Indians split with LaGrange, Sandy Creek

by Doug Gorman

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East Coweta’s Dusty Nelson gets the upperhand on a Sandy Creek opponent during Wednesday’s tri-match at John Thrower Gym.    

Veteran East Coweta coach Josh Herring knows the best wrestling is still in front of his 2013-14 squad.

Wednesday night the Indians beat Sandy Creek 46-27, but lost to LaGrange 61-24.

East Coweta picked up solid efforts out of sophomore Dusty Nelson (103-pounds) and senior Zach Gabriel (120) as both won twice.

Mikey Barczak (138) also got a pin against LaGrange.

Gabriel finished the night with two pins, while Nelson won both his matches with a pin against LaGrange and a major decision against Sandy Creek.

The Indians enter the early part of the season still trying to evaluate talent and wait to fill holes from the wrestlers still missing from the lineup.

“We are giving up a lot of points in the lineup, Herring said.

Herring calls Nelson and Gabriel quiet leaders.

“They are varsity starters,” Herring said. “The rest are newbees. Gabriel and Nelson have been around here for a minute, and they wrestled like it tonight. They didn’t do anything incredibly impressive, but they wrestled smart. I appreciated their effort, they work hard. There is a lot of leadership in those guys, but they are so quiet. It’s more by example. They do a lot of talking on the mat.”

One of the spots East Coweta had to forfeit Wednesday was at 113, but veteran wrestler Matthew Durham should be back soon.

“He has been really good for us,” Herring said. “We can’t wait to get him back.”

Heavyweight Dawson Ellis is enters the season ranked No. 7 but is still making the transition between football and wrestling.

A year ago, right before the Area tournament, Ellis was sidelined with a staph infection. Kevin Lashley (170) and Blake Green (132) are also due back for the Indians.

Younger wrestlers are also expected to step in.

“We have some freshmen that we are excited about,” Herring said. “People don’t know a whole lot about them yet, but they will. I wouldn’t say we have a whole lot depth, we are sort of a skeleton crew, but when you get the football guys back and you add them to what we got, we are going to be fine.”

Herring gave the wrestlers who are also football players a week off.

“I really felt like it was necessary,” Herring said. “Dawson played through the Newnan game with a numb hand. He is always ready to go and we are excited about getting him back.”

The East Coweta coach is still waiting on word about Tristan Mann (220), who was injured prior to the start of football and missed the entire 2013 schedule.

“He tore that knee up, so I don’t know if we are going to get him back are not,” Herring said. “He is ready, we just are not sure.

Herring is also trying to make a wrestling sales pitch to freshman Jeremiah Gemmel. The defensive end on the football team made a huge impact in his first season of high school football, and Herring thinks he could succeed in the winter sport of high school wrestling.

Gemmel would probably wrestle at 195.

“I think I almost have him talked into,” Herring said. “He hasn’t wrestled a day in his life, but most of these guys haven’t. That has never stopped us before, and it won’t stop us now.”

Although, LaGrange won it portion of the meet with East Coweta thanks to forfeits and pins, the Indians with the wins from Nelson and Gabriel.

The team also added a pin from Edgar Servano (285).

East Coweta was also helped from the middle of the line-up getting three straight pins Garrett Klinger (145), Zach Wallace (152) and senior James Walker (160).



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