COVINGTON - It was a busy weekend for Newton County wrestling teams as the Newton Rams headed to the South Gwinnett Duals while the Alcovy Tigers tangled in the Southside Slam Friday and Saturday.
Alcovy's wrestling team surprised itself, along with the rest of the competition, by winning the Southside Slam at Eagle's Landing.
The Tiger's had eight grapplers competing in the final round to help them win the event. Of the eight, five Tigers claimed individual titles.
"I hope that we continue to fly under the radar," Alcovy coach Mike Mostek said. "We still have a lot of work to do and until we wrestle a top-10 team we won't know how good we really are."
Winning the Southside Slam individual titles were Jon Seymore (103-pound division), Adam Pollard (130), Travis Knight (135), Malachi Outlaw (160) and Trey Twiford (171).
Corey Reid (140), John Pollard (145) and David Jones (285) all finished in the runner-up position.
Alcovy also had two wrestlers grappling in the consolation round. T.C. Jackson (189) finished in third overall while Jay DeRojas (119) took fourth.
They started the first day of the tournament with wins over Ola (72-9), Eagle's Landing (59-18), Luella (78-3) and Stephenson (72-12).
Finishing behind Alcovy were Ola, Jones County and Etowah.
With the four team wins on Friday the Tigers improved their record to 8-0.
Meanwhile, the Newton Rams (3-7) tried something different at the South Gwinnett Duals on Friday and Saturday, adding junior varsity (JV) wrestlers to their mix.
With the South Metro Tournament looming on the horizon, Newton coach Chris Andrews put some JV wrestlers in a few matches.
"The JV guys got a lot of exposure wrestling the varsity matches from all the other schools. The other schools we wrestled were pretty good schools," Andrews said. "All the kids did a great job that were out there, they're really dedicated. They got what they needed - the exposure. Hopefully, this was a really good learning for the new guys and it'll make them want to come back and learn that much more."
However, the down side to mixing seasoned and inexperienced wrestlers at the varsity level is that you don't get too many wins.
Newton grabbed its only victory against host team South Gwinnett beating the Comets 54-28. Its losses came against Loganville (53-27), Jonesboro (44-33), Norcross (51-30), North Forsyth (51-27), Grayson (48-28) and Hillgrove.
It wasn't doom and gloom for all the Newton wrestlers, as Joey Joseph and Danny Mendoza performed well for the Rams.
"You could tell Joey was out there to win," Andrews said. "Actually both of those guys all won their matches."
In their first quad-match of the season the Rams went 2-1. The were able to collect wins over Region 2-AAAAA rival Redan (51-29) and then had a 45-36 win over North Clayton but fell to 57-24 to Hillgrove.
Manny Fils can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.