Thursday, December 16, 2010
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Gwinnett Daily Post
Collins Hill will wrestle in the Midwest Classic for the fourth straight year this weekend, but the tournament will have a different feel for the Eagles this time.
Collins Hill enters as the defending champion this time and is once again one of the top teams in the tournament.
“We still have those high expectations,” first-year Collins Hill coach Josh Stephen said. “We’re going to see the best out of Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas. It’s a legitimate top-five tournament in the country.”
The 32-team tournament features eight state championship teams, including the Eagles, who have won the last three Class AAAAA titles.
Collins Hill is ranked No. 26 in the nation by Amateur Wrestling News and will once again be challenged by Park Hill (Mo.), which was second last year.
This is the third out-of-state tournament for Collins Hill this season. The Eagles finished second at the Cougar Invitational in Florida behind No. 4 in the nation Brandon (Fla.). Collins Hill won the Cleveland Duals in Tennessee last weekend. The Eagles still have the Powerade Invitational and Final Four in Pennsylvania later this season on their schedule.
“Overall we’re wrestling pretty well. We’re seeing a lot of improvement,” Stephen said. “We still haven’t hit the big stretch with the Missouri and Pennsylvania trip. More of the storm is coming. It gets tougher as the year goes by.”