Newton ad­vances

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - MATT SMITH msmith@cov­news.com

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.

Newton qual­i­fies

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

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