JACKSON County’s wrestling team hopes to follow one great duals tournament with another.
The Panthers went 9-0 at Toombs County’s Bulldog Christmas Duals to win the event heading into this weekend’s area duals at Jefferson.
Jackson County’s record is 20-3.
“We had a lot of hard fought matches over the two-day tournament and we learned a lot about wrestling as a team and a lot of individuals learned a lot about themselves,” coach Jason Powers said. “I am very proud of how we wrestled.”
Six Jackson County wrestlers went undefeated over the course of the two days — Michael Shekey, J.T. Wood, Zach Moore, Conner Andreasen, Anthony Allen and Brian Burnette.
Other standouts were Daivon Ledford (7-2), Tre Velasquez (7-2) and Colton Springer (5-1).
“This tournament helped us prepare both mentally and physically for the area duals which are coming up this weekend,” Powers said. “It was our goal going into the tournament to improve as individuals and to improve as a team, and I think we accomplished both of those goals.”
Jackson County finished third last year at the area duals but failed to reach the state duals. The top two teams qualify. Powers said he is excited about this year’s area tournament.
“I feel that we have a great opportunity to make it into the top two again this year but it definitely will not be easy,” he said. “We have at least four teams that could be competitive at the state tournament next weekend and we have to battle for two spots. We just have to step up to the challenge.”
Powers provided a breakdown of how to meet that challenge.
“The key to us winning is not unlike it has been all year,” he said. “We must score the majority of our points in our lower weight classes and then battle through the upper classes. It is our team goal to stay off our back and not get pinned as well as to win all close matches. If we can do those two things then we should have a good tournament.”