Rams headed to the state dual wrestling championships.
The Rockdale County wrestling team will once again represent Region 2-AAAAAA at the Georgia High School Team Dual Wrestling Championship, edging Luella and Newton at the Area 2-AAAAAA duals this past weekend.
Newton will join the Bulldogs, defeating Luella to advance to the state tournament.
Rockdale defeated the Lions 65-3 before besting the Rams 53-12.
“We wrestled really well,” Rockdale coach Craig Hargrove said. “We’re really looking forward to this upcoming weekend and going down to Macon and having a good performance down there.
“We were pretty confident that we would qualify for the state tournament again,” he said. “We entered the season with high expectations and we know that we want to reach Macon every year. Once we get down there though, it will be tough.”
In the title contest against the Rams, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-0 lead behind wins from Tyrone Hearn, Clifton Casurra and Ronzell Teague.
Newton’s Akil Maolud broke the Bulldogs’ opening streak at 152 pounds, cutting Rockdale’s lead to 14-3.
Rockdale claimed three of the next five matches before winning the final five matches of the bout, including wins from Sean Mer, Luis Galindo, Moises Mendez, Michael Mason and Lenny Mejias.
In their opening match, the Bulldogs ran through Luella’s lineup, opening up a 53-0 lead before the Lions secured their only win of the match.
Mejias, Hearn, Teague, Mer, Mason, Keythone Robinson and Cole Lewis earned victories for Rockdale County before the Rams broke the Bulldogs’ streak. Alonzo Allen and Stephen Hart closed the match with a pair of wins at 113 pounds and 120 pounds, respectively.
Rockdale also picked up four wins by forfeit over the Lions.
After falling to the Bulldogs, Newton rallied to beat Luella in a true second contest, topping the Lions to qualify for the state duals.
Newton rallied to take a 39-0 lead to start the match, with Maolud, Forbes, Matthew Torres and A.J. Palomino registering pins in the Rams’ early run. Victor Medina also picked up a victory for Newton at 160 pounds before the Lions forfeited three matchups.
Luella roared back, however, winning four consecutive matches, including three by forfeit, closing the Rams’ lead to 39-24.
Newton closed with a pair of wins, including a pin from Michael Anderson, to clinch the win and advance.
“My kids worked very, very hard to get to where we are at this point,” Newton coach Ryan Angel said. “They’ve really taken our coaching to heart and they’ve worked hard to do the little things right.
One thing that we have preached to them is that if you do the little things right, success follows and things take care of themselves,” he said. “If you do what you’re supposed to do, success comes to you.”
Newton reached the championship bout with a 42-25 victory over Druid Hills. The Rams won seven of their first eight matches against the Red Devils, with pins by Maolud, Anderson, Kameron Wallace, John Forbes and Shaidren Carter.
Angel said that he wanted to see heart in his