Once again, Augusta’s wrestling hopes are with Glenn Hills and Westside.
For the second year in a row, the two programs are the area’s representatives at the Georgia High School Association State Team Duals Championship. The tournament, run in a bracket format in Macon, begins today and finishes Saturday night.
“I think Augusta will be represented well,” Patriots coach Kevin Waters said. “I think both teams will do well. I think we’ll show the state.”
Though the two teams come in unheralded when compared with some of the top teams in Class AAA, both foresee success. A year ago, Glenn Hills lost two close matches and Westside went 1-2, winning its second.
At this year’s tournament, Westside meets Locust Grove on the mat at 10:15 this morning while the Spartans go up against McNair at noon.
Waters thinks his team’s chances to advance could hinge with Tyler Leverett at 145 and Calvin Mitchell at 152. Favorable results at 195 and 220 will also put the Patriots in position to beat some teams, Waters said.
As for Glenn Hills, the Spartans go in on a high note after beating Westside in a thrilling match at this past Saturday’s region duals. Glenn Hills fell behind 20-0 and 30-12 before crucial pins from the likes of Devonte Tyler and Michael O’Neal soon made it 31-30 Spartans.
Clinton Dunlap then won by fall in the final match to give his squad a 37-30 win and the region crown. The two had finished in reverse order in 2011.
“It boosted up our self-confidence,” said O’Neal, who wrestles at 285. “It shows us we can be a No. 1 team.”
With the Glenn Hills wrestlers in championship-level form in the region, the next step is to turn heads in Macon.
“Bottom line is, we’re going there to win,” Glenn Hills coach Mark McCall said. “We’re going out there to give it our all for our community and for God. That’s just what we got to be about: be focused and ready for the next step. I have a good feeling we’re going to win.”