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Heritage takes third in tourney
Rockdale places fourth

CONYERS - All three Rockdale County wrestling teams were in action over the weekend in respective grappling tournaments.

Heritage and Rockdale competed in the Brookwood Invitational, while Salem competed in the Tiger Classic at Stockbridge High School. Salem's Peter Yates also competed in the Beast of the East, a national wrestling tournament in Delaware.

Yates placed first overall in the 145-pound weight class, beating the No. 4 ranked wrestler in the country. Yates is currently ranked seventh nationally.

Meanwhile, the Yates-less Seminoles didn't enjoy the same success at the Tiger Classic. Still, there were several bright spots for coach Tim Owens and company.

Sammy Ahonen finished second at 152 pounds, while Jeremy McElyea placed sixth at 171.

"We didn't finish that high as a team," Owens said. "We've got a lot of young, inexperienced guys."

Salem wrestles again Jan. 8.

Meanwhile, Heritage and Rockdale both posted strong finishes at the Brookwood Invitational and had a good number of tournament placers.

Heritage placed third overall with John Wigington taking the top spot at 160. Travis Wynne (285) and Steven Crawley (119) placed second in their weight classes, while Wade Powell (135) placed third and Michael Alfano (152) finished fourth.

"I'm very pleased. They stuck with it and didn't give up," Heritage coach Randy Hooley said.

Hooley also said he was pleased with Abe Williams, who gave up 42 pounds and wrestled at 215 to keep his team from forfeiting that weight class.

Heritage wrestled again Monday at North Clayton and wrestles again at home this weekend.

Rockdale also had a sound showing on the mats at the Brookwood Invitational, finishing fourth.

The Bulldogs were led by Luis Ponce, who took the top spot at 125. Rockdale also received strong performances from John Collins (140), Jimmy Brown (171) and Jake Morris (103) who all placed second in the their weight classes.

"They wrestled well. They all had good matches and beat some tough guys to get to the finals," Rockdale coach Craig Hargrove said. "Jimmy (Brown) probably had a breakout tournament. That was the first time he made the finals of a tournament."

Rockdale hits the mats again Dec. 29 at home in the Rockdale Duals.

Brandon Evans cam be reached at brandon.evans@rockdalecitizen.com.