JEFFERSON WAS set to defend its long streak of state duals titles this past weekend, but Mother Nature put a potential addition to the history books on hold.
With snow and ice left over from the Jan. 9 snowstorm making travel unsafe for several days, the state duals were postponed, meaning the Dragons — winners of nine-straight duals championships — will have to wait until Feb. 25-26 before they can defend their Class AA duals title.
That means the perennial champs must still keep an eye on their duals lineup while they prepare for the traditional postseason tournaments, which begin in early February. Jefferson has won 10 straight traditional state championships.
Since a duals tournament usually requires a few different lineups out of a team depending on the differing opponents, Jefferson must hold more kids on its roster longer than usual since the state duals have been tacked on to the end of the season.
Coach Doug Thurmond pointed out that several wrestlers would usually be moving on to spring sports after duals concluded. But now the wrestling season will run until the final week of February.
“In a small school like ours, we share a lot of athletes,” Thurmond said. “A lot of kids would be going to other things.”
Because the state duals title won’t be decided until late next month, Jefferson has added another duals tournament to its schedule, giving it another chance to improve upon its stellar 26-0 duals mark (as of Tuesday afternoon).
The Dragons, who haven’t dropped a duals match since last year, will wrestle in five matches Saturday in a tournament at Washington-Wilkes to help them prep for the Feb. 25-26 rescheduled state duals.
Other than that, Jefferson has just one date left on the regular season slate — a four-team duals event in Atlanta on Tuesday. Jefferson will wrestle against St. Pius, Dunwoody and Lakeside.
Jefferson competed Tuesday night in a duals match against Habersham Central but, prior to that, hadn’t taken the mat since winning the area duals title Jan. 8.
The Dragons did, however, manage to get a lot of work in during the aftermath of the Jan. 9 snowstorm, despite classes being cancelled all week.
“Since the duals, we’ve just been practicing a lot,” Thurmond said. “Most of the kids got here.”