It was senior recognition night for the Morgan County wrestling program as they played host to Commerce in the final home match of the season. Woodward Academy, another top-flight program in the state, was on course to join the festivities, but had to cancel due to weather related issues and illness within the team.
If you want to see one of the top-notch programs in Georgia wrestling circles, you don’t have to look much farther than to Commerce. Coming into the match this past week with Morgan County, the Tigers were 16-3 and unbeaten in Georgia. Their only losses have come from three teams from Minnesota and Illinois in out-of-state tournaments. Put that up beside their five straight State Championships in duals competition and four straight in the traditionals (individual) tournament, and you have a dominant program in Class A; or any Class for that matter.
Even though the Dogs fell by a score of 60-12, there were some positives that came out of the match. According to Coach Dusty Sidwell, the team garnered some much-needed experience against a tournament-tested squad like the Tigers and got some gutsy matches in several weight divisions. Mason Adams got a pin at 126 pounds with 1:28 remaining in the second period as did Finn Williams who also got a pin with only 1:48 left in the first period at 182. Zack Smith and Donovan Drummond both wrestled well only to fall short in the third and final period of their matches.
Both Commerce coaches agreed that Morgan is one of the better teams they’ve seen inside the state. Head Coach Kendall Love commented, “Morgan wrestles in the toughest Area in the state,” while assistant Bob Finch said, “It’s a brutal schedule that they have to contend with. You have 2-3 teams every year that could vie for a state championship at duals and/or traditionals.” When asked what the key to Commerce’s history of success he said, “We’re lucky to have some hardworking kids and good coaches that are used to winning. It’s a culture that demands that you do what it takes.” Just a few weeks earlier, Commerce won the State Duals Championship over second place Wesleyan by a ridiculous score of 68-6. That shows how dominating they are in Class A.
When asked about the opponent’s status, Coach Dusty Sidwell said, “I would have to say that Commerce is very good and wrestles in a good Area as well. They got off to a quick start against us and just ran with it today. They’ve won the past four traditionals State Championships in Class A and the last five duals. I think could win four out of the seven State Championships in all classifications. They’re just very tough. I was proud of our guys to come up with the wins we got against this kind of competition today. It will help us going into our individual State Tournament in a few days.”
The seniors and their parents were honored before the contest. They are:
Kevin Berisko 138 pounds
Zack Smith 152 pounds
Donovan Drummond160 pounds
Hayden Snowden 195 pounds
Peyton Walker220 pounds
Tre Davis 225 pounds
The Dogs will next host the Area 4-AAA Traditional Tournament at home over two days. The action starts Friday, Jan. 26 at 5 p.m. and will resume on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 6 p.m. at Morgan County High School. Qualifiers will advance to the AAA Sectionals at Greater Atlanta Christian on February 3.