The Raider wrestlers head down I-75 for some southern exposure at the Tift County tournament this Saturday.
The event features 15 teams, including some bigger schools from the southern portion of the state.
“We get to see some of the Class AAAAA schools out of South Georgia,” coach Richie Houston said.
Out of the tournament field, Valdosta is “usually good,” according to Houston, while Lee traditionally dominates Region 1-AAAA. Houston also noted that Cook County is typically tough in Class AA and that host Tift County is enjoying a strong year.
The team heads into the event with five wrestlers — Kyle Bates (formerly 140), Chris Savage (formerly 145), Issac Smith (formerly 152) and Tanner Johnson (formerly 160) — dropping down one weight class.
“I think it will be better for them individually once we get to (the) area (tournament) … it takes a couple of weeks for them to get acclimated,” Houston said.
As for the team, Madison County ran its dual record to 22-14 last Tuesday with a 44-24 whipping of Hart County. Cody Phillips (112), Colton Phillips (119), Caleb McCain (125), Michael Kilpatrick (130), Kyle Bates (135), Chris Savage (140), Issac Smith (145), Kyle Gordon (189) and Tyler Adams (215) all collected victories.
Kilpatrick now owns the Raiders’ best record at 32-9. Bates falls slightly behind Kilpatrick with a 32-10 mark. Other top records belong to Colton Phillips (28-8), Cody Phillips (27-6), Smith (27-14), Adams (26-10) and Savage (23-11).
The regular season is now almost over for the mat Raiders.
After this weekend’s tournament, only a dual match with Habersham Central and a tournament at Oglethorpe County remain on the regular season schedule.