Upon its return from the Christmas holidays, Madison County wrestling team already had 19 dual wins on the season.
Not bad, coach Richie Houston said. Especially for a team he thought might not approach that mark all year.
“I was kind of debating if we would see 20 wins,” he said. “We haven’t quite got there yet. Hopefully, I think we’ll be able to break the 20-win mark again. That’s always good.”
Making Madison County’s 19-win total (as of Monday) this year all the more impressive is that the Raiders have been forfeiting matches at the 103-lb. and 171-lb. classes.
“That’s hard going into each dual meet 12 points behind,” Houston noted.
The Raiders (19-10) were set to wrestle Jackson County and North Oconee this past Tuesday before heading into the Region 8-AAAA duals Friday and Saturday at Clarke Central.
Madison County will likely earn a fifth or sixth seed for this weekend’s event.
Loganville is the favorite to win the dual title, entering at the no. 1 spot. Rockdale County is the no. 2 seed. Houston said the three through five seeds are still “up in the air.”
While the duals champion will be crowded in a couple of days, the traditional region tournament won’t be until Feb. 6-7.
Madison County padded its dual record over the Christmas break by going 7-3 at the Cherokee (N.C.) Tournament Dec. 29-30 to finish fourth out of 10 teams.
“It was a pretty good trip,” Houston said of his team’s annual trek to the mountains of western North Carolina.
The Raiders beat Berkmar, Franklin (N.C.), Hayesville (N.C.), Murphy (N.C.), Cherokee (N.C.), Towns County and Northwest Whitfield’s B-team.
Cody Phillips (112-lb.) led Madison County with a 9-1 record.
The Raiders also received standout individual efforts from Kyle Gordon (189-lb., 8-2), Michael Kilpatrick (130-lb., 8-2), Issac Smith (152-lb., 7-3), Tanner Johnson (160-lb., 7-3), Tyler Adams (215-lb., 7-3) and Kyle Bates (140-lb., 7-3).