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Rockdale wins area wrestling title

CONYERS -- The Rockdale wrestling team hosted the first postseason tournament in its brand-new gymnasium Saturday, so it's only fitting the Bulldogs made some history on the mats as well.

Led by six individual champions, Rockdale qualified a wrestler in all 14 weight classes, winning the Area 2-AAAAAA championship, 247.5 to 185.5 over second-place Alcovy.

It is believed to be the first time in the modern era of 14 weight classes that Rockdale has qualified all 14 out of its area tournament. The Bulldogs, Alcovy and Newton will bring a total of 35 wrestlers to next weekend's Class AAAAAA East Sectionals at Chattahoochee High School.

"Hosting the event and being able to win it, it's something special," Rockdale coach Craig Hargrove said. "We told (the wrestlers) we were anticipating all 14. Can't complain when we bring all of them."

Alonzo Allen (106 pounds), Stephen Hart (113), Ronzell Teague (126), Ulises Ponce (132), Sean Mer (152) and Anthony Banks (170) all won area titles for Rockdale. Alcovy had three champions: James Smith (120), Justin Howell (145) and Austin Richardson (160). Newton, which came in third with 134 points, also had three titlists as Jose Rivera won the 138-pound title, and A.J. Palomino and Javon Gannt took home first-place medals at 220 and 285 pounds, respectively.

Look for complete coverage of the Area 2-AAAAAA Tournament in Tuesday's Citizen.