By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, firstname.lastname@example.org | Published January 23, 2020
CUMMING—Pinecrest Academy held a three-way wrestling match Jan. 15 between its team, Riverside Military Academy of Gainesville and Salem High School of Conyers in the upper school gymnasium. With only eight wrestlers available, the undermanned and sometimes undersized Pinecrest team still managed to finish in second place behind Riverside Military Academy and ahead of Salem High School.
Pinecrest was only able to compete in six of the 14 weight classes during the match. Within the 106-, 126-, 132- 145-, 152- and 160-pound weight classes, they compiled 14 victories and five losses as team.
‘Underperforming’ is one label that can’t be put on the team. Mark Schmidt, the Pinecrest Academy wrestling head coach since 2016, points out that the team has “two state top ranked wrestlers in Mark and Joseph Metz.” Mark, a defending state champion at the 106-pound weight class, has a current record of 37-4. This year, he wrestles at the 126-pound level. His older brother Joseph, a fourth-place winner during the 2019 state tournament at the 145-pound weight class, currently holds a record of 32-2. This year he moved up to the 160-pound level.
On Feb. 1 the team will compete in the traditional wrestling area tournament at Mount Pisgah Christian School, Johns Creek. The top four placers in each weight class advance to the sectional tournament at Bremen High School, Bremen, Feb. 7-8. The top six wrestlers in each weight class at the sectionals advance to the state championship, Feb. 13-15, at the Macon Coliseum.