The East Coweta and Newnan wrestling teams open competition tonight at the double-elimination Class AAAAAAA Duals at the Macon Centreplex.
East Coweta earned the No. 1 seed out of Area 2-AAAAAAA Tuesday afternoon with a 64-12 victory over Newnan.
With its second-place finish, Newnan locked down the No. 2 seed heading into the tournament which runs tonight through Saturday afternoon.
The Indians get action started with a match against long-time state power Collins Hill, while Newnan wrestles Mountain View.
Mountain View edged Collins Hill 36-27 in the Area 6-AAAAAAA competition on Monday to send both teams onto the state tournament.
East Coweta and Newnan’s first matches begin at 5 tonight. Win or lose tonight, each team’s second contest will be held on Friday afternoon.
Weather delays caused the East Coweta and Newnan match to be delayed for several days with the other four teams in Area 2-AAAAAAA Westlake, Wheeler, Campbell and Pebblebrook eventually pulling out of the event.
It caused for some logistical nightmares before East Coweta and Newnan finally got to wrestle each other for the area title.
“It’s like I tell my kids, I can’t get angry over things I can’t control,” East Coweta head coach Chris Hardin said. “We just had to make the best of a bad situation.”
East Coweta moved some of its best wrestlers up in weight class against Newnan, but Hardin said the lineup could change again at this weekend’s state meet.
“Our team will be a little different [at state this weekend],” Hardin said. “The team we put out there in two days will be our best that we put out.”
Against Newnan, the Indians picked up pins from Danny Nelson (120 pounds), Aryaan Adams (145), Jason Higgens (152), Jackson Sledd (170), Gavin Scott (182), Gabe Labar (195), Jalen Smith (220) and Will Underwood (285) to help lead East Coweta to the victory.
Newnan’s Brennan Johnson (126) and Zack Stevenson (138) had pins for the Cougars.
A year ago, Mountain View finished third at the state duals when it competed in Class AAAAAA.
Collins Hill has a long history of success on the wrestling mats, winning the state duals in 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
A year ago, Collins Hill beat East Coweta in the loser’s bracket of of the state duals, eliminating the Indians with their second loss at the tournament.
In the Area 5-AAAAAA Duals, Northgate just missed out on a chance to compete at in Macon this week, finishing third behind Alexander and South Paulding.
The Vikings picked up victories against Douglas County 60-22, Langston Hughes 78-0 and New Manchester 51-21.
Five Northgate wrestlers won all of their matches at the area duals, including brothers Kyle (132) and Austin Bailey (138).
Dalton Elliott (220), Cameron Prevost (160) and Derrick Whitmore (182) also finished with perfect records on the wrestling mat for the Vikings.