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Rockdale wrestlers finish third at state

MACON - Eastside and Rockdale can both say that they are one of the top teams in the state.

Eastside battled in the championship round in the Class AAA state team duals championship while the Bulldogs claimed third in the Class AAAA at the Macon Centerplex on Saturday.

The Rockdale Bulldogs proved that they are truly one of the state's top team in Class AAAA wrestling overcoming diversity to claim a third place finish in the team duals championship.

Providing the points for the Bulldogs were Jake Morris (103), Hylan Taylor (119), Luis Ponce (125), Muhamad Bois (145), Kafuba Donzon (152), Lloyd Martell (171), James Toole (215) and Grady Jarrett (285).

Eastside was still wrestling at press time. For more information, see Tuesday's Citizen Sports section.

In the consolation semifinals, Rockdale beat Ola 36-31 to give them the chance to wrestle Effingham County for third place.

Effingham County tied Loganville 31-31 in their semifinals match before getting the extra team point after six tiebreakers were exhausted.

In earlier consolation round matches, Alcovy and Newton were both eliminated in their first match of the consolation round.

Newton lost to Marietta 43-25 while Alcovy lost to Loganville 44-24.

Alcovy took a 6-0 lead with Jon Seymour's (112) pin to start the match.

The Tigers lost the next three matches to fall behind the Red Devils 14-6.

Adam Pollard (135) and Travis Knight (140) had wins in their matches to take a 15-14 lead.

After losing two more, Malachi Outlaw (160) got a pin before Travis Gunnells (171) won his match to regain the lead, 24-23.

"Overall, I think we wrestled well. Every kid wrestled hard. It came down to the end and I'm proud of them," Alcovy coach Mike Mostek said.

Unfortunately, the Tigers lost their last four matches being eliminated.

"I think our wrestlers were able to get some experience and an idea of what it's like to compete at this level," Mostek said.

Newton had a 19-3 lead over Marietta winning four of the first five matches.

Winning for Newton were Ryan Mitchell (112), Corey Ware (119), William Jones (130) and Aaron Reynolds (135).

"They came out on fire and took it to them early. It was great for us to start at 112 because we're strong there and at 119. That was an opportunity for us to get out to a big lead. We should have won the first six matches," Newton coach Wes Cooper said.

But from that point on everything that could have gone against Newton did as it lost eight of the final nine matches.

"We have to get a little stronger in the middle of the line up," Cooper said. "I knew Marietta was strong in their heavyweights."

Their only win was a pin by Michael Morgan at 285.

"It was great experience for us. It was a step (for the program) in the right direction. The last time we were here we went 0-2," Cooper said. "This year, we got a first-round win and got a little momentum."

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