The War Eagles led from start to finish at the two-day event. They led Allatoona 89-78 after Friday’s action, before pulling away from the 23-team field after the final round.
Woodward finished with 190 points and four placers. Heritage-Catoosa was second with 151 points, followed by Alexander (127.5), Southeast Whitfield (127) and the host Buccaneers (125.5).
North Paulding (120.5) was sixth, with Campbell (120), Cass (119), Etowah (118) and McEachern (117.5) rounding out the top 10. Hillgrove (11th, 95), Wheeler (15th, 73), Sprayberry (17th, 70.5), Walton (19th, 59) and North Cobb (23rd, 5) also competed.
“I really didn’t anticipate coming in that we were going to win,” Woodward coach Pete Fritts said. “We only had 11 guys entered, and some of our top guys were out sick, so I think we’ll be much better than this when everybody is healthy and ready to go. The kids came in and wrestled hard. They did a good job (Saturday).”
Woodward crowned champions in David Morgan (126 pounds), Chandler Pyke (138), Caleb Greer (145) and Chad Pyke (160).
Chandler Pyke, the 126-pound Class AAA state champion from a year ago, defeated Campbell’s Jamez Taylor 1-0 at 138. Taylor placed fourth in the state at 132 pounds at last year’s Class AAAAA meet.
Woodward’s Chad Pyke, the 138-pound Class AAA state champion in 2011, bested Allatoona’s Will Kemp 7-5 for the title at 160. Kemp, who was the Buccaneers’ lone finalist, fell one win shy of placing at 132 pounds at last year’s Class AAA state championships.
Campbell’s Charles Robinson captured a second-straight individual championship after defeating Southeast Whitfield’s Austin Allen 12-8 at 170 pounds. Robinson, who won at the MTXE Invitational at Lassiter last week, led 4-1 early and held off Allen for the victory.
Allen pulled within 4-3 at the end of the first period, but he never got closer than two points the rest of the way. Robinson led 8-4 at the end of the second period and 8-6 after Allen picked up a 2-point reversal 15 seconds into the third. Robinson, however, scored an escape with 35 seconds left and a takedown with 18 seconds remaining to earn the victory.
“I feel like I’m on a pretty good roll right now,” Robinson said. “I’m just trying to help motivate my team to do the same. Somebody has to set the bar, because we’re used to finishing second and third and fourth, but now we have guys that can finish first.
“We know we can do it. We just need to keep going and to keep working hard. It think these wins are preparing me. I’ve faced some really good opponents lately, and the guy I wrestled in the finals was a state-qualifier last year. If I can beat guys like him, and I keep wrestling smart, I’ll get a chance to wrestle at state, too.”
Besides Taylor and Kemp, three other local wrestlers placed second in their respective weight classes — Walton’s Jacob Murphy (132), Sprayberry’s Thomas Cook (152) and McEachern’s Sharrod Pittman (285).
As the county team with the highest finish, Allatoona coach Joe Lanier was pleased with how things went overall. The Buccaneers will also host this year’s Region 5AAAAA traditional and Class AAAAA west sectional meets.
“When I put this tournament together, my goal was to have the biggest tournament in the county,” he said. “I started out trying to have 16 teams and build on that. It got filled in two weeks, and then I sat on it. I had teams still trying to get in later, and once I opened it up, I was up to 24 in two days, so it’s even bigger than (the) Cobb County (tournament) now.
“I thought it was really competitive. We had very few pins in the placement matches, which shows we had a pretty good field. And, on a personal note, I was hoping (for Allatoona) to finish in the top three, but fifth isn’t a bad finish. We’re not a complete team yet, and we still have some moving to do strength-wise, but hopefully, we’ll be there by region and certainly county.”