Mat Dogs Take Third at State Traditionals McAlister, Robinson Win State Championships

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Special to the Citizen

Morgan’s wrestlers ended their season on a high note by bringing home two AAA state champions, another runner-up, and a third-place trophy for the second year in a row.  The results for each of the seven wrestlers that made it to Macon follow.

Mason Adams came up just short of placing, but now has two years of state tournament experience at the end of his sophomore year.

Robert Gibbs had a great senior year, wrestling his best during the state qualifying series and giving us quite the anchor at heavyweight.

Kevin Berisko placed fifth and earned the title of state medalist with a fall over Calhoun in his last bout. Kevin has been one of our top scorers all season, and will no doubt be a favorite to win a state title next year as a senior.

Senior Ladarrius Andrews went out with a bang, winning third place at 195. In his last bout LA scored five unanswered takedowns to win 19-16 over Sonoraville. LA really came up big for us all season, and I’m so happy that he capped his career with obtaining such a lofty finish.

Senior Team Captain Sean McElligott was as steady as anyone in our lineup all year. He wrestled his best down the stretch though, becoming an area champ, sectional champ, and state runner-up in his last three weeks. Sean worked his tail off to find the success that came his way.  It really is awesome to see a young man like Sean rewarded for his efforts. Making the state finals is an unbelievably difficult task, and we will have a huge void to fill in terms of production and leadership next year after he graduates.

Senior Antonio Robinson has been waiting all year to get back to the finals after losing a close bout there in 2016. He made sure that the opportunity didn’t slip past him this time, securing his spot in the record books with a 5-2 decision on over Bremen. His dedication to the team and his training have been extraordinary.

Jody McAlister joins a very short list of young men who have won multiple state titles for Morgan County (a list that includes current coaches Dusty Sidwell and Jacob Akins). His entire year can be summed up simply in one word- dominance. Jody dismembered a fellow 2016 state champion from Ringgold in the finals by a score of 15-4.

The team finished in 3rd place in AAA for the second straight season.

Coach John Robbins said, “Very soon our seniors and a handful of underclassmen will be having fun to prepare for NHSCA High School Nationals in VA Beach, but for now they need to enjoy their great finish.  I couldn’t be prouder of the young men who competed this weekend. They all have bought in and committed to following the lead of our staff. These seniors are the real story here- guys like McAlister, Robinson, McElligott, Andrews, Rhodes, and Gibbs have provided our team with an infrastructure that has led to success. I’m lucky to have coached these guys, and I look forward to seeing them continue their growth as young men.”

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