Brookwood's wrestling team had to break in seven new starters with little or no varsity experience this season.
Broncos head coach Chris Cicora thought it might take some time to develop a competitive lineup.
Nearly a month into the season, he's been pleased with the progress. Brookwood was won two tournaments this season and will go for a third when it hosts the Brookwood Invitational today and Saturday.
"I didn't know who we had coming back," Cicora said. "We had a great summer of training. They've really built on that and it's starting to pay off."
Brookwood has an 11-2 record and tournament wins at the Dacula Duals and Woodstock Duals.
"By no means are we a top five team in the state," Cicora said. "But if we keep progressing, we can be a top 10 in the state."
Cicora has been impressed with junior Drew McCorkle and senior Tory Long. McCorkle is having a breakout year at 113 pounds with a 12-0 record after spending the last two seasons on the JV and placing third at King of the Hill.
Long was one of the top wrestlers in the state last year, but couldn't finish the year due to weight issues. He's in the 138-pound weight class and seems to have his weight under control with a 10-0 record.
Senior Blake Cunningham is 7-0 this season, while junior Terrell Anderson is 10-3 and freshman Stephen Solamon is 10-3.
"The thing about them being young is they are hungry and willing to work," Cicora. "The boys are wrestling tough and we have been getting better week to week."
Brookwood is one of the favorites at the Brookwood Invitational this weekend, but will miss seniors Alex Cao and Cunningham, who are taking the ACTs.
The field also includes Marist, Flowery Branch, Lovett, Stephenson, Parkview, South Gwinnett, Lithonia, Norcross, Mountain View, St. Pius, Marietta, Lakeside Dekalb, Central Carrolton, George Walton Academy, South Paulding, Loganville, Shiloh, Kennesaw Mountain and Redan.
"It looks like not everyone is bringing a full lineup because of the ACTs," Cicora said. "Loganville has looked tough early in the season. They are probably the team to beat."
Norcross gets win No. 11
Norcross only had three wins last season, but the Blue Devils are off to a much better start this year. Norcross improved to 11-6 on the season after beating Mill Creek 51-18 and North Oconee 57-23 on Wednesday.
Tevin Shaw, Wilson Molina, Mustiteli Mubuso, Jordan Ritchie, Nick Jones, Tommy Savoy, Charles Cook and Isaiah Hinsley all went 2-0 for Norcross.
Shiloh takes third at Stockbridge Invitational
Despite not having its best wrestler, Shiloh still took third at the Stockbridge Invitational on Saturday.
The Generals were without senior Ryan Mosley, a state placer last year, who was taking the SAT. Mosley is undefeated at 138 pounds this season.
Adan Valesquez (120 pounds), Chad Williams (145), Adam Carter (152), Triston Golden (220) were runner-up at the tourney. Harden Helm (132) was third, while Jared Dublin (160), Grady Bryant (170) and Quesi Cato (182) placed fourth.
Parkview had six freshmen in the starting lineup at the Southern Slam in Greenville, S.C., last weekend. Four of them won at least one match in their first varsity tournament. Micah Whitley went 2-2 at 106 pounds, Andrew Webb (120) went 3-2 and Will Anderson (126) went 3-2.
Junior Khalil Shakur has been the biggest bright spot for the young team. Shakur started the season 1-3 but has won seven of his last 10, which included a fourth-place finish at the Southern Slam.
North takes third at Jackson County
North Gwinnett finished third in the 20-team tournament at Jackson County on Saturday.
The Bulldogs had four wrestlers reach the finals and were led by Alex Stoehr's win at 285 pounds.
Hunter Franklin (113), Dalton Daniel (126) and Brett Byerly (215) were runners-up. John Hyer placed fourth at 120.
Hawks' Bain doing well
Mill Creek hasn't had much success early in the season, but Bryan Bain is hoping to turn that around. The 126-pounder is 15-1 this season and has been the biggest bright spot for the Hawks early in the year.
Wolves Hornbuckle wins tourney
Wesleyan's Brent Hornbuckle won the 170-pound weight class at the Dalton Carple Classic on Saturday. His teammate Rhett Delk also placed, taking third at 182 pounds.
The Wolves will compete in the Alpharetta Rumble this weekend.