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Derrck Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Alexander seniors Vinnie Ferrara, left, and Little Nelson prepare for their matches at Wednesday's county championship.

Coming off a strong finish in one of the South’s top tournaments, Sean Moistner wasn’t sure how his team would respond at this week’s county championship.

Alexander stayed focused as it won the county wrestling championship for the 14th straight year.

With it win over New Manchester in Wednesday’s final match, the Cougars improved to 4-0 on the day for the win.

New Manchester would finish runner-up for the second straight year.

“I wasn’t sure if the kids were going to have a letdown after a big weekend,” Moistner said. “I thought they did a good job, especially in the New Manchester match since they are in our area.”

Despite missing three wrestlers from the line-up, the Cougars were never really challenged on the day.

“We just needed to give them a break after this past weekend,” Moistner said. “We moved some guys around and had some success.”

The Cougars finished third at the prestigious Southern Slam Tournament in South Carolina over the weekend. It was the highest the defending Class AAAAAA champions had placed in the 42-team tournament.

“We were really comfortable in our ability coming into the county tournament,” Alexander senior Vinnie Ferrara said. “I felt that we really did well. It was a great team effort.”

The Cougars will hit the road again this weekend to wrestle at a tournament in Effingham County.

Moistner said the team will get to see some of the other Class AAAAAA teams around the state that it would normally not see in the regular season.

He said he was interested in seeing both Richmond Hill and Valdosta - a pair of teams that figures to do well at the state meet.

“We purposely sort out a tournament where they would be,” Moistner said. “We wanted to see them early so it would be no surprises at the state meet. We told them that we would come find them.”

The Cougars dominated throughout the four-match county championship, winning by a 57-point winning margin.

“Last week, this week and next week was going to be the grind week for our team,” Moistner said. “We have some big tournaments as we get ready for the holiday break. Once we get back, it will be time for the area meet and state.”

New Manchester coach Jerry Flippin was pleased the runner-up finish from his team. It mark the second straight year the Jaguars have been in that position, which is a first in school history.

“Alexander is the team you try to measure yourself against in the county,” Flippin said. “I’m pleased at the way our team did. Every year we get better as a program. I like the direction we are headed in as a program.”

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