The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

Clock in, win, clock out: Warrior wrestling achieves victories against Walton and Wheeler

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Ciara Whimbush
November 29, the NC varsity wrestling team (2-0) traveled to Walton High School (5-3) to compete in a dual meet against the hosting school and Wheeler High School (0-2). NC secured two significant wins against both teams, providing the team with morale and motivation to progress throughout the season. During the duel against Walton, junior Christian Morales (144) defeated his opponent, Timothy Jewell (144), by a score of 10 to 2.

The NC Wrestling team (2-0) traveled to Walton High School (5-3) November 29 to face off against both Walton and Wheeler High School (0-2) for their first meet of the season. The varsity wrestlers headed out to East Cobb with one goal in mind: to dominate their competition. Fresh off a series of undefeated wins at East Coweta High School (0-0) over Thanksgiving break, the varsity Warrior wrestlers shared a common determination to win their duals. In the end, the Warriors emerged victorious against both schools, further cementing the beginning of this season as one for the books. 

The Walton and Wheeler meet fell directly after a sequence of successes for the NC wrestling team. November 11, the Warriors hosted their first event of 2023, the annual Warrior Invitational. The tournament resulted in a first-place championship win for NC as they scored 196.5 points, beating out teams from schools such as Cartersville, Allatoona and Osbourne. On the following weekend, the Lady Warriors competed at the Campbell High School (0-0) Girls’ Round Robin meet. November 20, the varsity, JV and girls teams participated at the Tomahawk Tussle hosted by East Coweta High School when several wrestlers across all three teams achieved notable feats, such as ending the tournament undefeated or winning their first match as an NC wrestler. With high stakes and everything to prove, the Warriors drove to Walton with the motivation to compete confidently. 

“It’s [Walton Duals] a meet to get ready for the first seed for the region. We want to wrestle our best. I feel like our preparations have been great, and that the kids have been working hard in the [wrestling] room. I feel like we’re in a better position than we were last year and definitely two years before that. We’ve grown as a team and as a program, to [become] a program that people know that we’re about wrestling. We’re not just those people in the orange singlets,” NC Girls Wrestling coach Micheal Dillard said. 

The NC Warriors first competed against the Wheeler Wildcats and accomplished multiple wins amongst the majority of the weight classes. Starting out the dual stood magnet freshman Ronan An (190) against Preston Alphonse (190), where An emerged victorious after pinning his opponent in 32 seconds. Following him stood senior Micheal Heyliger (215), who defeated his competition via pin in the second period of the match. 

Following the two successes, the varsity Warriors bagged a string of wins in a similar fashion; junior David Achamaja (150), magnet junior Jack Brillinger (285) and sophomore Kariyah Easter (113) and all proceeded to collect points for NC’s score against Wheeler through efficiently completing pins against their competitors. Junior Zach Afalla (120) gained a win against Peter Cross (120) by acquiring enough points against his opponent to create the 15-point gap necessary to achieve a tech fall in the third period. In the end, after two losses and a handful of forfeits, the Warriors accomplished a win, tallying up 65 points against Wheeler’s 16. 

“I feel that me and the team put in good quality work during Thanksgiving break which made me confident in myself and most important[ly] the team for this upcoming meet. We had high stakes going into this meet but we succeeded. My goal for this meet was to come out with 2-0 and also for our team to win the whole meet,” Afalla said.

After a brief break, the Warriors immediately returned to the mat to face off against Walton. Heyliger began the duel by accomplishing a pin against his opponent during the second period in fifty-one seconds. Quickly thereafter, junior Jaiden Joseph (106) competed against Alex Florak (106) and enthusiastically pinned him in 28 seconds. An, Achamaja and Afalla also executed pins in their matches, continuing to augment the team score against Walton. During his match against Walton wrestler Timothy Jewell (144), junior Christian Morales (144) worked tirelessly all three periods to achieve 10 points, thus winning his match and slamming his challenger– literally and figuratively. Even after a handful of losses, NC achieved a nail-biting victory over the Walton Raiders, by a score of 46 to 33.

“To be honest, I was mad after the loss to the Wheeler guy because I knew that I could wrestle a lot better than what showed in that match. I just had to clear my head before the next match [against Walton]. I just felt relieved after the Walton win,” Morales said. 

Overall, the NC varsity wrestlers proved to own not only the talent but the drive to gain a plethora of major successes throughout the 2023-24 season. With momentum from the triumphs at Walton, the team shows an eagerness for their upcoming events. December 1, the JV team aims to participate in the Marietta JV tournament at Marietta High School, and the varsity and girls teams plan to head to Mountain View High School in Gwinnett County to compete at the Mountain View Duals December 2. NC wrestling looks eagerly upon the rest of their season, filled with both vast goals and hopefully monumental achievements.

“So far, the beginning of the season has been great. The goals for the end of the season are two region titles, Cobb County championship [winners] and a top ten finish in the state,” Dillard said.

 
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About the Contributor
Ciara Whimbush, Copy Editor
One fateful day in 2013, Ciara Whimbush wrote a story about two girls visiting a witch’s house in the woods. Throughout the process, she stumbled across the thing that made her feel the most like herself: writing. As Whimbush embarks on her junior year as a member of NC’s magnet program, she aims to continue to expand her view of the world through a journalistic lens. As a newly minted editor, Whimbush excitedly looks upon this new school year to hone her craft and build upon her new discipline. She holds the field of social studies in high regard, as she actively participates in NC’s Model UN club, as well as HiStory Retold, an organization that seeks to diversify curriculums across classrooms. Aside from typing away on her keyboard, her other interests include spinning her flag and rifle on the NC Color Guard, baking sweets, making Dad jokes, taking pictures of the sky and indulging in various video essays riddled on YouTube. During her second year at The Chant, Whimbush hopes to become a better writer, an impactful editor and a citizen of the world; whether it be with interviews, articles, or exploring out of her comfort zone. Her main goal surrounds making her first-grade self proud of how far she has come.       

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