Collins Hill takes first after Day 1

DULUTH - After day one of the Class AAAAA traditional state tournament at the Arena at Gwinnett Center, Collins Hill has taken a narrow lead.

The Eagles have all 14 wrestlers still in the tournament, including nine in the quarterfinals, which begin at 11:45 a.m. today.

"I kind of thought we would still have all of them alive," Collins Hill coach Cliff Ramos said. "I was very pleased with our 103 pounder (David Carson) and our 189 (Will Collins)."

Carson notched two pins to reach the quarterfinals, while Collins beat a region champion to advance.

"We did well, but we could have done better," Ramos said. "We're going to have to pull a lot of upsets to have a shot."

The Eagles are 11 points ahead of McEachern, Walton is third with 63 points, followed by Harrison with 60, Camden County 54 and Parkview with 53.50.

The Panthers have six wrestlers advance to the quarterfinals on Thursday.

"Realistically, that's about how many I thought we'd have with Connor's (Dalton) situation," Parkview co-head coach Dennis Stromie said. "If I had to bet, I'd say Collins Hill will probably pull it out and that's good for them."

Dalton, a state runner-up last year, came into the tournament with an injured shoulder and Stromie was skeptical if he would be able to finish the tournament.

North Gwinnett is in eighth with 48.50 points followed by Brookwood at ninth with 38.50 points to round out Gwinnett teams in the top 10.

"We've still got 10 of our 12 still in," North Gwinnett coach Steve Hassenger said. "I'm pretty happy with the progress we've made so far. The kids are wrestling really hard."

Gwinnett sends 41

to the quarterfinals

Gwinnett County had 41 wrestlers advance to the third round of the state tournament.

Collins Hill leads the ways with nine, while Parkview has sixth and Brookwood five. North Gwinnett, South Gwinnett and Grayson each have four, while Central Gwinnett and Peachtree Ridge each have three. Dacula has two and Berkmar one.

The winners of the quarterfinals move on to the semifinals, which start at 7 p.m.

Good matches in quarters

There's plenty quarterfinals matches with local interest today when the third round begins at 11:45 a.m.

At 135 pounds, two-time state champion Kendall Albert from Peachtree Ridge will face McEachern's Vic Garrett, who has placed fifth the last two years.

Also, Collins Hill's Taylor Knapp, who was third last year, will wrestle Harrison's Alex Medved, who was sixth last season.

Brookwood's John Matyac, who was fifth last year, will wrestler state runner-up Raleigh Abbot from McEachern at 140 pounds.

At 171, Grayson's Nathan Swanson, who was fifth two years ago, will face Tift County's Zach Dunn, a sixth place finisher last year. On the bottom half of the bracket, Collins Hill's Nick Smith will wrestler last year's Class AAAA state champion Jordan Dukes from Hiram. Dukes beat Parkview's Parkview's Dalton, a state runner-up last year, to advance.

Collins upsets Tiller

The biggest local upset of the day in Class AAAAA was in the second round of the 160-pound weight class.

Brookwood's Austin Collins pinned Collins Hill's Gary Tiller, a sixth-place finisher last year, in the first period.

"Yeah, that was a huge win," Brookwood coach Chris Cicora said. "Austin caught Tiller and got him stuck."

With the win, Collins moves on the quarterfinals where he will face Walton's Tucker Hildreth.

Brookwood got another big win over the Eagles when 112-pounder Arnulfo Vega beat Collins Hill's Allen Willard 3-2.

"Everyone's underestimating Vega, but he's a tough wrestler," Cicora said.

Miller Time

Parkview's Jesse Miller has wasted little time on the mat in his recent state tournament matches.

His his last four matches, including his semifinal and state final match last year, Miller has spent a combined 6:51 on the mat.

Miller used a 15 second pin to win his first state title last year and this year he has notched pins in 39 seconds and 4:18.

Dacula has two

in quarterfinals

The Class AAAA tournament began on Wednesday and of Dacula's five wrestlers that qualified two are in the quarterfinals.

Frankie Miller got a big 5-4 win over Woodland's Chace Gulledge to advance in the 112-pound weight class, while Noah Hunt used a technical fall to advance.

"Those were two guys we were pretty much expecting to be in the quarters, semis and finals," Dacula coach Jason Holcombe said.

Tough draw

Shiloh's Daniel Helena got a tough draw for this year's state tournament.

A state runner-up two years ago, Helena lost to Lassiter's Bryan Jacoutot 7-1 on


Jacoutot was a state runner-up last year and third the previous year.