By Nick Nunn staff writer
The Morgan County High School (MCHS) Mat Dogs will be taking the first step towards the 2014 Georgia High School Association (GHSA) State Tournament this weekend at the 1-AAA Area Tournament, held at the MCHS gym.
The Area tournament this Saturday will determine who will move on to the AAA Eastern Sectionals, which will be held at MCHS as well on Saturday, Feb. 8, and ultimately the State Tournament, beginning on Feb. 13 at the Arena at Gwinnett.
The competition begins this Friday, Jan. 31, at 6:30 p.m. and will start back up the next day, Feb. 1, at 9 a.m. Last week, the varsity Mat Dogs were able to build some momentum before their bid for state, beginning with wins over North Oconee and Monroe Area at North Oconee High School last Tuesday, Jan. 21.
The 63-16 win over the Titans and the 77-6 win over Monroe Area, were the last regular season duals of the year, pushing the Mat Dogs’ duals record up to 15-9 for the season. Saturday, Jan. 25, the Dogs made the short trip down to Social Circle to compete in the Redskin Rumble, where the team placed third overall out of 14 teams.
Jacob McAlister (126 lb.), Jody McAlister (132 lb.), Wyatt Martin (160 lb.), and Zack Jenkins (heavyweight) earned runner-up finishes at the Rumble, contributing to Morgan County’s high position. Nathan Lundy (106 lb.) and Colin Efird (182 lb.) finished in third place, while Dmonta Wright (152 lb.) held onto a fourth place finish in the tournament.
“Super tough event to be so close to home and only a one-day format,” said MCHS Wrestling Head Coach John Robbins. “I was proud with our overall effort: seven top-four finishes and three more, who were one match from the consolation finals.Wyatt Martin and Jody McAlister both pulled off huge upsets in the semi’s by defeating a pair of returning state placers.”
The JV Dogs traveled back to Collins Hill High School for the King of the Hill individual tournament on Friday, Jan. 24, and Saturday, Jan. 25. Robert Gibbs (heavyweight) was the top finisher for Morgan County making it all the way to the finals with a 3-0 record but falling in the final round for a second-place finish.
Rogers Burke (145 lb.) was the only other Dogs to place during the tournament, earning the sixth spot in his weight class with a 4-2 record.
Joseph LeClair (113 lb.) and Gurminder Singh (160 lb.) both narrowly missed placing on their own, each with a 2-2 record at Collins Hill.
Overall, Morgan County placed 15 out of 37 teams in attendance. Come out this Friday and Saturday to support our Mat Dogs on the first step toward the state tournament at the Area Tournament in our own home gym. Let’s show these Dogs that we are truly One Morgan.