One of north Georgia’s longest-running high school wrestling tournaments once again showcased a plethora of regional talent, as Dawson County hosted the Amicalola Classic on Friday, Dec. 30.
It was a day of challenges and success for the Tigers, who had six wrestlers place in the top four of their weight classes — three third-place finishers and three fourth-place finishers.
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Jesus Arroyo had one of the strongest overall performances for Dawson, earning three wins in the 120-pound class.
In a field of a dozen wrestlers, Arroyo began by defeating Eddie Perez of Chestatee before losing his next match to Adolfo Mojica of Gainesville.
Arroyo would rebound quickly, defeating Chestatee’s Hayden Barroqueiro before winning the third-place match against Hunter Shook of East Hall.
Arroyo was one of two Dawson wrestlers who earned their first career podium placements at the Amicalola Classic — along with fourth-place finisher Aaric Muilenburg.
“Both of those young men came away with big wins at a time when they have been struggling to get their hands raised,” head coach Arron Haynes said. “Not only did they find wins, the wins came at a great time because they put them on the podium for the first time in their careers.”
There was also another strong performance by junior Alex Stewart, whose form continues to improve with the postseason nearing.
Stewart finished third in the 175-pound class, losing his opening match to Joe Anderson of Blessed Trinity before turning up the dial in his next two matches.
After winning against Koen Magnus of Blessed Trinity, Stewart faced a tough test from J.D. Brown of Etowah in the third-place match.
Following a bit of even action, Stewart found an advantage and eventually pinned Brown to the ground.
The other third-place Dawson finisher was Landon Glander, who placed third via forfeit.
Rounding out the placements for the Tigers were fourth-place finishers Noah Roberson and Mason Rosenberg.
Roberson had an eventful day, splitting his four matches. He opened by winning against Thomas Garrett of Etowah before losing to Alex Stoudenmire of East Hall.
In the next match, Roberson won against Ethan Ferrer of West Hall, setting up a rematch with Garrett.
The match proved to be tightly contested, with each wrestler having chances to score points. Garrett would ultimately win the match through his points total.
“Thanks to the hard work of parents, wrestlers, managers, coaches and the community, the Amicalola Classic was a big success as usual. Our community works hard to host one of the oldest events in North Georgia,” Haynes said. “We are going to continue to work hard and get better each week as we prepare for the Traditional Area Tournament at the end of the month.”