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Newton Wrestling earn three senior night wins in preparation for area duals
Newton wrestling
The Newton Rams wrestling senior group poses with members of their family on senior night prior to their wins against the Morrow Mustangs, Hampton Hornets and Stockbridge Tigers. Photo by Michael Pope.

COVINGTON, Ga. -  The Newton Rams wrestling team took care of business on Senior Night with three commanding wins at home over Stockbridge, Morrow and Hampton. 

The Rams started their night by winning over a Morrow Mustangs squad that only boasted a few wrestlers to contend. The Mustangs put up a good fight with the wrestlers that competed, but the forfeits in other weight classes were too much to overcome. 

Following the Rams win over the Mustangs was an absolute tough matchup against the Hampton Hornets. The match came down to the very end where the play of two Rams seniors would ultimately be the difference in the match.

With two matches remaining and the Rams down by a score of 35-27, the Rams needed wins from seniors Rishaun Peeples and Micah Bryant, and they did not disappoint. 

Bryant’s match was more of a grind and ended up taking up all three periods before he eventually earned a 2-1 decision win. This win would pull the tally closer in the Rams favor with only Peeples left in a 35-30 match.

Peeples needed a pin to help his team pull ahead, and he did just that in his only match of the night. Peeples six points led to a final match total in favor of the Rams by a score of 36-35. 

The Rams would follow this gritty performance with one of pure domination over the opposition as they outscored the Stockbridge Tigers 65-6 to close out the night.

A strong senior night showing with Area Duals only a few days away could be a well-timed confidence boost for this Rams squad. With it being senior night, head coach Tommy Gregory could not be more proud of the work of his seniors and how they have stepped up as a whole.

When asked what he was most proud of with his senior group, Gregory quickly said one word that he believes sets them apart from year’s past

“Camaraderie, I haven’t seen this level of camaraderie on the wrestling team in many years,” Gregory said. “We have 14 seniors, we’re going to graduate those guys, but thankfully there’s not a disparity between the group coming up. They’ve been a really exciting group and have even acted like coaches for much of the year.”

The mentoring from the seniors to underclassmen has led to newfound success. With this group being the first group ever from Newton High School to win the Newton Cup, Gregory believes this senior class has helped turn some heads and see what the wrestling team at Newton is doing. 

“We’re bringing a lot of attention to wrestling in this school, and it has a lot to do with these seniors,” Gregory said. “You see them on the mat right now; those are the seniors out there coaching. We don’t even have to say much because they’re on the mat coaching the underclassmen.”

Gregory made it known how proud he was of this senior group and how he wanted to celebrate this group as a whole for their excellence. However, throughout the match, Gregory could be overheard telling his guys, “don’t take them to the dance,” and he went into detail of what he meant by that.

“My philosophy is that the longer you dance with a wrestler, the more time he has to do to you what you plan to do to him,” Gregory said. “We try to be an offensive force, keep those guys on the defense, don’t give them the ball, which is an opportunity to score, and get those guys out in the first period, so that’s what I wanted to see more of tonight, but other than that I’m satisfied.”

Gregory will hope his guys can execute more of an offensive gameplan and not “take guys to the dance” on Saturday, Jan. 11, in area duals at Rockdale County High School starting at 9 a.m.