We’re in the thick of wrestling season — when top-flight squads and aspirants hit the mat to determine the pecking order.
The sports staff at the DeKalb Neighbor presents the following few nuggets to help catch readership up to speed:
Clash of titans
Area wrestling teams joined the fray as the 2012-13 GHSA Team Dual Wrestling Championship wrapped up in Macon over the weekend.
Marist shined while Stephenson (Area 6-AAAAA runner-up) and Lithonia (Area 6-AAAA runner-up) struggled out of the gate, both dropping first round matches.
Marist, powered by standouts like Matt Andres, beat Southeast Whitfield 43-30 in opening round play of the Class 4-A tourney. The War Eagles then stumbled against Alexander, losing 43-21.
In the consolation bracket, Marist overwhelmed Lithonia and Chestatee in consecutive matches — 58-18 and 42-24, respectively — before falling to eventual fourth place finisher Carrollton.
Stephenson fell 58-19 to a tough Woodland-Cartersville squad.
The Jaguars lineup was anchored by seniors Stephen
Wiley and Darian Perry. Wiley’s credentials: First in Area and sixth in state in the 152-pound class in 2012. Perry is the 2012 DeKalb County and Area 160 class champ.
The Jaguars rebounded in their first match on the consolation side, edging Jones County 43-42, before falling to Whitewater in the ensuing round.
Lithonia battled Locust Grove before falling 45-24 in the opening round of the Class AAAA tournament.
A 34-33 win over South Effingham set up that fateful (lopsided) match with Marist.
Lithonia sophomore Kirkglen
Hudson entered the tournament at 30-0 with 20 pins in the 106-pound class on the season. Fellow second-year grappler Shamel Findley — 31-5, with 22 pins in the 113 class — co-anchored the club.
Return of the contenders
The 2012-13 campaign welcomed back several area wrestlers who made a name for themselves at the conclusion of last season.
This time around they’re looking to bring home more GHSA hardware, in a lot of instances helping to carry their respective teams much of the way.
Marist’s Kenneth Brinson capped off a sensational freshman season a year ago with a runner-up showing. Teammate Andres, now a senior, performed admirably while earning a berth in the semifinals.
Sunny Sharma also reached the final four, doing so as a sophomore at Dunwoody.
Several DeKalb grapplers in the Class of 2012 closed out their legacies on strong notes … their successors will undoubtedly be looking to do the same this time around.