Sports

January 18, 2014

Southeast Whitfield's Austin Allen wins Murray Invite; hoped to face rival

Entering Saturday’s Murray Invitational wrestling tournament at Murray County High School, one of the most highly anticipated matchups was expected to occur in the championship of the 182-pound weight class between two of the area’s top senior competitors — Southeast Whitfield’s Austin Allen and Dalton’s Sidney Wheeler.

But Wheeler, a Class 3A state champion in 2012, didn’t compete in the event because he was serving a “brief suspension” from the team.

Allen was there, though, and he walked away with a second-period pin of Murray County’s Dustin Gibson in the finals as he claimed the title and helped lead Southeast to a fifth-place finish in the 12-team field. Gordon Lee won the team title.

“I was really looking forward to facing Sidney again because the last time we faced each other we went all out and I got gassed at the end,” said Allen, who lost 9-6 to Wheeler in the first meeting this season between the two. “I was sort of disappointed that he wasn’t here.”

In fact, Dalton was without its top three wrestlers — Wheeler, Dylan Carlile (132) and Brian Nuñez (138). Carlile and Nuñez were competing in the Sham Slam tournament at Habersham Central.

Dalton coach Michael Keefe provided few details on Wheeler, but he did say he would return to the mats at the Darlington Invitational this coming Saturday.

“Sidney will be back next weekend, but he is serving a brief suspension for an incident at school,” Keefe said. “It wasn’t nothing too bad, but it could have been avoided.”

Allen and Wheeler will likely not face each other until the Area 7-4A traditional tournament on Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at Cass, and Allen said he is looking forward to facing Wheeler — who dealt him his only loss this season — as a measuring stick before quest for a state title begins. Still, he was fairly confident he and Wheeler would be seeing each other soon.

“I have been going all out trying to get into the best shape I can be in for state,” said Allen, who finished one win away from medaling at last year’s state tournament. “My knee is the only thing bugging me, but it is all mental at this point. You just have to suck it up and move on.”

Allen was one of two Southeast wrestlers to bring home a championship on Saturday. Omar Ruiz won at 120, wasting little time in getting a first-period pin over Gordon Lee’s Nick Wilson. Ruiz is another Raider who is primed for the area tournament.

“I am pumped up for it,” said Ruiz, who went 3-0. “I am feeling pretty good, and I am looking to make the finals.”

Murray County and Coahulla Creek each had two second-place finishers, while Dalton and North Murray each had one.

Gordon Lee’s team title came as five Trojans won individual titles and eight wrestlers reached the finals. Gordon Lee finished with 185 points, with North Hall (166.5) second and Ringgold (134) third. Murray County (84) was fourth, finishing three points better than Southeast.

Dalton (65) finished eighth, followed by North Murray (54) and Coahulla Creek (53).

Gordon Lee 113-pounder Jonathan Ragsdale was presented the Todd Granger Memorial Award to the outstanding wrestler of the tournament. The award is named in honor of the former Murray County standout who died in an automobile accident in 1995. Ragsdale was presented the award by Granger’s father, Tim.

While Allen ended Gibson’s run in the tournament, Murray County had another title shot at 195, where Clay Thornbury took on Gordon Lee’s Shane Farmer. The two were tied 1-1 in the third period when Farmer was awarded a point after Thornbury was called for stalling. That proved to be the difference in the match.

Also earning medals for Murray County were third-place Domingo Bautista (113) and Seth Gilbert (220) and fourth-place Austin McCall (126).

Southeast’s Ismael Sandoval was third at 126 and Noah Bartenfield was fourth at 106, while Dalton got a second-place finish from Ivan Rivers (138) and fourth-place finishes from Erik Villalobos (132), Daniel Valdez (152) and Werner Braun (170).

North Murray was led by Ethan Center’s second-place finish at 160 with Brandon Adams (285) taking third and Alex Gambino (113) and Micha Burgess (138) each taking fourth. Coahulla Creek was paced by Levi Kinsey (106) and Joseph Long (152), who were both second.

• Northwest Whitfield finished fifth out of 12 teams at the Johns Creek Duals.

The Bruins lost 51-28 versus Mountain View and fell 40-27 to North Forsyth. They won 40-33 against Berkmar, 50-29 against Paulding County and 48-26 against Mountain View’s “B” team.

Brian Gembe (106) and Blake Hayes (113) each won all four of their matches for Northwest, while Jonathan Bergeman (132) and Austin Taylor (152) each went 4-1. Timmy Peters (126) went 3-1.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 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

  • Former Dalton, Auburn QB Carter passes away

    When former Dalton High School football coach Bill Chappell learned one of his former players had died Saturday, he was shocked. His second reaction was sadness, not just because of Loran Carter’s athletic legacy but also his outstanding character.

    April 19, 2014

  • Golf at NobNorth 1  mlh.jpg Prep golf: DHS, rain steady for Nob Invite

    With the Region 7-4A tournament scheduled for Tuesday at Nob North Golf Club, Dalton coach Hunter Johnston was pleased that his team finally got its first victory of the season Saturday in Cohutta at the Nob North Invitational.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Doug Hawley: Cancer will not hinder Run for John’s finish

    With the seventh annual Run for John races scheduled for Saturday in Dalton, there is a community focus this week on the family of the late John Bruner.

    April 19, 2014

  • DSC women win finalé

    The Dalton State College women’s tennis team earned a 5-0 win in a rain-shortened match at home against Snead State to conclude its season.

    April 19, 2014

  • Play ball on the Westside

    The long-awaited Westside Park opened to rave reviews on April 10, with baseball teams ranging from 6 to 12 years christening the the newest Whitfield County recreation facility.

    April 19, 2014

  • DHS at Heritage 1 mlh.jpg Generally disappointed

    Dalton High School’s baseball team started the fifth inning of Friday’s crucial Sub-region 7B-4A game against Heritage-Catoosa with four consecutive hits.
    The only problem for the Catamounts was that was where their good hitting started and stopped.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Prep roundup: Upset puts N. Murray in baseball playoffs

    Over the past few seasons, a late-season game with Sonoraville has been the deciding factor in whether the North Murray High School baseball team advanced to the state playoffs.

    April 18, 2014

  • Miller, Mariners off to NAIA title tournament

    Former Dalton High School golf standout Chase Miller is finishing his senior year at College of Coastal Georgia on a high note.

    April 18, 2014