Breaking News


February 14, 2013

State wrestling: Northwest Whitfield's Reynolds ready to deliver on potential

When he was only an eighth-grader, Alex Reynolds demonstrated enough talent to beat high school wrestlers.

That’s why the setbacks he faced the past two seasons were so tough to endure.

But this year, the 145-pound Northwest Whitfield High School junior has found a way to endure injuries, tough competition and high expectations while still enjoying success.

Last weekend at Pickens High School, where he was making his first appearance in sectionals — the round in between area and state in the Georgia High School Association’s traditional tournament postseason — Reynolds validated his middle school potential by qualifying for the Class 4A state tournament.

Competition for Classes 4A through 6A begins at 5:30 p.m. today at the Macon Centreplex — Reynolds will be joined by Northwest sophomore Blake Hayes (106 pounds) — with Classes A through 3A starting with the quarterfinals on Friday.

When Reynolds wrestles his first-round match today, it will be a hefty improvement from what happened in 2011 and 2012. His freshman campaign was cut short after he suffered a concussion in his third match at the Area 7-4A traditional tournament, Bruins coach Allen Tucker said. Reynolds still finished sixth, two places away from advancing to sectionals.

Last season, he finished fifth at area — granting him alternate status for sectionals — and Tucker believes Reynolds might have been better if not dealing with an injured elbow. Reynolds lost by one point to a Creekview wrestler in the consolation semifinals, where a win would have guaranteed a trip to the Class 4A West sectional.

“Any time you have a kid who gets hurt or seems like he is snakebit and has bad luck but has talent, it’s discouraging,” Tucker said. “I bet it was discouraging for him, too.”

Reynolds made the most of this year’s Area 7-4A tournament. He finished first in his class, then followed that with a fourth-place finish in the Class 4A West Sectional to earn a spot in the 16-wrestler state bracket.

He has tried to use his hardships as motivation.

“It really got on my nerves, but I guess it helped push me this year so I could do better and place at area, sectionals and go to state,” said Reynolds, who is 41-6 entering the season’s final weekend.

The unfavorable incidents did not go away, though. Reynolds suffered a midseason shoulder tear, which he was still enduring at area, and had a root canal earlier this week after another incident at sectionals.

“I got an elbow to the mouth, and it cracked my tooth,” he said, noting he will wear a face mask at state. “It’s annoying. It’s like it comes back to get me every year.”

Tucker indicates there’s more of a difference this season than Reynolds’ ability to overcome a few wounds, though. Reynolds said the race for a state title in his weight class is wide open, and the competition is top-notch. In years past, he may have been missing some of the necessary skills to stick with his best foes.

“Alex has always been kind of strong and tried to muscle kids,” Tucker said. “He’s gone back to being a technical wrestler (this season). He has beaten kids on his wrestling ability; he doesn’t have to use a lot of muscle. He’s smart, doesn’t give up a lot of points and keeps himself in the match. He’s just a smart wrestler.

“His first couple years, when he would get in a scramble or a tough match, he’d try to throw a muscle move, and it would backfire. His freshman year, he tried to pin everyone, and you just can’t do it. You just can’t pin everyone.”

The gift was always there. Starting at age 7, wrestling always was Reynolds’ main sport. As a seventh-grader, he attended high school camps and wrestled against the smallest Bruins wrestlers. And “he could beat them,” Tucker said. As an eighth-grader at North Whitfield Middle School, he wrestled on the Northwest junior varsity team and “won most of his matches,” Tucker said.

“He was the most talented freshman we had coming,” Tucker said of Reynolds, a three-time North Georgia Middle School Athletic League champion.

Now he has another goal in his sights. His hope for this season was to reach state and finish in the top six, good enough for a place on the medal stand. It would be the desired stride before a state title becomes his aim as a senior.

“That’s honestly what I’m thinking,” Reynolds said. “I’d like to win it this year. It’s really tough competition. Between the top four wrestlers in sectionals, it’s really close. You never know what could happen. I’d love to win it.

“As long as I place, I’d definitely be happy, and I’d definitely want to win it next year as a senior.”

Text Only
  • NW at DHS baseball (g3) 12 mlh.jpg Bruins aim for 7-4A baseball crown at Cedartown

    Northwest Whitfield High School’s baseball team rode an emotional three-game roller coaster in last season’s Region 7-4A championship series on its way to the title.
    Can the Bruins do it again?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Catamounts defeat Raiders for latest region soccer title

    For Dalton High School’s boys soccer team, the undefeated streak is now at 40 matches.
    For the Catamounts, the far more important number is 2.

    April 22, 2014

  • Prep roundup: Colts beat Mountaineers on PK’s

    Tuesday night was the third time in a row that the Coahulla Creek and North Murray high school boys soccer teams have faced each other and played to a scoreless tie through regulation and overtime.
    In the previous two meetings, North Murray won on penalty kicks.

    April 22, 2014

  • Region golf '14 1 mlh.jpg Prep golf: Dalton boys, NW’s Hayes will play on

    Northwest Whitfield High School junior Ethan Hayes didn’t get the medal he wanted, and Dalton’s boys didn’t get the finish they expected, on Tuesday in the Region 7-4A tournament at Nob North Golf Course.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • DaltonGirlsGolf.jpg Region 7-4A girls golf tournament: Lady Cats are champs again

    In both the Dalton High School sports family and her own, Carson Roberts wanted some bragging rights over older brother Jake Roberts this spring.
    She earned them Monday.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Area prep roundup: Bruins claim third place in Region 7-4A soccer

    Northwest Whitfield High School’s boys soccer team might be growing up just in time for another deep run in the Class 4A state playoffs.

    April 22, 2014

  • Golf at NobNorth 2  mlh.jpg Chris Whitfield's 'A Look Ahead': DHS golfers aim for region titles

    This season, high school golf teams in Murray and Whitfield counties — with a few exceptions — have struggled to put up strong scores on the course. Beyond that, in some cases local schools don’t even have the required amount of golfers to register a team score at region tournaments, per Georgia High School Association rules, with hopes of making the sectional and state tournaments.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area middle school roundup: Martinez comes through for Kodiaks

    Carlos Martinez scored twice to lead New Hope Middle School’s boys soccer team to a crucial 2-1 win over visiting Bagley on Wednesday.

    April 21, 2014

  • DHS at SE soccer 4 mlh.jpg Region 7-4A championship

    If recent history is any indication, this week’s Region 7-4A championship game may not be the last time the boys soccer teams at Dalton and Southeast Whitfield stand opposed to one another this season.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • St Louis at Rampage 4 mlh.jpg No Attack for Rampage

    The Georgia Rampage’s offense didn’t do anything in the first half — evident by the scoreboard.
    By the time new quarterback Bart Gloyd stepped in, a comeback was out of reach.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo