Injury and illness left Jackson County’s wrestling team plenty shorthanded in this past weekend’s tournament at Loganville.
The Panthers were without four of their members — including an injured Zach Moore who’d won three-straight tournaments — as they failed to place in the top 10 in the Friday-Saturday Eric Hill Invitational.
“Yeah, just getting everybody healthy (is our goal) … It’s just battling through the middle of the season right now,” coach Jason Powers said.
There were some standout individual efforts, however, with Justin Brewer (140-lb.) and Austin McDonald (215-lb.) both placing second in their weight classes. Others placing were Ryan Shekey (fourth, 130-lb.) and Daivon Ledford (fourth, 160-lb.).
Like many teams, the flu is making its rounds through the Panther squad.
“Before you know it, it just spreads like wildfire,” Powers said.
But it’s been more than just the flu that’s limited the team. Some have been injured while one wrestler was even hospitalized with pneumonia.
That said, Powers hopes to get most everyone back Dec. 30 when Jackson County returns to the mat at the Georgia-South Carolina Classic at Hart County. The Panthers (7-1) get a chance to add to its dual wins total in the eight-team tournament.
“We normally do pretty well there,” Powers said.
Jackson County moved to 7-1 in dual action Dec. 14 with victories over Winder-Barrow and North Oconee. The Panthers beat North Oconee, a Region 8-AA foe, 54-15.
Jamie Stapler, Moore, Shekey, Ledford and McDonald all went 2-0 on the day.