For the second weekend in a row, the Cleveland Middle School wrestling team traveled to Georgia to take part in tournament wrestling. This time they went to Heritage Middle School for a dual tournament to take on the toughest teams out of the North Georgia Athletic Conference.
In the first round, Cleveland Middle defeated the powerhouse of the NGA Conference, Trion, 60-21. The Blue Raiders started off the dual meet with four straight pins coming from undefeated wrestlers Jose Cordero, Zac Bosken, Chase Walker and George Emendorfer.
The biggest wins of the dual meet came from Piper Fowler and Jphanio Piailuk. Fowler won by decision over a very tough wrestler who got the first takedown of the match.
Coach Eric Mountain said, “I am very proud of how Piper battled back to get the win over a good wrestler. This is the first time she has been challenged and scored on, so it was great to see her wrestle a complete match and fight for the win.”
The other big win came from Piailuk, a first-year wrestler. Piailuk was taken to his back right off the whistle, but was able to roll through it and fight back to pin his opponent in the third period.
"Jphanio is a great athlete that can already do things that some experienced wrestlers struggle with. To top that off he is very competitive. I can’t wait to see how good he is going to be once he starts putting everything together,” said Mountain.
In the second round, the Blue Raiders dominated host team Heritage 57-15 to advance to the finals against Dade County. The Raiders were led by Camden Lockerby and Isaac Eidson in this dual with big wins. Both of them lost in the first round in hard-fought matches.
“I was especially proud of how Lockerby and Eidson wrestled in the second round because they bounced back and wrestled with a lot of heart after losing close matches in the first round,” said Mountain.
The championship dual was set against the other undefeated team of the tournament: Dade County.
The Blue Raiders had another dominating performance with a 64-18 win to claim the Heritage Duals Championship. The Raiders won the first 10 out of 15 weight classes before Dade County got on the score board.
Jose Cordero, Zac Bosken, Chase Walker, George Emendorfer, Caden Outlaw, Piper Fowler and Memphis Palelei were undefeated on the day.
“Overall I was very proud of how much our team improved this week. Even though the team scores were not close, we had individuals that were challenged and we needed that," said Mountain. "We were able to see how our wrestlers will respond in tough matches and even bounce back from defeat.
"We had guys like Cy Fowler, Dylan Harrold, and Jorge Barrinuevo, who lost their first matches of the season, and instead of pouting and giving up, they continued to wrestle hard all day. They kept their heads held high and took it to their next opponent. We definitely got better from the competition today.”
The Cleveland Middle School Blue Raiders will wrestle again on Wednesday, at Cleveland Middle School against McCallie. Wrestling will start at 5 p.m.