MCHS preps for 1-AAA tournament
By Nick Nunn
This Saturday, the Morgan County High School gym will serve as the edge of a funnel, which will bring eight wrestlers from each weight class one stage closer to the State Championships in Macon.
The wrestling teams from the 14 schools that make up the 1-AAA Area will pack into Morgan County’s gym with the sole intent of proving that they can come out amongst the top four in their class and, in doing so, secure a pass onto the next week’s elimination round.
This year’s tournament schedule before the State Championships will differ from what has been in the past. Instead of four regions competing to get to each sectional, two regions will compete in each sectional this year, which also means that, instead of a 16-place bracket at the State Finals, the places will be cut down to eight per region.
“Overall, our region is a little down this year, so we have a great opportunity to advance nearly the entire team to sectionals,” said Coach John Robbins while preparing for this week’s tournament.
Indeed, most of the Mat Dogs’ starting wrestlers have gone through this procedure before, and several – including Clayton Bearden, Jack Leclair, Quentavious Jackson, Austin Ross, Stewart Spence, and Bailey Ross – have come out as Area Champion in the past.
However, a quality performance at the area tournament is no indication of quality performances in the later stages, and vice versa.
“I’ve had wresters have a bad tournament at sectionals and finish seventh or eighth and turn around and medal in the top four the next weekend at the State Finals,” said Robbins. “But the margin for error will be much slimmer this year thanks to the smaller brackets.”
Last Tuesday, the Mat Dogs and their JV counterpart competed against Rockdale County. The event also served as Senior Night for the wrestling program.
Both the varsity and JV teams were outscored by Rockdale, but Luke Mitchell (132), Dakota Shelton (220), Preston Langley (285) were able to get wins for the JV team. Varsity wrestlers Jacob McAlister (120), Timothy Leclair (126), Wyatt Martin (145), Colin Efird (170), Austin Ross (182), Stewart Spence (195), and Bailey Ross (220) were able to pick up wins as well.
Saturday, the JV team traveled to Social Circle to compete in the Redskin Rumble, but none of the wrestlers were able to medal.
Varsity had an equally disappointing weekend last week; the team was swept by Pope High School and, against Archer, totaled only three wins, which were earned by Austin Ross, Stewart Spence, and Mason Woodham.
Area Tournament schedule
Saturday (Feb. 2)
Weigh-ins/skin check: 7-9 a.m.
Coaches’ meeting: 9:30-10 a.m.
Round of 16: 10:15-11:15 a.m.
Quarter-finals: 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Semi-finals and Consolation Round 1: 12:30-1 p.m.
Lunch: 1-2 p.m.
Quarter-finals: 2:15-3:15 p.m.
Semi-finals: 3:30-5 p.m.
Medal Matches (First-sixth places, three mats)
*All times are subject to change due to 45-minute rule
Printed in the January 31, 2013 edition