WHILE Jackson County head coach Jason Powers admits that the Panthers did not “have their best area tournament showing” last weekend, JCCHS still managed to qualify three wrestlers for the Class AAA East Sectional tournament.
Brian Carranza (113 pounds), Zak Evans (152) and Chuck Allen (170) all finished fourth in their respective weight classes and will wrestle at sectionals next weekend in Morgan County.
Connor Crump (106), Trevin Sweat (126) and JT Wood (132) all finished fifth in their weight classes and are listed as alternates.
Banks County and Buford – the top-two AAA teams – made competing at the Area 4-AAA tournament in Elberton last weekend difficult for the rest of the competition. However, Powers noted that being in a “tough area” is only one of the contributing factors causing the Panthers to have an off day.
“We had a couple of injuries headed into the tournament which did not help us out either,” Powers said. “However, when it comes down to it, we just did not wrestle very well as a team. However, I am very proud of the three individuals that did advance and qualify for the sectional tournament”
While most of the Panther wrestlers are finished for the season, Powers said the entire team’s focus has shifted to preparing the three competitors who did qualify for sectionals.
“It is our goal to qualify all three of these wrestlers for the state tournament,” added Powers.
Doing so may be difficult being that fourth place finishers will match up against number one seeds from the other area; however, Powers believes that coming out of Area 4-A will give his Panthers the edge they need to be successful.
“I have no doubt that they will get the job done,” said Powers. “We are coming out of a much tougher area and a lot of our number four seeds will be able to beat their number one seeds. This is our goal and this is what these three individuals will accomplish this weekend.”