Creekview’s fourth-place finish in the Class AAAAA duals was the best in program history, but coach Wyatt Wilkie said that was a little consolation for his wrestlers.
“We came here with a goal in mind, and we didn’t reach it,” he said. “But we did regroup and did something that this program has never done before. We wrestled some tough teams down here, and I have to congratulate my team on finishing fourth in the state.”
Creekview faced Allatoona in the battle for third place, losing 43-24.
Among the winners were Creekview were Grant Slater (120 pounds), Coda Stewart (152), Joseph Sorrentino (180), Christian Saragusa (220) and Brock Tupman (285).
Creekview found itself in a hole early after Allatoona won a string of matches through the middle weights, and the Grizzlies trailed 16-3 after Kyle Merenda (145) lost a major decision to Eric Vermette. By the time the Buccaneers’ Will Kemp (170) defeated Hunter Smith, the lead had swelled to 25-6.
Sorrentino then pinned Alex Lawrence in just 12 seconds as the Grizzlies won three of the next four matches by pins and trailed 31-24 with two classes — 106 and 113 — left to wrestle.
Creekview had been solid at 106, with freshmen Bryce Davis undefeated on the season, but Davis was injured and unable to compete. Because the Grizzlies needed to win at 106 in order to have a shot at defeating Allatoona, Brody Ross took the mat for Creekview. He wrestled hard, but fell to Harrison Kemp in overtime.
An injury forfeit by Creekview at 113 then brought the final score to 43-24.
Pope won the Class AAAAA state title, with Woodland-Bartow the runner up. Woodland beat Creekview in Friday’s semifinals of the championship bracket, while Pope had beaten the Grizzlies for the Area 7AAAAA championship.
Etowah’s day ended a little sooner, with a top-six standing, but it was still the best finish in program history.
Coach Charlie Higdon was proud of the finish.
“The (boys) showed heart and courage this weekend,” he said.
The Eagles fell to North Forsyth 38-28 in the semifinals of the consolation bracket Saturday morning after defeating Marietta Friday night. Collins Hill, which bounced Etowah from the championship bracket on Friday, finished third in Class AAAAAA, while Archer won the state title over Camden County.
Many of the wrestlers will still have opportunities at state titles through the traditional tournament, but Higdon said there is something nice about competing as a team.
“It’s a sense of doing something together,” he said. “Whatever we (accomplished), it was as a team.”