JACKSON COUNTY’S wrestling team faces a long but valuable trek down south.
The mat Panthers will participate in the Friday-Saturday Sweet Onion Classic hosted by Toombs County.
“We are traveling to Toombs County this weekend to meet up with a lot of the South Georgia teams that we rarely see,” coach Jason Powers said. “We need to see these teams before we go to the state tournament.”
Powers said it’s important that his Panthers have this preview.
“Many of the schools down there have a different style of wrestling that we need to be exposed to before sectionals and state,” Powers said. “As a team, I am definitely hoping for a good showing. We should be healthy again this weekend and therefore we should have a good showing.”
The coach also hopes to be carrying home some hardware when the Panthers return north Saturday afternoon. Jackson County is coming off a disappointing 11th place finish out of 23 teams this past weekend in the East Metro tournament.
“There is going to be some tough competition down there, but I would like to come home with a trophy this weekend so that we can head into area on a high note,” Powers said.
As for this past weekend, the coach chalked it up as a learning experience.
“I was not real pleased with our performance as a team this past weekend,” Powers said. “It was a very tough tournament but we should have not finished out of the top 10. We had a couple of seeds get upset and that cost us a lot of team points.”
There were, however, some highlights at the East Metro with Austin McDonald placing second, Justin Brewer grabbing third, Zach Moore placing fifth and Bryan Burnette finishing sixth in their respective divisions.
Powers said he believes his team learned some lessons over the weekend as it moves forward.
“We found a couple of things that we need to work real hard on and a few of our wrestlers learned some very valuable lessons about match strategy,” Powers said.
“I think some good things are going to come out of this tough tournament.”
Prior to the East Metro, Jackson County split a pair of matches with Elbert County and Madison County. The Panthers beat Elbert County 66-20, but lost to Madison County narrowly, 39-33.
Wrestlers going 2-0 were Jamie Stapler, JT Wood, Bryan Burnette, Daivon Ledford and Austin McDonald.