Mat Dogs take wrestle to 3rd place in tourney

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By R. Alan Richardson, Sports Editor

In the words of Coach Carter Shultz, “Overall this was the best we’ve wrestled in any tournament so far.  We’re getting better and wrestling well.  All I can ask of them is to work hard and get better and that’s what they’re doing.”  

The 12-team venue was whittled down to a mere seven when a number of schools opted out of participating at the last minute, much to the disappointment of the second-year coach.  “We’re hoping that next year the teams will be held to a contract like they do in football, basketball, and other sports.  It’s frustrating, but I can understand a team like Oconee County calling and letting us know.  Their football team was playing for the State Championship Friday.  That’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  To show you what kind of class they have, their coach went ahead and sent in his team’s entry fee.”

Shultz told us that the team tournament is one of their major fundraisers for the season and hopes that the MCMS tournament in January will aid in continuing the wrestling program’s no-pay policy for all their student-athletes.  “We don’t charge our kids a dime to participate in wrestling.  They receive some really nice Adidas gear for the hard work they all put in.  That’s something we want to continue.”  There is also a fundraiser in the works that Program Director Marcus Crowe is currently running.  You can call the high school and contact Crowe for the details if interested.

For the Dogs individually, it was juniors Griffin McAlister and Brandon Grindle that helped lead Morgan to a second place finish with 159 points behind Vidalia’s 209 and Harlem’s 174.  “We had a chance to finish second, but couldn’t put together a full lineup for the tournament due to some circumstances beyond our control.  I am especially proud of Griffin and Brandon for the leadership they bring to the mat and in the ‘room’.  Griffin was a takedown from defeating a Class A favorite to win state in the 126 pound class and Brandon wrestled well losing to another state Class A place from a year ago in the 138 pound class,” noted Shultz.

Next up for Morgan’s Mat Dogs is the Guerilla Warfare Tournament at Berkmar high School.  That tournament will be one of the larger ones MOCO will participate in this season with 32 teams being featured from around the state and beyond.  Shultz added, “It will be a good litmus test for where we’re at right now as a team. I want to specifically thank the Takedown Club for all that they do putting on the tournament, and also all the parent volunteers!”

The following wrestlers placed for Morgan County in the tournament:

106- Kelly Rojas 3rd

113- Reba Hall 6th

126- Griffin McAlister 2nd

132- Austin Johnson 4th

138- Brandon Grindle 2nd

145- Cason Turner 3rd

152- Dylan Rivers 6th

170- Jacere Cooper 3rd

220- Jeremiah Grimsley 3rd

HWT- Chance Reid 3rd / Johnathon Butler 4th

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