By R. Alan Richardson
The weekend saw the Morgan County Mat Dogs going 1-1 at the Walnut Grove Duals where they defeated Druid Hills 54-18 and fell to Walnut Grove in a close match 43-35. Coach Carter Shultz commented on his team’s weekend. “We came out very flat against Walnut Grove in the first match and fell behind quickly. We didn’t wrestle particularly well early and in the future we have to figure out a way to start faster. We picked it up towards the top end of our lineup from 182 to the heavyweight but it was too little too late.”
Druid Hills only put six wrestlers on the mat, and, according to Shultz, it didn’t take long for Morgan to finalize the match. He noted, “We dropped a couple matches that I felt like we should have won, but with all the forfeits, the dual was never in question. As we move forward, we have to limit the amount of bonus points we are giving up in our losses. Right now we are giving up way too many falls to be in contention with good teams.” He attributed some of this to their youth, but has high expectations that the younger group will only get better as the season continues.
“Wrestling is a sport where the way you win and the way you lose are both incredibly important. We are wrestling hard throughout our lineup, but we are making some key mistakes and ending up on our backs too often,” the coach commented.
Morgan continues to be led by seniors Mason Adams at 138, Donovan McElligott at 182, and Finn Williams at 195. All three of these wrestlers turned in 2-0 records on the day and earned pivotal bonus points in the wins. Shultz was positive about their upcoming tournament when he said, “I expect all three of these seniors to be in contention for Tournament Champion this weekend as we travel to Towns County for the King of the Mountain Tournament this Friday and Saturday.”
The JV Mat Dogs also competed this past weekend at the JV Inferno Tournament at Elbert County. Shultz seemed pleased with the progress of his Junior Bulldogs. “This was a great opportunity for some of our younger guys to get some valuable mat time. We have a very young team overall this year and getting everyone as much wrestling time as possible will only help them progress quickly as the season goes on. We started slow at the tournament, dropping a couple of early matches that we had right up until the last minute. As the day progressed, our guys picked up the intensity and wrestled well.”
There were four placers for MOCO at the event. Brandon Grindle finished second at 132, Nathan Smith was third at 152, Jeremiah Grimsley was third at 195, and Jaden Cooper finished fourth at 220. “I am proud of the work these guys have done so far this season and look forward to watching them progress as we move through the season,” commented Shultz.