With all of the local prep wrestling programs uniting for one final tuneup before the stretch run of the season at the Bowdon Invitational on Saturday, it was the Carrollton High School wrestling team taking down top honors in the 12-team event.
The Trojans had 12 placers, including five first-place finishes, to tally 242.50 points, followed by Heard County (179.00) in second and LaGrange (164.50) in third.
Rounding out the local squads were Central (163.00) in fourth, Haralson County (122.00) in sixth, Mount Zion (104.00) in eighth, Temple (96.00) in ninth, Villa Rica (81.50) in 10th, Bowdon (69.00) in 11th and Bremen (30.00) in 12th as the Blue Devils wrestled their JV guys on Saturday.
Bowdon head coach and Invitational host Scot Raymond was pleased with how the tournament ran under director Nathan Horsley and the slew of volunteers that made it smooth sailing throughout the morning and into the late afternoon.
"We had a good day. I think everybody is happy. We got a lot of wrestling in. Some kids got five matches, which is not great for them at the end of the day, but they got five matches in after not being able to do anything all week," Raymond said. "So that will really benefit a lot of teams going into area next week."
The finals matches provided plenty of excitement, highlighted by the 120-pound overtime thriller between two of the better light weights in the state in Carrollton's Brent Parivechio and C.J. Shadinger of Central.
Parivechio won a 4-3 decision in overtime en route to being named Most Outstanding Light Weight Wrestler of the Tournament, while Mount Zion's Case Jiles was voted the Most Outstanding Heavy Weight Wrestler of the Tournament following his championship performance at 195 pounds.
"The finals lasted almost two hours. That was a long time for finals. That means they were pretty well matched up," Raymond said. "I think we had great competition there. And we had all the local schools here, which always makes it nice."
Along with the first-place finish from Parivechio at 120 pounds, the Trojans also recorded top efforts from Luke Sawyer (132), Jacob Walsingham (152), Hunter Cantoral (160) and Brock Bibbee (182), while second-place showings went out to Kaleb Thomaston (145) and Grant McKinley (170). Chase Sippola (195) placed third, while Scott Loftin (113) and Daniel Dukes (hvy.) came in fifth and Jordan Jackson (106) and Mason Pilgrim (138) rounded out the contingent in sixth.
Carrollton head coach Michael Cleek was encouraged by the overall effort from his squad and was especially proud of the gutsy fight from Parivechio in his war in the finals.
"Parivechio was amazing," Cleek said. "He gutted out a win against one of the best wrestlers in this area. My hat is off to the Shadinger kid. He is phenomenal. Parivechio just dug deep in that overtime period and pulled it out. It could have went either way. Both of those kids deserved to win."
Overall, Cleek thought the entire lineup showed up ready to compete and he is hopeful of using Saturday's performance as a springboard for the 7-AAAAA Traditional Tournament next weekend at Cass.
"We came without two starters and I didn't know if I was going to bring starters. But I thought that we needed to get ready for area. So I brought everybody and my JV and it was a great tournament, well-run by coach Raymond and his people here at Bowdon," Cleek said. "Our guys came in here and took care of business. We had 12 guys that medaled in their weight classes and I was really proud of them."
Carrollton will host its Senior Night on Tuesday with Bowdon, Temple and Sandy Creek coming in for a quad match.