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Parkview wins fifth straight Area 8 title

LILBURN - Many of the names are different for the Parkview wrestling team for the 2007-08 season.

However, the result for the Panthers in this year's Area 8-AAAAA dual meet championships was the same.

Parkview recorded wins over Meadowcreek and Grayson before dominating the upper weight classes to roll to a 43-24 victory over archrival Brookwood in the finals Saturday at its home gym.

The championship was the fifth straight for the Panthers (11-4), who will carry the area's top seed into the Class AAAAA state duals next weekend at the Macon Centreplex. It was their first without former head coach Dennis Stromie, who left to start the program at the new West Forsyth High School.

And while Tom Beuglas is a veteran of area dual titles as a co-coach with - and before that, as an assistant under - Stromie, Saturday's title was a new experience to many of the Panther wrestlers.

"We graduated a lot of kids last year," Beuglas said. "Most of our guys wrestled (junior varsity) last year. So, this means a lot. It's been different (this season), but it's been a fun challenge, especially with such a young team."

Though they are young in years in some cases, many of the Panthers looked like seasoned veterans Saturday. Parkview posted wins of 78-6 over Meadowcreek and 42-18 over Grayson to cruise into the finals against neighborhood rival Brookwood.

There, Parkview's upper weight class wrestlers set the tone after Daniel Coyle gave the Broncos and early 3-0 lead with his 9-3 decision over Frank Gaddy at 160 pounds.

Matt Johnson responded with a 9-1 major decision over Kyle Smith at 171 to vault Parkview into a 4-3 lead. The Panthers got pins from Brent McFall at 189, Brian Farris at 215 and Matt Elakat at 285 to take a commanding 22-3 lead.

Kevin O'Connor (103) of Parkview and Arnulfo Vega (112) of Brookwood then split the next two matches to keep the Panthers' lead at 19 points. Kevin McCraw earned a major decision at 119, Josh Davis scored a technical fall at 125 and Alex Hillis decisioned David Collister 6-0 at 130 to clinch the title.

With Brookwood having not faced Grayson - which came out of the consolation bracket with wins over Central Gwinnett and Shiloh after splitting its opening two matches with South Gwinnett and Parkview - earlier in the draw, the two squared off to determine the true second-place finisher.

In that match, the Rams raced to a 20-point lead only to see the Broncos rally with wins from Collister and Andrew Pace to close to within striking distance.

But Grayson's Roman Mangini's pin of Will Goodwin with 15 seconds left in their 140-pound match gave the Rams an insurmountable lead. That allowed the Rams to forfeit the final three matches and hold on for a 38-36 victory to join Parkview in Macon as the region's No. 2 seed.

Grayson's Brad Hobby (103), Nick Isburgh (119), Jon Isburgh (125), Mike Yurk (189), Joseph Champaign (215) and Michael Dixon (285) also won matches for the Rams.

It was a familiar battle as Grayson (16-13) and Brookwood have battled each other for second the past four years, with each team now winning twice.

But it was his team's surviving five duals in one day - led by a 4-1 day from Brad Hobby at 103 pounds - that was particularly satisfying for Grayson coach Steve West.

"I'm real proud of our guys," West said. "We had a couple of weight classes that were banged up. The kids gutted it out and showed me something - that they want to be champions. That's what makes this win so much more enjoyable."

SideBar: Area 8-AAAAA finals

Parkview 43, Brookwood 24

103 pounds: Kevin O'Connor (Parkview) dec. Sean Thomas (Brookwood), 9-6

112: Arnulfo Vega (Brookwood) dec. Clint Jones (Parkview), 3-1

119: Kevin McAraw (Parkview) maj. dec. Austin Ketterling(Brookwood), 14-4

125: Josh Davis (Parkview) technical fall Joe Epps (Brookwood), 20-4 (4:29)

130: Alex Hillis (Parkview) dec. David Collister (Brookwood), 6-0

135: Carson Fields (Parkview) won by forfeit

140: Andrew Pace (Brookwood) pinned Alex Graham (Parkview), 1:10

145: John Matyac (Brookwood) won by forfeit

152: David McClafferty (Brookwood) won by forfeit

160: Daniel Coyle (Brookwood) dec. Frank Gaddy (Parkview), 9-3

171: Matt Johnson (Parkview) maj. dec. Kyle Smith (Brookwood), 9-1

189: Brent McFall (Parkview) pinned Chris Roman (Brookwood), 1:45

215: Brian Farris (Parkview) pinned Kadeem Robinson (Brookwood), 0:41

285: Matt Elakat (Parkview) pinned Vincent Ogbonnia (Brookwood), 2:54