The Greyhounds placed all 14 of their wrestlers into today’s semifinals, totaling 119.5 points as they look to earn their sixth straight county title.
“How’s that for a birthday present?” said Pope coach Jim Haskin, who turned 46 Friday. “We got all 14 of our guys into the semifinals, and I’m not sure if that’s ever been done before in the county tournament — getting all your guys through in the championship round.
“We just wrestled really well (Friday). They were firing on all cylinders and we got a ton of pins and back points to take a pretty good lead. Our guys want to be champs (Saturday) because this is a pride thing going against your peers in the county. The semifinals should be great.”
Four other teams — Hillgrove (52.5), Kennesaw Mountain (52), Allatoona (50) and Wheeler (49.5) — are separated by just three points between the No. 2 and No. 5 spots.
Hillgrove moved five into the semifinals, Kennesaw Mountain and Wheeler each advanced four and Allatoona placed three.
Rounding out the top 10 were Marietta (43), Lassiter (42.5), Harrison (39), McEachern (35) and Campbell (31). The remaining teams include Kell (29 points), Walton (18), South Cobb (15), Sprayberry (13), North Cobb (12.5), Osborne (9), Mount Paran Christian (6), North Cobb Christian (4) and Pebblebrook (2).
There were no major upsets among any of the top two seeds in any weight class.
Hillgrove’s Cameron Westerman (126 pounds), Lassiter’s Paul Pelletier (120), Pope teammates Davis Burson (138) and Jake Henson (152) and Kennesaw Mountain’s Justan Rivera (182) are all returning champions. Westerman and Pelletier are aiming for their third consecutive county titles.
Joining Westerman in the semifinals for Hillgrove are Carlin Powell (113), Jacob Stanko (138), Garrett Johnson (152) and Peyton Hewitt (220).
“I think our guys wrestled well — even the ones who lost,” Hillgrove coach Luke McSorley said. “We brought 14 guys here, so that makes a difference when you have someone in every weight class, and we got a lot of pins.
“We just need to keep doing what we’re doing. Nothing different — just wrestle tough. Anything can happen (Saturday), but so far, so good.”
Kennesaw Mountain’s semifinalists include Rivera, Wil Clavecilla (106), Augusto Paes (138) and Rene Guttierez (170).
“The wrestlebacks is where us guys, bunched up at No. 2 through 5, are going to separate ourselves,” Kennesaw Mountain coach Roberto Rivera said. “We need to come back hard in those rounds. We had some tough losses (Friday) and we’ll need to regroup to get as close as possible to Pope.”
Allatoona’s semifinalists include Ethan Benedict (113), Logan Southard (126), and Cody Webb (182). Wheeler advanced Aslan Kilic (106), Wysmark Chaves (132), Aaron McGilvery (138) and K.C. Shaw (285).
The tournament concludes today with wrestlebacks at 8:30 a.m. and the championship semifinals slated for 11 a.m. The finals, including matches for fifth and third place, are scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.