’Hounds derailed by injuries
by Adam Carrington
acarrington@mdjonline.com
February 02, 2014 12:47 AM | 2243 views | 4 4 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Josh Tazzetta, left, was one of four champs Pope had Saturday, but the Greyhounds as a team were left without an area title for the first time since 2007.
<Br>Staff file photo by Jeff Stanton
Josh Tazzetta, left, was one of four champs Pope had Saturday, but the Greyhounds as a team were left without an area title for the first time since 2007.
Staff file photo by Jeff Stanton
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MARIETTA — After seeing its streak of traditional area championships snapped at six, Pope’s powerhouse wrestling program is facing adversity.

The Greyhounds may be without two of their top wrestlers as they attempt to win a fourth straight state championship in the coming weeks.

In Saturday’s Area 7AAAAA tournament at Kell, Tyler Haskin (132 pounds) suffered a broken hand before a semifinal-round pin of Kell’s Brian Link and had to forfeit his final match against Creekview’s Justin Goss. Pope also lost Jake Weber (182), who broke his leg 5 minutes into his semifinal against Northview’s Keewan Williams and couldn’t continue.

Although Pope produced four area champions and four runners-up Saturday, losing Haskin and Weber proved costly. The Greyhounds were denied an area title for the first time since 2007 when Cambridge, a second-year program, claimed the championship with 253 points.

Pope had to settle for second with 249.5.

Creekview was third overall with 228.5 points, with Sprayberry and Forsyth Central tied for fourth at 125.

“Most of the kids wrestled pretty good, and we were winning the tournament,” Pope coach Jim Haskin said. “But when you lose two of your best wrestlers, you lose big points. It’s unfortunate.”

While Tyler Haskin finished second in his weight class, he’s not expected to participate in next weekend’s sectional at Cambridge.

Despite coming up short Saturday, the Greyhounds is expected to have strong representation for the sectional.

Josh Tazzetta (113) needed was a third-period reversal in the championship round to win a slim 2-0 decision over Forsyth Central’s Nathan Kistler. Jake Adcock (138) prevailed by scoring a technical fall over Cambridge’s Will Britain, Davis Burson (152) pinned Forsyth Central’s Knight Bankston in 2:39 and Jake Henson (160) clinched a 9-0 major decision over Kell’s Calvin Irby.

Sam Skinner (126), T.J. Collins (145), Colton Lombardy (170) joined Tyler Haskin as runners-up for the Greyhounds. Seth Gorman (285) placed third, and Walker Yarborough (120) was fourth.

Cambridge came out with five champions and three runners-up to help it beat the more established Pope team.

Sprayberry will send four wrestlers to the sectional, led by Darius Burton, who won a 9-2 decision over Northview’s John Kenyon at 195. Alex Labarre (106) and Christian McLellan (220) finished second in their respective brackets, and Jacob Speeth (138) was third.

“We got a couple of surprise guys come through, which was great,” Sprayberry coach David Church said.

Kell didn’t have an area champions, but it did send six on to the sectional. Matthew Springfield (120) and Calvin Irby (160) were second, Link and Cody Ashway (145) were third and Alec Prokop (138) and Julian Johnson (285) both finished fourth.
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Neutral Observer
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February 03, 2014
I was at the tournament and let me tell you, Cambridge came to play. They deserved to win. With all due respect to Pope's misfortune, they still could have turned the tide on the mat by winning late round matches against Cambridge. In almost every case, the Cambridge kid came out on top. In the 106 5th place match the Pope kid could have won the tournament for his team by winning, but the Cambridge kid stuck him in the first period. The Cambridge kids in the 126 and 145 finals also faced Pope opponents and both of them stuck the Pope kids. Pope could have even won the tournament if those kids lost, but merely stayed off their backs. But they couldn't. Pope also had an opportunity in the 120 and 285 semi finals, but the Cambridge kids stuck the Pope kids at both weight classes. Despite the whining in this article, Cambridge won it on the mat, head to head. I was also dismayed that Haskins wasn't even gracious enough to stick around for the trophy ceremony, but instead had his assistant accept the second place trophy. No class.
The Baron
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February 05, 2014
Yeah, you sound very neutral. Remember this is the Marietta Daily Journal. It covers Marietta and the surrounding area, Cobb Co. It does not cover Fulton Co. or the City of Milton. If you'd like to see a story about how awesome Cambridge wrestling is, read the school paper or the Milton paper. Everyone knows Cambridge earned it, but as you said it was back and forth the whole day and if Pope's guys didn't get injured maybe they would have covered the 3.5 point margin of victory.
Scott Filosi
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February 02, 2014
While I truly feel bad for both injured wrestlers it should be noted that two of Cambridge's best wrestlers could not even participate due to injury and JV wrestlers were in the line up in their place. Cambridge can make excuses as to why the team did not win by a wider margin but we are too busy finding a place for our trophy.
Cambridge Supporter
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February 02, 2014
It is ridiculous to spin this victory by Cambridge the way the paper is doing it. First, Pope wasn't "winning" the tournament before these unfortunate events took place. The meet was back and forth between Pope and Cambridge all day. Second, every team had their ups and downs and all suffered some adversity during the course of the day. That always happens. Heck, Cambridge was missing two starters that didn't even make it to the tournament. These guys would have scored a bunch of points. Geez, give Cambridge some credit for having 5 champions and knocking off Pope. It wasn't as if they just showed up and were awarded a title due to Pope's misfortune.
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