The Greyhounds advanced six of their 10 qualifiers into the quarterfinals following the opening day of competition at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Pope, however, couldn’t separate itself from the rest of the pack and sat second in the Class AAAA standings with 17.5 points, behind leader Loganville (18.5). Alexander is third with 15.5, followed by Ola (14) and Creekview (12).
Returning state champion Cameron Munsey led the way with a win at 113 pounds. Also moving on the quarterfinals were Davis Burson (138), Jake Henson (152), Billy Meek (160), Joey Tabachino (170) and Trevor Stevens (195).
Tyler Haskin suffered a cut on his head that later required 12 stitches during his match at 120 pounds, and coach Jim Haskin — Tyler’s father — elected to pull him out of the tournament for safety reasons.
Jim Haskin wasn’t shy about his feelings towards the effort of his wrestlers.
“We brought 10 guys and only six made it the quarterfinals,” he said. “That’s just above .500, and going just above .500 doesn’t win you state championships. Everything that could have gone wrong over the last three weeks went wrong on this one day. It looks like guys just gave up and didn’t try. We did have the one unfortunate accident, but the effort from the guys, I think, was the worst breakdown I’ve seen in 20 years of coaching.
“To me, the team race is over. I don’t see us coming back and winning. A lot of selfishness cost us the tournament. The truth hurts. It looked like they didn’t want to wrestle. I mean, six wins and no pins? They’re going to need a magical night of sleep to come back from this.”
Overall, 37 Cobb County wrestlers advanced to today’s quarterfinals. Three Class AAAAA teams — Hillgrove, Lassiter, and Kennesaw Mountain — each moved four wrestlers through, while Wheeler and Harrison each advanced three. Walton qualified two and Campbell, Marietta and McEachern each had one.
Hillgrove, who scored 12 points along with Kennesaw Mountain and are tied for ninth place in the Class AAAAA team standings, has Cameron Westerman (106), Russell Scott (126), Simon Groeneveld (152) and Nathan Pinnell (170) alive in the championship rounds. The Mustangs have Demarcus Thomas (120), Chris Murdock (126), Rene Gutierrez (160) and Justan Rivera (170).
Lassiter sat fifth overall with 16 points, behind defending state champion Collins Hill (32.5). Camden County (28) is second, followed by Archer (27) and North Gwinnett (21.5).
The Trojans’ four quarterfinalists are Paul Pelletier (120), Caleb Beaver (145), Scott Marmoll (160) and Mo Nyang (195).
Harrison (10) is tied for 12th place in the team standings after moving Deuce White (132), Anthony Fiacco (152) and Jake Shumpert (285) into the quarters.
“I thought the guys wrestled well,” Harrison coach Tom Fiacco said. “We lost two close matches with Dylan Porter at 195 and James Douglas at 182. I thought we’d get those five through, but we only got the three. We’re capable of winning a lot of matches (today), so the kids have a fair shot at coming back. Our guys in the quarterfinals have a good shot and reaching the semis as well.”
Wheeler (7) is 20th with Aaron McGilvery (145), Alfonso Ballard (182) and Darian Richardson (195) through.
Jacob Murphy (120) and Dalton Hall (182) helped Walton (6) tie for 21st.
Also advancing in Class AAAAA was Marietta’s Lawton Ward (170), Campbell’s Jamez Taylor (132) and McEachern’s Christian Wade (182).
In Class AAAA, Kell wrestlers Steven Summey (152), Michael Lattizori (160) and Chris Gaines (195) moved on, while Sprayberry’s Thomas Cook (152) and Collin Schalk (152) also advanced.
Kell scored seven points and is tied for 19th overall, while Sprayberry (6) is tied for 22nd.
Allatoona sat tied for 12th in Class AAA with 11 points, well behind leaders Heritage-Catoosa (32.5), Carrollton (26) and Gilmer (20).
Will Kemp (132), Cody Webb (182) and Bryson Brindle (220) all advanced to today’s quarterfinals for the Buccaneers, with Webb and Brindle earning pins.
Competition continues today with consolation rounds at 8:30 a.m. The championship quarterfinals for all classes begin at 11 a.m. and the semifinals for all classes commence at 7 p.m.
Consolation semifinal matches for all classes begin Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and the championship finals are slated for 4 p.m.