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Allen makes collegiate pledge
Rockdale County High School wrestler Alonzo Allen made his collegiate pledge Friday afternoon, signing with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in a ceremony including friends, family, coaches and teammates. - photo by Matt Smith

Rockdale County High School wrestler Alonzo Allen capped off his stellar career Friday morning by inking his National Letter of Intent with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

The Bulldogs’ senior joins the Division I program after a 45-1 2013-2014 campaign. Allen captured his second consecutive state title, bringing home top honors in the 113-pound weight class.

Along the way, Allen captured first place finishes at the South Metro and East Metro meets this season, as well as earning third place All-American honors at the 25th Annual National High School Coaches Association Wrestling Championships.

Over his four seasons with the Rockdale program, Allen has compiled a 163-12 record, capturing his first state title last season in the 106-pound weight class. Allen finished as the 106-pound runner-up his freshman and sophomore seasons.

“It feels great signing today,” Allen said. “I’ve made myself proud, my family proud and Rockdale County proud. It’s just an exciting day for me and I’m glad I’m able to give back to a program that has given me so much.”

Allen chose the Mocs’ program after fielding interest from Nebraska, Iowa Central and Brewton-Parker College.

“Whether I start next year or redshirt, I just want to go out and have a good season,” Allen said. “The first year I’m on the mat I plan to do some big things.

“Rockdale has done a great job preparing me – everything from my education to wrestling,” he said. “My teachers have always had my back and have been really supportive. The coaching staff has always pushed me and tried to make me become my best. Finally, my classmates and teammates have been a big support system. They always congratulate me in class or at our meets and they’ve really kept me going.”

Rockdale wrestling coach Chris Hargrove said that a wrestler like Allen doesn’t come around very often.

“He came in as a ninth grader and made an immediate impact reaching the state finals,” Hargrove said. “He has only improved from there. A kid like Alonzo only comes around once in a while and Rockdale has been fortunate to have him.

“It’s a great day for Alonzo and his family and it’s a great day for our program,” he said. “He has put the work in from day one and he’s given us everything he’s got. I’m excited to see what he can do on the Division I stage. I believe with him that the sky is the limit.”

The Mocs’ program went 16-7 last season in dual tournaments with a 7-0 mark in Southern Conference action.