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Rockdale wins area duals, Newton runner-up to earn trip to state duals

Rockdale’s Ronzell Teague looks over to his corner to get advice while Newton head coach Ryan Angel tries to help Matthew Torres in the Area 2-AAAAAA tournament on Saturday. Teague won the championship match but Torres came back to beat his opponent in the true-second bout against Luella.

Rockdale’s Ronzell Teague looks over to his corner to get advice while Newton head coach Ryan Angel tries to help Matthew Torres in the Area 2-AAAAAA tournament on Saturday. Teague won the championship match but Torres came back to beat his opponent in the true-second bout against Luella.

COVINGTON — Rockdale’s wrestling team was all business as they went out and easily beat Luella and Newton on Saturday to once again head to the Macon Centreplex as the Area 2-AAAAAA duals champion as Newton beat Luella to join Rockdale at the state tournament as the area duals runner-up.

“I’m proud of my guys. They came out and were aggressive the whole tournament. Hopefully, it’ll carry over into next weekend,” Rockdale head coach Craig Hargrove said. “That’s what I told them, next weekend is when it really counts.”

Rockdale started the tournament with a 65-3 win over Luella before beating Newton 53-12 in the championship bout.

In the championship match, Rockdale jumped out to an 14-0 lead with Tyrone Hearn (132-pound weight class), Clifton Casurra (138) and Teague (145) getting wins before Newton’s Akil Maolud (152) broke the string of victories to make it 14-3.

Rockdale edged out Newton winning three of the next five matches before closing the match winning the final five bouts including three by forfeit to win the championship.

Winning for Rockdale were Sean Mer (160), Luis Galindo (182), Moises Mendez (195), Michael Mason (285) and Lenny Mejias (126).

Rockdale jumped out to a 53-0 lead before Luella got their first, and only, win in the match before Alonzo Allen (113-pound weight class) and Stephen Hart (120) ended the match with a pair of wins to put the Lions in the consolation bracket. Also getting wins for the Rockdale were Mejias, Hearn, Teague, Cole Lewis (152), Mer, Keythone Robinson (220) and Mason getting wins. The Bulldogs also had four forfeit wins.

Newton started the meet against Druid Hills winning seven of their first eight matches, including pins by Kameron Wallace (126), Michael Anderson (132), Maolud, John Forbes (170) and Shaidren Carter (182) to beat Druid Hills 45-25 to head to the championship match.

After the Rockdale loss, Newton had to go up against Luella for a true second.

The Rams went up 39-0 as Matthew Torres (145), Maolud, Forbes, A.J. Palomino (220) getting pins. Also winning was Victor Medina (160) while three came from forfeit. But the Lions came back strong winning their next four matches, three by forfeit, to close the gap to 39-24.

But Mejias’ 5-4 overtime win put the match out of reach while Anderson got a pin for good measure giving the Rams a trip to the state tournament.

“We ended up in the final against Rockdale and it was a tough loss. But the kids came out, they fought, and knew that they had to win in order to get where they wanted to be,” Newton head coach Ryan Angel said. “That was one of our goals throughout the year, to get to state for team duals. They knew they had to step up and they did.”

However, not all the action happened on the mat meet. Because of transportation problems, Alcovy waited three hours for a 20 minute ride. Because of the bus issues, the Tigers, were were the No. 2 seed, missed the weigh-in and were disqualified. The teams took a vote to allow the Tigers to weigh in late but were not allowed by a 3-2 vote. Voting to allow the Tigers to weigh in late were Rockdale and Morrow while Druid Hills, Luella and Newton voted against it.