and coaching his first Marietta wrestling match!

The MHS varsity and JV teams headed to South Cobb for another in a long series of match ups against our Southern rival.  South Cobb was founded in 1952 and is one of the oldest high schools in Cobb.  Our Devils met them in their old Gym/auditorium which was an excellent venue for a wrestling match.  Our fans and theirs along with the wrestlers in this small arena made for an exciting atmosphere.
We started with our JV team, which greatly outnumbered the SC Eagles.  The number of wrestlers we had is impressive and is a positive sign for our program.   We had several good matches, but quickly overtook their team and scored a victory.
Then our Varsity took the mat and we started at 195 where Isaiah started us off with a quick pin.  Brandon Hill lost a tough match at 220 and we also lost at 285.   The turning point of the match was when Jason Caldwell in his first varsity match scored a very exciting 1st period pin that had the crowd all on their feet and Jason jumping up and down.   That set in motion a tidal wave of pins from Abraham Leon, David Crockett, Brad King, Shomari Holmes and Dareon Agurs.  Jordan Marion-Plaines also won by forfeit.  Worth mentioning, Dareon wrestled a blind wrestler which was interesting and inspiring to see.  Wrestling has done a great job incorporating blind wrestlers into the sport.
Then Alex Ambio wrestled what might have been their best wrestler and lost a close 4-5 match.  After Jack Baker scored a pin, they had nobody to take on Lawton Ward (forfeit) and the final match had Keylona Ray at 182lbs.  While the team match was over this was one of the toughest individual contests of the night.  All Marietta fans should be proud of her performance as she battled through several tough segments in the match where things might have gone badly for her.  As it was, she fought and fought and eventually ran out of time and lost a close decision.  To see her wrestle tough the past few years and finally reach varsity at a very competitive weight class and wrestle so competitively was great!   MHS won the region match 60-18. 

Go Big Blue!

 

Marietta High School was honored to host the 2011-2012 Sectionals.  We would like to thank all wrestlers, coaches and their families, and esspecially all of the volunteers who helped to make this an outstanding event!

Here is a re-cap of the tournament from the Marietta Daily Journal:

MDJ Recap