BY CHRIS Goltermann
Some changes might be in store for Friday’s Area 2-7A Wrestling Duals, which unlike years past, expects to have a full lineup of participating teams
Or at least that’s what East Coweta coaches Matt Ferrari and Chad Kollert were hearing prior to the holiday break.
“Everybody has said they were coming,” Ferrari said following December’s Coweta County Championships. “At least that’s what they’ve told us.”
Whether any outsider can push either of the county’s two lineups off course, however, remains to be seen.
Newnan and East Coweta have met in the area duals championship for four consecutive years, with only the champion changing over the span. The Cougars wrestled away their second-straight duals crown in 2017-18 on the heels of winning the Coweta County Championships.
So far, the pattern has followed suit in 2018-19, with Newnan outlasting East Coweta 45-30. The match, however, was far closer when looking at 12 points yielded by the Indians through forfeits at 126 and 285 pounds.
The two schools made up all 14 individual county champions among weight classes, with Newnan holding a slight 8-6 edge.
Last weekend, the Cougars finished third at the South Paulding Duals among 15 schools, with only Sonoraville and host South Paulding finishing ahead of Newnan.
Newnan, which went 4-1 at the event, improved its season duals record to 32-5 overall.
Northgate heads to Alexander for the Area 5-6A championships on Saturday, where the host Cougars are a favorite following consecutive trips to the state finals. Last year’s defending champs fell to Richmond Hill in a 37-26 decision.
South Paulding remained the other advancing team from 5-6A for the second straight season last year, having finished as state-runner up to Alexander in 2016-17.
Unlike high school wrestling’s traditional tournaments, which pit each wrestling in individual double-elimination brackets, the duals — which were added by the Georgia High School Association starting in 2001-02 — are structured toward overall team strength in head-to-head matches.
Newnan’s depth paid off a year ago against East Coweta in a 32-30 victory that had Campbell as the only other challenger in 2-7A. The Indians forfeited three weight classes including at 126 where then-senior Danny Nelson has been forced out due to a foot injury.
Replacing the four-year standout has been equally difficult a year later, though, East Coweta has added heavyweight Jerel Searcy, a junior football player, to the lineup since the county championships.
The back end of Newnan’s lineup has been steady having produced county champions in senior Isaac Barrett (182), junior Austin Garmany (220) and Cody Harris (285).
Only East Coweta senior Alex Derico was able to wrestle away a title in between at the 195 class where Newnan senior Carson Knight remains a threat.
Ferrari sees depth in the Indians’ lineup between 138 and 170 pounds and it’s where this year’s 2-7A title could likely be decided between the rivals.
In the first meeting at the county championships, East Coweta came up with three consecutive wins from 152 to 171 pounds from Jake Madison, Zekia Selby and Dylan Spelios.
East Coweta has missed qualifying for the state duals only once since 2010.
Madison, however, could get another tough challenge from Newnan’s Zach Ryan, who went the distance in a 3-0 decision.
Knight and Derico also battled for the full six minutes at 195 pounds, giving East Coweta an early 18-6 edge before Newnan roared back to tie it.
Respective lightweights Connor Marsh of the Cougars and Christian Gordon of the Indians could equally be primed for another thriller. While the duo’s first meeting was decided in the opening two minutes, they combined for 21 points, including eight in a 43-second span at the county championships.
Matches at 138 pounds between East Coweta’s Zion Selby and Newnan senior Cale Goss, as well as 145, where Jaxon Garner and Max Broach represented the respective schools, were both well contested with Goss and Broach able to combine for nine points for the Cougars off a pin and a decision.
Northgate has struggled to field a full lineup in 2018-19, but has seen its share of top efforts including one by newcomer Brandon Bailey. The sophomore has made a smooth transition from the football field and split matches at the county championships at 113 pounds. His loss came to Newnan standout Tristan Kendzierski.
“He’d never wrestled before this year,” said Vikings head coach Chris Wickstrom of Bailey.
Tyler Walters (132), Donnie Kilgore (152), Logan Walters (160) and Michael Hoeger (170) each had victories among Northgate’s two matches at the county tri-match.
Newnan 51, East Coweta 25
(In order of matches)
113: Tristan Kendzierski (N) won forfeit; 120: Allen Simms (N) pin Connor Cameron (EC), 1:05; 126 Marlin Wortham (N) dec Jordan Trask (EC), 9-6; 132:Kyler James (N) pin Zion Selby (EC) 4:32; 138: Cale Goss (N) pin Samuel Farrell (EC), 3:45; Jaxon Garner (EC) pin Max Broach (N), 5:13; 152: Brandon Brown (N) pin Jake Madison (EC), 1:56; 160: Zekkhi Selby (EC) maj dec. Sammy Caputo (N) 11-3; 170: Dylan Spelios (EC) pin Landon Toth (N), 1:02; 182: Isaac Barrett (N) pin Walter Lloyd (EC), 1:18; 195: Carson Knight (N) pin Rayshaud Brown (EC), 4:57; 220: Austin Garmany (N) pin Alex Derico (EC), 2:34; 285: Titus Aun (EC) pin Samuel Williams (N), 5:21; 106: Christian Gordon (EC) dec. Connor Marsh (N), 5-2.
Newnan 81, Campbell 0
106: Connor Marsh (N) pin Leslie Perez (CAM), 3rd; 126: Allen Simms (N) pin T’jeem Evans (CAM), 2nd; 138: Cale Goss (N) pin Andrew Edwar (CAM), 2nd; 145: Max Broach (N) pin Jaron Ford (CAM), 1st; 152: Brandon Brown (N) pin Thomas Whatley (CAM), 1st; 160: Sammy Caputo (N) pin William (CAM), 1st; 170: Landon Toth (N) won disq Jeffrey (CAM); 182: Isaac Barrett (N) pin Skylon McFarland (CAM), 2nd; 195: Carson Knight (N) pin Kobe Marshall (CAM), 1st; 220: Austin Garmany (N) pin Durrell McCreary (CAM), 1st; Samuel Williams (N) pin Christian Holloway (CAM), 2nd.
Forfeits - Campbell 113,120,132
East Coweta 69, Wheeler 6
106: Christian Gordon (EC) pin Dane Hardeman (WH), 2:44; 113: Connor Cameron (EC) pin Hakeem Lingo (WH), 4:44; 126: Brennon Linenger (EC) dec. Gabriel Chung (WH), 8-5; 138: Camden Key (EC) pin Sam Taulli (WH), 4:21; 160: Tristan Young (EC) pin Mark Twyman (WH), 3:15; 170: Dylan Spelios (EC) pin Larry Smith (WH), 0:12; 182: Walter Lloyd (EC) pin Russell Brown (WH), 2:26; 195: Rayshaud Brown (EC) pin Jabari Henderson (WH), 0:37; 220: Titus Aun (EC) pin Austin Schueurerman (WH), 1:09.
Forfeits - EC 120; Wheeler 145, 152, 285; No contest; 132
East Coweta 71, Campbell 6
285: Kyle Marshall (EC) pin Christian Holloway (CAM), 2:10; 106: Christian Gordon (EC) tech fall Leslie Perez (CAM), 16-0; 113: Connor Cameron (EC) pin Itohan Aigbelaen (CAM), 2:22; 126: Jordan Trask (EC) pin T’jeem Evans (CAM), 2:32; 138: Zion Selby (EC) dec. Andrew Edwar (CAM), 6-5; 145: Jaxon Garner (EC) pin Jaron Ford (CAM), 2:11; 152: Jake Madison (EC) dec. Thomas Whatley (CAM), 4-0; Zekkhi Selby (EC) pin Alvaro Alvarez (CAM), 0:43; 182: Rayshaud Brown (EC) pin Skylon McFarland (CAM), 0:23; 195: Alex Derico (EC) pin Kobe Marshall (CAM), 0:26; 220: Titus Aun (EC) pin Durrell McCreary (CAM), 3:09.
Forfeits - East Coweta 126; Wheeler 132
Newnan 73, Westlake 3
285: Darius Meeks (WL) dec. Cody Harris (N), 9-7; 113: Tristan Kendzierski (N) pin Xavier Wilder (WL), 1st; 138: Cale Goss (N) pin Johnjay Dunn (WL), 1st; 195: Carson Knight (N) maj. dec. Jaylnn Robinson 13-3; 220: Austin Garmany (N) pin Tyrese Street (WL), 1st;
Forfeits - Westlake (106, 120, 126, 132, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182)
East Coweta 66, Pebblebrook 18
220: Kyle Marshall (EC) pin Lance Knox (P), 2:13; 285: Kendrick Blackmon (P) pin Jerel Searcy (EC), 1:50; 113: Luis Iturbicle (P) def. Elijah Theriault (EC), inj; 138: Michael Briscoe (P) pin Samuel Farrell (EC). 0:23; 170: Aaron Hill (EC) pin Khalil Whitaker (P), 1:04; 195: Walter Lloyd (EC) pin David Coleman (P), 1:01.
Forfeits — Pebblebrook (106, 120, 126, 132, 145, 152, 160, 182)
Newnan 84, Wheeler 0
220: Austin Garmany (N) pin Austin Schueurerman (WH), 1st; 285: Cody Harris (N) pin Eric Swain, 1st; 106: Connor Marsh pin Dane Hardeman (WH), 1st; 113: Tristan Kendzierski (N) pin Blake Gee (WH), 1st; 120: Marlin Wortham (N) pin Paxton Chai, 1st; 126: Allen Simms (N) pin Gabriel Chung (WH), 1st; 138: Cale Goss (N) pin Sam Taulli (WH), 1st; 160: Sammy Caputo (N) pin Mark Twyman (WH), 1st; 170: Landon Toth (N) pin Larry Smith (WH), 1st; 182: Isaac Barrett (N) pin Russell Brown (WH), 3rd; 195: Carson Knight (N) pin Jabari Henderson (WH), 1st
Forfeits — Wheeler (132, 145, 152)
East Coweta 78, Westlake 6
195: Alex Derico (EC) pin Jaylin Robinson (WL), 5:51; 220: Titus Aun (EC) pin Tyrese Street (WL), 3:30; 285: Darius Meeks (WL) pin Jerel Searcy (EC), 1:58; 113: Christian Gordon (EC) pin Xavier Wilder (WL), 1:36; 138: Ramal Holston (EC) pin Johnjay Dunn (WL), 2:14.
Forfeits — Westlake (106, 120, 126, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182)
(Editor’s Note: Results from Newnan’s victory against Pebblebrook were unavailable)