Carrollton places second at Trojan Wars

Photo by April Butler:
Photo by April Butler:

The East Carrollton Recreational Center was once again the site of the 'Trojan Wars' on Saturday as the Carrollton High School wrestling team welcomed 11 other teams for the annual December tournament.

As a team, the host Trojans finished as tournament runners-up by going 4-1 in dual competition. They scored victories over Armuchee (54-30), Calhoun (48-30), Spain Park (AL) (54-30) and Lamar County (42-37) before falling to tournament champion South Paulding in the final match (42-36).

Coming off a 42-39 dual victory over Bremen on Wednesday night, Carrollton head coach Michael Cleek was once again content with how his young grapplers performed when facing stiff early-season competition.

"Overall, I am extremely pleased with the team and the way it's running right now. We are very, very underclassmen-heavy. We have a ton of freshmen and sophomores that are starting on this team and they have stepped up and wrestled their rear ends off. I can't brag on them enough," Cleek said afterwards. "At the end they wrestled South Paulding, who has been to the state finals two out of the last three years in 6A. They're a quality program and our kids wrestled them right to the very last match in the championship round."

CHS was led individually by Cameron Bunce (113) and Trevon McDaniel (138), both of whom went a perfect 5-0 on the day.

Also delivering solid efforts on the mat with only one loss were Hunter Pilgrim, Chase Sippola, Brent Parivechio and ShyQuan Johnson.

Cleek once again hurdled praise on his team, especially with some of them re-adjusting from the gridiron to the mat.

"This was a very intense last two duals that we just went through," Cleek said. "For these guys, half of which were playing football last Friday, to come in on this day and perform the way they did, I could not be prouder of them."

A little bit of history was also made during Saturday's event as during Carrollton's battle with Armuchee, Drina Griggs became the first individual to win a girls' wrestling match in program history.

As he does every year, Coach Cleek made sure to give a special shoutout to all of the people that lent a helping hand in making the Trojan Wars possible.

"What makes this tournament special is that I have amazing parents that work their butts off to make sure that we have everything that we need," Cleek said. "I got a great group of kids at Carrollton High School that work and do exactly what they're asked to do. I've got great coaches -- Nick White, Jesse Butler, Mike Mason -- who are one of, if not the best wrestling staff in the state of Georgia. I've got the support of my administration and it makes it where we can do the things that are necessary to put our kids in a position to succeed. To see them come out here and perform the way they did, it really makes me proud."

The Trojans will hit the mats again on Tuesday at Paulding County.