Fourth at State • Mat Dogs win two, lose two in Macon last week
By Nick Nunn
The MCHS Mat Dogs placed fourth at the State Duals this past Friday and Saturday at the Macon Centreplex.
The Dogs lost 33-39 to Oconee County in the first round of the tournament on Friday, which placed them in the consolation bracket early.
“The opening round loss to Oconee was devastating and literally was decided by a takedown that could have been scored before the buzzer,” said Coach John Robbins. “We had our opportunities to win this dual and let them slip right through our hands.”
In the first round of consolation matches, Morgan County beat Rockmart 53-21, and then went on to overtake Sonoraville High School 40-29.
In the dual against Rockmart on Friday, Jacob McAlister and Carter Shultz both suffered knee injuries. Carter’s injury prevented him from competing for the remainder of the tournament.
Then, finding themselves competing for third or fourth place in the final round of the consolation bracket, the Mat Dogs again had to hold a dual against Oconee County and, again, they fell short of a victory, losing 33-43.
“The dual came down to the final and deciding bout at heavyweight, with a young sophomore in Preston Langley stepping in versus Oconee County’s senior and team captain,” said Coach Robbins. “Preston wrestled great, and gave us a chance to win it as he caught their stud heavyweight on his back, but unfortunately couldn’t hold him there.”
Although Morgan County’s fourth-place finish is nothing to jeer at, Coach Robbins felt like the team should have placed higher in the tournament.
“There is no way I can tell you that I’m not disappointed,” said Coach Robbins, “as it was certainly within our potential to get to the finals and have a shot at winning it all. I can say, however, that our guys went out and competed and wrestled hard every step of the way.”
Three wrestlers from Morgan County won all four of their competitions during the tournament: Austin Ross, Stewart Spence, and Bailey Ross. Spence was able to achieve four pins during his matches.
Jacob McAlister and Timothy LeClair were both able to achieve 3-1 records during the duals.
Wednesday, the Mat Dogs competed at home against defending state champion Jefferson and “5A powerhouse” Loganville, and, on Friday, the wrestling team will be competing in the Sham Slam at Habersham Central High School, where state champions from all classes will be competing. The results of these two meets will be included in next week’s edition.