High School Wrestling

Effort at area duals good experience for Vikings

by Doug Gorman

FAYETTEVILLE-It may not show up in the overall results, but first-year Northgate wrestling coach John Waters is optimistic the Vikings will only grow from their experience at Saturday's Region 4-AAAAA duals held at Starr's Mill High School.

After getting several forfeits en route to beating Mt. Zion, the Vikings time at the double-elimination tournament came to a quick end with losses to Forest Park and top-seed Whitewater.

The Vikings' biggest drawback Saturday was trying to fill holes at the upper weights.

'We are missing some people there,' Waters said. 'Still our lower weights are trying to get better, and I think they are.'

One upper-weight class where Northgate won't have a problem as the team gears up for a possible run the traditional state tournament is at 220. Nick Moren won all three of his matches, earning two pins in the process.

He is now setting himself up for a possible No. 1 seed at the traditional area tournament.

The Vikings also picked up a solid efforts from Michael Geres (113) and Robert McNeal (126).

PlansaretogetMcNealdowntothe120-weight class during the last month of the season. Region 4-AAAAA is one of toughest in the state with Union Grove, Ola, Whitewater and McIntosh among the best programs in the state so the win or loss, the competition will only help.

'We lost to a good Forest Park and Whitewater squads, but overall, it was a good experience,' Waters said.

Jacob Kessinger (113), Angel Fuentes (138), Alexander DiToronto (160), Christian Knoblock (170), and Reginald Ellis (285) are among the athletes who have wrestled well for Northgate.

Freshman Kyle Cater, who has impressed in his first varsity season, and Blake Lewis have shared time at 182. Lewis was a county champion at 195 pounds for the Vikings at the annual tri-match with East Coweta and Newnan in December.

Waters, however, said he believes just getting his young wrestlers to compete at the Region 4-AAAAA duals will only make his team better.

'Next year, they will finally know what is going on,' he said. 'At a tournament like this, you are getting experience. We are not just looking at pure wrestling, we are looking at everything else on a much larger scale.'



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