Commerce dropped the semifinal round of the Class A Duals Wrestling Championship last weekend in Macon, losing to eventual champion Holy Innocents.
Hobbled following an injury to Jacob Harrison, the Tigers lost in lopsided fashion, dropping 52-18 to the Golden Bears.
Coach Kendall Love was disappointed with the Tigers’ showing, believing they could’ve scored more points against the powerhouse team from Atlanta.
“We got outwrestled in this match. I was not pleased with our performance as I felt like we could make it a close match if we wrestled our best,” Love said. “We lost a couple of swing matches and it kind of snowballed on us.”
Commerce competed better during its next two matches with an extremely close win against Social Circle, the team the Tigers defeated to win the area championship.
The contest ended in a 35-35 tie and came down to a series of tiebreakers, with the Tigers winning because they scored first in the majority of matches. Harrison’s loss hurt in this round as well, with 12 points being forfeited to the Redskins. Harrison pinned his Social Circle opponent in the area meet recently and was expected to triumph again.
“I was a little worried because we had defeated them the week before and we were coming off of a very physical match with Holy Innocents,” Love said. “Not having Jacob hurt … that was a 12-point swing in their favor by not having him. Our guys competed well in this match and found a way to win after a tough semifinal loss.”
The Tigers’ last match against Bremen — to decide third and fourth place — was a state tournament rematch. Last year, the teams competed in the finals with Bremen winning its third state championship in a row.
Despite losing on Saturday, Love considered the contest among his team’s best of the day despite the loss, 40-27.
“This match was very competitive throughout and I was proud of the way our guys fought,” Love said. “We could have very easily knocked them off if a couple of calls would have went our way.”
Individually, Commerce wrestlers Chance McClure, Cody Legg and Trent Reddish were undefeated at the tournament. McClure remains unbeaten for the year.
Love said the young team handled the pressure of performing at the Macon Centreplex well, including the team’s opening win over Mt. Zion, Carroll, 62-18.
The experience will serve them well in the future, Love added.
“We are a young team and it was the first time many of our guys have been to the Macon Centreplex. You never know how young guys will react when they hit the big stage,” the coach said. “Finishing fourth at the State Duals is definitely something that the young guys can build on. We hope to go back next year with a more experienced team and see what happens.”