Wrestlers split duals, place highly in tourney
By Nick Nunn
Last week, the Morgan County High School wrestling team held duals against Banks County and Monroe Area high schools, before competing in the Eric Hill Memorial tournament in Loganville.
The varsity squad lost their dual against Banks County 51-15. Austin Ross, Bailey Ross, and Stewart Spence won their matches by decisions, and Preston Langley got the only pin in against Banks County.
“We know going into this dual that we would have to wrestle really well from top to bottom to win,” said Coach John Robbins, “as Banks Co. is definitely one of the big-hitters in AAA this year, particularly in the team duals format.”
“We wrestled well, but unfortunately lost winnable, close matches at several weights that could have been the difference in the dual.”
The Mat Dogs turned it around against Monroe Area High School, however, outscoring them 58-12.
Jeremy Worth, Stewart Spence, Bailey Ross, Timothy Leclair, and Wyatt Martin pinned their Monroe counterparts.
Austin Ross and Jacob McAlister won by decisions, Clayton Bearden by a major decision, and Luke Mitchell, Quentavious Jackson and D’Monta Wright by forfeits.
In the Eric Hill Memorial tournament on Friday and Saturday, five Morgan wrestlers placed in the top five during the tournament: Austin Ross (second place), Bailey Ross (second place), Stewart Spence (third place), Jack Leclair (fifth place), and Carter Shultz (fifth place).
“These five certainly led the charge, and wrestled particularly well from start to finish,” said Coach Robbins. “We made a significant push by placing a ton of kids in the quarter-finals.”
The team as a whole earned 136.5 points, which put them in third place overall for the tournament.
All in all, Coach Robbins is happy with the way the tournament turned out.
“We are starting to find our way, as this weekend and seemingly every time out lately has been marked by a higher level of intensity and effort. Third out of 24 (with the majority of these teams being historically good programs) is a pretty solid signal that we are gaining some momentum.”
The team suffered a setback on Saturday; Clayton Bearden suffered a knee injury during competition, which could potentially keep him out of competitions for the rest of the year.
“We have our fingers crossed and are praying for some good news from the doctors about his knee, although it could potentially be a season ender,” lamented Coach Robbins.
Next up, the team will be hosting duals against Commerce and Madison County at MCHS on Wednesday at 5 p.m. From there, the Mat dogs go this weekend to Woodward Academy for their War Eagle Classic, which will be our first glimpse of the host school who is thought by many to be the AAA favorite this season.
Printed in the December 20, 2012 edition