Madison County didn’t produce any placers at this past week’s state meet, but coach Richie Houston is looking forward to the team’s potential next season.
Seven of Madison County’s eight state qualifiers are back, with the exception of senior Tyler Adams.
“We have everybody back except Adams, and if our guys put in the time in the off season — summer lifting, wrestling workouts and camps — we should have a good year and hopefully put Madison County on the state wrestling map,” Houston said.
Madison County had four wrestlers — Max Nash, Cody Phillips, Isaac Ruiz and Kyle Bates — come one round shy of placing at the state meet at the Gwinnett Arena.
All four lost in the consolation quarterfinals.
Madison County was in sixth place after Thursday but dropped to 10th Friday after three losses in the winners’ bracket quarterfinals. Madison County responded later on Friday with four wins in the second round of the consolation bracket, briefly bumping the team up to ninth.
But then, “the wheel fell off the wagon,” Houston said.
Still, Houston thought the state meet was a good experience for his team.
“We just have to get used to the pressure,” Houston said, “meaning being on a big stage and dealing with all the emotions of, ‘Man if I win here I’m a state placer.’ Wrestling ability, we are there. (We’ve) just got to close the deal.”
Madison County’s eight state qualifiers were Max Nash (112-lb.), Cody Phillips (119-lb.), Colton Phillips (125-lb.), Ruiz (145-lb.), Bates (152-lb.), Kyle Gordon (189-lb.), Adams (215-lb.) and Matt Dove (285-lb.).