The Sonoraville Firebirds left no doubt who the best team on the mat was on Saturday at the Calhoun New Year’s Duals at Calhoun High as they rolled through their pool to go 4-0 in impressive fashion and then dominated Carrollton in the finals to earn the first-place trophy.
The Firebirds defeated Southeast Whitfield 77-0, Adairsville 66-2, Rockmart 51-22 and Calhoun 76-0 to finish up unbeaten in Pool B and set up a championship showdown against the Trojans. After dropping a few points in the early matches of the final dual, Sonoraville controlled the competition from there, reeling off 57 unanswered points thanks to several incredible individual performances to beat Carrollton 57-17.
“I think we’re right on schedule for where we want to be,” said Sonoraville coach Randy Steward after his team’s performance on Saturday. “I’m very pleased. The kids are excited and are all buying in. They are a great group, and you can see the ones that are getting better and the ones that are already incredible wrestlers. It’s always great to win a first-place trophy. Our goal is to win everything we compete in. I’m happy, but I’m not satisfied. And our kids feel the same way. Our goal is to peak next week at area duals and then again at State Duals. It’s good to get in a duals tournament right before area to be able to see where we are, and I think from what I saw today, we are ready and excited.”
Sonoraville had several wrestlers go undefeated on the day, including Eli Knight, Hector Arbos, Kobe Prater, Gavin Thompson, Allen Stone, Jayce Derryberry, Tyler Hunt, Trevor Burdick, Bailey Hughes and John Knight. Along with his 5-0 day, Eli Knight avenged his only loss so far this season with his win against Carrollton in the finals.
Calhoun had a solid start to the day with two straight wins before dropping a hard-fought match to Rockmart and ending with a lopsided loss to champion Sonoraville. The Jackets defeated Southeast Whitfield in their pool opener, 51-8, and followed that up with a 45-34 victory over Adairsville. They then lost a back-and-forth affair against Rockmart, 35-33, in an overtime match, and finished off the day by dropping a 76-0 decision to the Firebirds.
The Jackets were led by Jonathan Santana, who earned two wins on the day at 106 and Bryson Bowen who scored two victories at 160. Calhoun coach Michael Herndon got several different wrestlers into the lineup, and despite going 2-2 as a team, he said he felt like the day was a success overall.
“I like duals tournaments because you get 10 teams in here in one day, and everyone gets to wrestle four or five times,” said Herndon. “It’s a good way to get a lot of matches in. That’s what we need because we are a young team, and I’m still trying to find where everyone needs to be in what weight. Plus, there were some good teams here today. It’s good to get a tune-up right before area duals. I think if we can get our full lineup like we want it, we can be competitive next week, and that’s all we can ask.”
The Jackets are back on the road on Tuesday for a tri-match at Chattooga along with Dade County. Both Sonoraville and Calhoun will compete at Area 3-AAA Duals starting on Friday at Calhoun once again. The action will wrap up on Saturday as the top two teams will earn a berth to Class AAA State Duals in Macon on Jan. 12-13.
In other recent wrestling action:
Sonoraville finishes third at Battlefield Duals
Sonoraville went 4-1 on Thursday to finish third at the Battlefield Duals in Huntsville, Ala.
The Firebirds defeated Florence (Ala.) 60-18, Jemison (Ala.) 76-6, Sparkman (Ala.) 73-6 and Huntsville (Ala.) 53-25. Their only loss on the day came against Ola (Ga.) 38-31. Sonoraville finished with the most pins as a team with 30 and the most team points.
Going 5-0 on the day was Eli Knight (106), Jayce Derryberry (126), Trevor Burdick (138) and John Knight (195). Allen Stone (120) and Davin O’Neal (152) each went 3-0.