The Trojan Wars came down to a pair of local powers vying for the top spot on Saturday afternoon at the East Carrollton Recreation Center.
In the end, defending Class AAA state champion Bremen prevailed over host Carrollton in a 49-30 decision to cap off a 5-0 showing, while the Trojans also had a strong performance by going 4-1 for the day in the 12-team event.
The Blue Devils rolled to victories over Paulding County (69-12), Northwest Whitfield (44-28), Starr's Mill (48-28) and Oxford, Alabama (60-21) before closing a busy weekend against Carrollton.
With officially getting the competitive season underway this week, Bremen head coach Tony Armas considered it a productive past few days with welcoming the Trojans in for a dual match on Wednesday night and hosting the Mount Zion Screamin' Eagle on Friday evening before getting five matches in on Saturday.
"The first week out, we've still got some issues. We've got some guys that are new to the lineup, new to varsity wrestling and they're going to get a big dose next week up in Tennessee (at the Dobyns-Bennett Classic). Of course, a lot of them have been up there and wrestled in the JV event, but they've never wrestled in the varsity event," Armas said. "We've just got a lot of growing up to do. I think we've got some guys that have got to solidify our lineup."
Carrollton head coach Michael Cleek was also pleased with the effort from his troops on Saturday, as the Trojans earned victories over Oxford (54-18), Kennesaw Mountain (60-24), Calhoun (69-12) and Spain Park, Alabama (57-19) before falling to the Blue Devils in the finale.
"Our kids wrestled their hind end off," Cleek said. "Five duals, that's why we call it the 'Trojan Wars.' We want guys to come in here and work hard, get after it and our kids did. They answered the bell. They were challenged to defend their home territory. We came up a little bit short, but I'm really proud of the way we fought. Every match, every dual, our kids came out, worked hard and got better. It's all working toward the state tournament, and the Carrollton Trojans as a whole got better and that makes me proud. Are we pleased that we didn't win? No. But getting second is a lot better than being last. I'm proud of the accomplishment that our kids made (Saturday)."
Brent Parivechio and Grant McKinley went undefeated for the Trojans on the day at 5-0, while Luke Sawyer, Luke Frost, Jacob Walsingham and Kaleb Thomaston all went 4-1.
"So we had some guys that went out there and battled and won some matches for us. We swapped some guys in and out to get some different looks. We altered our lineup a little bit against Bremen and that got us a little bit of an improvement against them. It's a good measuring stick for us moving forward because that's a quality opponent. They're year-in and year-out in the state finals as a duals team," Cleek said.
As far as serving host to the Trojans Wars, Cleek commended the parental and administrative support in making it a well-oiled machine from the competition to the hospitality.
"I have the best group of parents in west Georgia. They came out and they worked. I really want to give a shout out to Wynter McKinley, Angie Sippola and April Butler for being our parent reps and working so hard. Mr. and Mrs. Hubbard, they ran a phenomenal hospitality room. I cannot think of anything that would have made this tournament better," Cleek said. "What our parents did for us, our administration giving us the opportunity, and I'd like to thank the Carrollton Parks and Rec for letting us use the facility. Now we've just got to get better."
In other prep wrestling action from Saturday:
The Haralson County High School wrestling team finished in second place in the Clark Rich Cradle Classic at LaGrange High School on Saturday.
The Rebels defeated Bowdon, Brookstone (55-18) and LaGrange (51-30) before falling to Smith's Station (Ala.).
Individually, Haralson County had strong showings from freshman Jacob Wilson, who went 3-0 at 106 pounds, while 4-0 performances went out to seniors Adrian Wilson (120) and Blake Rice (126) and sophomore Caleb Hardeman (220), while senior heavyweight Faizun Ray was 3-1, as was freshman Richard Hyatt at 170 and sophomore Trey Lovelace at 182.
The Rebels return home to host Ranburne, Bowdon and Temple on Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. before heading to the CRWA Invitational at Central next weekend.