Alexander, fresh off a team victory at the 5-AAAA region duals meet Jan. 4, came into the event Thursday through Saturday as one of the top programs in the field. The Cougars didn’t disappoint, earning decisive victories over Lithonia and Lumpkin County in the first two rounds.
However, Alexander fell short against Cass, 39-28, in the semifinals of the Class AAAA competition. The team rebounded and finished third in the state after winning second matchups against Lithonia and Lumpkin County.
Roman Boylen, Chris Achenbach, Muhammed Ansari, Jhorre Statham and Spencer Gray each went undefeated in the competition for the Cougars.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” said Alexander head coach Sean Moistner. “It’s a great accomplishment for our kids. There are other teams who never even get the chance to wrestle at the State Duals. However, we don’t wrestle for third, we wrestle for championships. ”
Douglas County entered its event with positive momentum after winning the Region 3-AAAAAA duals competition for the second consecutive year. The Tigers dropped its first-round matchup to Grayson, 53-21, with Desmond Wareham, Michael Parris, Quinzavious Sands and Travis “TJ” Beaird picking up individual wins. In the consolation bracket, Douglas County was defeated by Marietta.
“I was disappointed and felt like we didn’t battle like we could have,” Tigers head coach Jeremiah Fountain said. “We’re capable of a better performance and this is a wakeup call as an excellent reminder to the guys that they have another chance for high achievement on the state level but will have to go through the same stout competition in order to do it.”
Both teams will return to their own regions for traditional meets with the sectional tournaments taking place Feb. 7 and 8 for qualification to the state tournament in Macon Feb. 13 to 15.