WITH East Jackson forfeiting four weight classes currently, each individual match for Eagle wrestlers now becomes that much more important.
The team has just 10 wrestlers in its starting lineup as its season has gotten underway.
“We have 10 weight classes that we fill,” coach Randy Hill explained. “We have more kids (than that), but they all seem to be in the same weight classes right now.”
This year’s lineup includes Austin Jones (106-lb.), Garret Lott (113-lb.), Hugo Equiarte (126-lb.), Jake Tate (132-lb.), Kevin Flack (145-lb.), Noah Staples (152-lb.), Alex Trejo (160-lb.), Dalton Chandler (170-lb.), Joseph Salas (220-lb.) and Jeffery Chandler (285-lb.). The Eagles don’t have wrestlers at 120-lb., 138-lb., 182-lb. and 195-lb. spots.
East Jackson is coming off a ninth-place finish at the traditional area tournament last year, advancing two wrestlers on to the state sections.
This year, the Eagles have one dual win thus far, beating Oglethorpe County (40-14) at the Nov. 19 Banks Duals.
East Jackson lost to Elbert County (53-18), Banks County (70-12) and East Hall (54-22) at that tournament.
The Eagles (1-5) then dropped a pair of dual matches last Tuesday (Nov. 22) to Banks County (76-6) and Madison County (57-24).
“We’ve got young wrestlers who need to get more experience,” Hill said. “The kids work hard. We don’t have the numbers.”
Providing highlights so far for the Eagles have been Chandler (285-lb.), a junior, who is 5-1, and Lott (113-lb.), a senior, who is 4-1.
“Our outlook for our varsity season is hopefully my kids with experience do well,” Hill said. “They’re getting better each week. And my young kids just got to get more experience and keep improving.”
The middle school team is practicing with the high school team in an effort to build depth for future East Jackson teams.
“Because we’re losing a lot of kids from middle school to high school,” Hill said.