JCCHS wrestler grabs another title at Brett Warren Inv.
Chalk another one up for Jackson County’s Zach Moore.
Moore highlighted the Panthers’ long weekend trip to the Brett Warren Invitational in Dade County with his third tournament victory in as many weekends, winning in the 112-lb. class to continue his unblemished season.
Coach Jason Powers pointed to Moore’s performance, then noted the stiff competition ahead.
“He will continue to be tested this week with a couple of tough matches,” Powers said. “However, I expect him as well as the rest of the team to rise to the occasion and continue to get better as the season progresses.”
Jackson County heads to Loganville this weekend for the Friday-Saturday Eric Hill Memorial Tournament.
Other wrestlers placing over the weekend were Ryan Shekey (third), Justin Brewer (fourth), Daivon Ledford (third) and Austin McDonald (third). The team failed to make the top three.
As for the Panthers overall, Powers said the past week was “full of learning experiences.”
Jackson County (5-1) started the week by splitting a pair of dual matches Dec. 7 — beating North Hall (41-33) and losing to Lumpkin County (31-28) — before making the trip to Dade County. Powers said the team knew going in that placing high in this tournament was a tall order given the level of competition in the area.
“We had a couple of tough draws, which made the tournament even tougher for our wrestlers,” he explained. “Two of our better wrestlers were beating the no. 1 seeds in their perspective weight classes. However they got caught on their backs and pinned in their semi-finals matches.”
Others lost one-point matches through the day, costing Jackson County a top-three finish. But this was all part of the learning curve, Powers said.
“Wins and losses during this part of the season mean nothing when February gets here,” he said. “What’s most important is that we learn from our losses and continue to get better.”
As for those dual matches against North Hall and Lumpkin County that started the week, Jackson County entered those contests a little beat up and, thus, were forced to concede forfeits in the three weight classes.
“We had our work cut out for us before the match even started,” Powers said.
Against North Hall, freshman Braden Gaines stepped up “in a huge way,” according to Powers, to help the Panthers earn their fifth victory of the season. Against Lumpkin County, several losses in the closing seconds and a pin in the final match proved too much for Jackson County in the three-point loss.
“We are currently growing stronger as a dual team and learning how to wrestle as a team,” Powers said. “Tough matches like these two will help us become a better team before area duals get here. We have a lot of work to do and a few more weight classes to fill to achieve our goals as a dual team when January gets here. A lot of weight classes are being wrestled by first-year varsity members and some first-year high school wrestlers. Therefore, there is a steep learning curve, and we hope to have all of the kinks worked out by January.”
Wrestlers going 2-0 against North Hall and Lumpkin County were Moore, Anthony Ledford, Shekey, Brian Burnette, Brewer and Brandon Espinal.