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'Hooch wrestlers start season off strong

The Cougar varsity wrestlers took first place in the Coal Mountain Classic. Team members include, top row, from left, Daniel Amram, Taylor Podhouser, Ben Geier, Jordan Pitt, Rowdy Miller, Brady Miller, Matt Picus, Perry Benton, Chris Wedel, Noah Panzarella, Joey Reihing, Matt Allman, Sean Hoffmann, Mikey Cunningham, Wes Rice and Najee Banks. (click for larger version)
January 23, 2013
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The Chattahoochee High School varsity wrestling team finished 2012 with a bang, winning one tournament followed by a strong finish in another tourney against some of the top teams in the Southeast.

Led by seniors Mikey Cunningham, Chris Wedel, Najee Banks, Wes Rice and Matt Allman, the Cougars took first place at the Coal Mountain Classic Dec. 22.

The Cougars had been trailing all day, until the finals, but the wrestlers stepped up to the challenge with Allman, Joey Reihing, Ben Geier and Sean Hoffman taking third; Rice, Brady Miller, Banks and Taylor Podhouser grabbed silver; and Wedel, Cunningham and Jordan Pitt won gold. The team finished with a team best 200.5 points.

On Dec. 28 and 29, the Cougars headed to Hilton Head, S.C., to battle some of the best competition in the Southeast at the USMC Seahawk Slam.

'Hooch mat men finished eighth out of 30 teams and had five wrestlers place. Wedel finished eighth, Cunningham sixth, Miller fourth and both Banks and Pitt finished third.

With the first half of the season in the books and 2012 in their rearview mirror, the Cougars are encouraged by their performance to this point.

"So far, we are hitting our goals," said varsity coach J.J. Hicks.

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