Staff Photo: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith
COVINGTON -- Alcovy wrestler Parfait Fondseyuf's win at the 182-pound weight class started a string of wins resulting in the Tigers' come-from-behind victory to take the Newton Cup on Tuesday.
Making the 45-33 win over Eastside and the 49-23 win over Newton more amazing for Tigers head coach Mike Mostek is the fact that Alcovy had to piece a team together because of injuries and failure to make weight.
"We were fortunate to catch a couple of breaks and it worked out for us," Mostek said. "It's nice for the kids, I'm sure they'll be excited about it. I'm happy for them but we still have a lot of work to do."
After beating Newton 41-30, Eastside looked like it was going to retain the cup after taking an 18-0 lead with pins by Levi Leach (120), Patrick Cochran (126) and Misha Felton (132). But Alcovy came back to tie the match with pins by Jake Hendrix (138), Taylor Jenkins (145) and Cole Patterson (152).
In a strategic move, Eastside moved the wrestlers up a weight class, putting its normal 152 wrestler Kevin Thompson at 160 and its 160, Tyler Campbell, at 170. The move seemed to work for Eastside as Thompson and Campbell pinned their opponents to take a 30-18 team lead.
"They started bumping up at 152 and I knew we had to bump in order to get match 7-7 wins. It worked out in our favor, we were fortunate," Mostek said.
However, Fondseyuf got a 10-6 win at 182 with Kamari Williams (195) closing the gap allowing Nick Langford (220) to give the Tigers the 33-30 lead. Ryan Adams (285) gave the Tigers a nine-point lead and a fourth-straight win before Eastside's Roger Boley put the Eagles in position to tie the match with a 13-7 win to make it 39-33. But not only was Alcovy's Jerry Pike able to hold off the charge by Eastside's wrestler, he was able to turn it around and get the pin.
"When we lost that match at 120 and we got pinned those next two I thought that it was over with because we had a lot (of wrestlers) missing. But our kids just fought, they didn't give up," Mostek said. "I'm proud of the way they wrestled. With the line up we had, we made it happen. I don't know how."
Even though Newton lost both of its matches, head coach Andre Byrd saw a few things that he felt he could use to help build his team.
Going 2-0 for the Rams were AJ Palomino (220), who had two pins, Jose Rivera (145), who had a pin and a 16-0 technical pin, and Nnamdi Onyekwuluje (170) with two pins. Other wrestlers getting wins were Javan Gant (285) and Kameron Wallace (126).
"Before we got here we had only lost one match and that was to Social Circle. It also showed that there are some good wrestlers in Newton County," Byrd said. "I think Nnamdi Onyekwuluje, Shaidren Carter (182) and I also like our 106, Jarquin Oliver. He does a pretty good job for a first-year wrestler. We have a lot of first-year wrestlers that put up a fight. Right now I want our guys to fight and keep going and never quit."