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Allen signs wrestling scholarship with Chattanooga

Rockdale’s Alonzo Allen signed a wrestling scholarship with Chattanooga Friday. From left to right: Dorrian Allen (father), Ariel Allen (sister), Alonzo Allen, Forren Allen (mother). Staff photo by Kurt Aschermann Jr.

Rockdale’s Alonzo Allen signed a wrestling scholarship with Chattanooga Friday. From left to right: Dorrian Allen (father), Ariel Allen (sister), Alonzo Allen, Forren Allen (mother). Staff photo by Kurt Aschermann Jr.

— The most decorated wrestler in the history of Rockdale High School put the finishing touches on a brilliant high school career Friday.

Two-time state champion and All-American Alonzo Allen signed a wrestling scholarship with Chattanooga, inking a deal with the Southern Conference power during an afternoon ceremony at Rockdale. It's the first Division 1 wrestling signing in the history of the Conyers school.

Allen was a state runner-up during his freshman and sophomore seasons before breaking through with a state championship as a junior in 2013. Allen did it again this February, winning his second state crown.

“Freshman year it was a struggle, didn't think I was going to start on varsity," Allen said Friday before officially signing. "Going into every match like it was my last. Teammates, family, friends, coaches, classmates…I wouldn’t have won either title without the support."

Once his career in Georgia was complete, the Rockdale grappler went national. In late-March, he finished third at NHSCA Senior Nationals in Virginia Beach, then in April, as part of a Georgia all-star team defeated nationally-ranked Brian Rossi of Illinois 9-4 at the Cliff Keen Dream Team Classic at Lassiter High School.

“It was great,” Allen said of the national competition. “It got me better, got me used to different styles.”

“Him doing so well at senior nationals and the dual helped put his name on the national scene. (It) upped his stock,” added Rockdale coach Craig Hargrove. “(Chattanooga has) been on his radar since the end of (2013). It’s been fun watching him develop into a young man the last four years. He’s been the key to our success.”

Before heading north to Chattanooga and the collegiate wrestling mats, Allen will graduate from Rockdale May 16.

“I can’t wait,” he said.