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Bulldogs,Tigers battle to top half in state wrestling duals

MACON -- Area 2-AAAAAA was well represented in the GHSA team dual wrestling state tournament with Rockdale's wrestling team finishing in the top five while Alcovy wasn't eliminated until ending in the top half of the Class AAAAAA division at the Macon Centreplex.

Rockdale never cruised past the competition in its first two wins, but it fought hard to win the first two rounds heading into the semifinals of the championship bracket.

The Bulldogs started the tournament Thursday with a 33-26 win over Roswell before beating North Forsyth 38-21. However, Archer, who won the AAAAAA tournament with a 35-19 win over Camden County, was a different story as Rockdale lost 66-3.

"They're head and shoulders above everybody," Rockdale head coach Craig Hargrove said of Archer. "But I'm really proud of this team. They're really a bunch of overachievers. They came in here and battled their way through Roswell and gave North Forsyth all they wanted and got past them."

In the consolation semifinals, Rockdale jumped out to a 9-3 lead before Brookwood won the next two matches for the tie. After wins by Cliff Casurra (138-pound wight class) and Adam Walden (145), the two teams split the next two matches, allowing Rockdale to maintain an 18-13 lead. But Brookwood was able to win the next five matches, including an injury forfeit by DJ Ardister who hit his head on the concrete floor, and another forfeit at 285 for the 40-18 win.

"With Brookwood, we wrestled them Tuesday in a really close dual, we knew it could go our way if a few matches went our way. But overall I'm proud of our guys," Hargrove said. "We're going to continue pressing toward traditionals."

Injuries put Alcovy's back against the wall as it lost to Wheeler 36-27 in the opening round Thursday.

"We didn't wrestle well in a match we lost that we should've won," Alcovy head coach Mike Mostek said.

Alcovy found itself down 30-25 with two matches left against Marietta in the first round of wrestlebacks on Friday. Even though it was down, Parfait Fondseyuf (170) and Kamari Williams (182) refused to give up. Fondseyuf won his match 15-3 giving Alcovy a four-point win to make it 30-29 before Williams downed his opponent 11-6 to give the Tigers the team win.

In the next match against North Gwinnett, Alcovy lost its first two matches at 220 and 285 before getting a forfeit win at 106 and a pin by Jerry Pike at 113 to tie the match at 12. North Gwinnett came back to win the two before an escape with just under one second by Jake Hendrix (138) closed the gap to 22-15. Alcovy came back to win two of the next three matches to make it 28-24 before North Gwinnett ran the gauntlet. Alcovy's opponent won the final four matches, giving North Gwinnett the 46-24 victory.

"Our kids went out and battled. We weren't at full strength and we came out short. The kids did everything we asked, Mostek said. "My 220 is in a cast, 285 and 120 are hurt, all those weight classes were crucial. But it is what it is. We had to go out and wrestle with what we had and North Gwinnett was the better team."