By Nick Nunn staff writer
As a result of the severe winter weather last week, the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) wrestling State Championships were postponed from the originally scheduled dates of Feb. 13-15 to the new dates of Feb. 21-22. Additionally, the postponement meant that the Gwinnett Arena would not be available to host the event, forcing each class to hold its own separate tournament.
The GHSA AAA finals will take place entirely on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Buford High School beginning at 9 a.m. As for the change of venue, Morgan County High School Head Wrestling Coach John Robbins laments that this year’s Morgan County wrestlers, who qualified for the state finals, won’t be able to compete in Gwinnett.
“I’m disappointed that we won’t be in the Arena,” began Coach Robbins. “It’s not very often that high school student athletes get to compete on such a stage… the change in venue definitely takes a little away from the finals.” “It won’t, however, change the level of competition, as these guys still know very well what’s on the line this weekend.”
Nevertheless, Coach Robbins does think that the postponement itself has the potential to change the outcome of the matches. “The disruption in schedule certainly will play a big factor in the outcome of several weights,” said Robbins.
“There is so much physical work involved in training these guys that you always seem to be walking a tightrope between peaking and optimum performance, and mental or physical burnout and exhaustion.”
The fact that the Morgan County School System is holding a winter break this week could also affect the wrestlers’ performance this Saturday, as the winter break practices will have to occur on days when school does not take place.
“Any sport that has to schedule training and practices and competitions around holidays and non-school days has the deck stacked against them,” stated Coach Robbins. With the culmination of the season at hand, the Morgan County Mat Dogs are eagerly awaiting their final chance to show what they’ve got on the statewide stage.
Make the journey out to Buford High School this Saturday to cheer the Dogs on to success at the AAA State Finals!