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Rams get second in area duals

COVINGTON - The Newton Rams turned the tables on Redan to head to the Class AAAAA State Duals as the No. 2 seed from Area 2-AAAAA after the area duals Saturday.

Newton and Redan squabbled over seeding before the event as to who would be the No. 2 seed. However, that did not matter as Newton won the war, defeating Redan 45-25 to start the day.

"They're always tough. They're basically our main competition in the area. But this time we did a fairly good job against them," Newton coach Chris Andrews said. "We kept a pretty good lead and had a couple of pretty good victories at the beginning, which gave us that edge and pretty much carried us through the whole dual meet."

The Rams had wins over Stephenson (70-6) and M.L. King (52-21) to secure their trip to the state duals.

Against Union Grove, the Rams were outmatched as they lost 66-12 to the team ranked No. 2 in the GaSports.com Class AAAA poll.

In Andrews' first year at Newton last season, the Rams finished third and did not qualify for the state dual meet.

"It feels pretty good (to make it to the state duals), it was very competitive. Union Grove is just a tough, tough team to have to go against. The other teams put up an excellent fight. They all have some great wrestlers, great coaches, but this year was our time," Andrews said. "We have a lot of good kids, such as Corey Ware and Joey Joseph. We have a lot of good kids that are giving 110 percent all the time. The kids earned it. They deserve to go to state."

Ware (119 pounds) went 4-0 with three pins and a forfeit.

"He's very smart on the mat. He has a good flow," Andrews said.

Going 3-for-4 in their matches, with the loss coming against Union Grove, were Carl Collins (125), Aaron Reynolds (130), Danny Mendoza (135), Joey Joseph (140) and Rick Moore (171).

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen .com.