Madison Co. wrestlers brace for tough 8-AAAA tourney
A mere look at the stat sheet shows that Madison County boasts its share of wrestlers with postseason potential.
In fact, the Raiders currently have seven wrestlers with at least 30 wins on their résumés this season.
“If we were in some other regions, I would say that would be the seven that are definitely going (to the state sectionals),” coach Richie Houston said.
But advancing out of the Region 8-AAAA tournament — set for Friday and Saturday at Loganville — is a different story with powers Rockdale County and Loganville expected to dominate most of the weight classes.
Combined, Rockdale County and Loganville have at least two favorites per weight class to advance on to the newly-implemented state sectionals.
“(It’s) almost a given,” Houston said.
Since only four wrestlers from each weight class can advance, that doesn’t leave much room for the other schools.
“So basically you have nine teams fighting for two spots,” Houston said.
The top four qualify for the 16-man bracket at the sectionals. The top eight placers at sectionals then qualify for the state tournament.
That gives the state a 16-man bracket as opposed to a 32-man bracket in years past. The change was made to strengthen the field at the state tournament.
“Basically, you’re weeding out those guys at the state tournament that go 0-2,” Houston said.
But first comes the arduous task of getting past the region tournament.
Though 8-AAAA lost a couple of teams to reclassification — Eastside and Jackson County moved down to Class AAA — the region hasn’t lost its reputation as one of the most difficult leagues around.
“We’re still a pretty tough region,” said Houston, noting that 8-AAAA produced the most state placers and state champions in Class AAAA last year.
NOTES: Madison County’s top individual records this year belong to Michael Kilpatrick (39-12), Kyle Bates (38-13), Issac Smith (35-16), Cody Phillips (34-9), Colton Phillips (33-12), Tyler Adams (33-14) and Chris Savage (31-14).
Raiders rack up in Patriot Classic
Four Madison County wrestlers won their weight divisions as the Raiders claimed second-place honors in Saturday’s eight-team Patriot Classic at Oglethorpe County High School.
“The team responded real well,” coach Richie Houston said. “I believe we are peaking at the right time.”
Colton Phillips (119-lb.), Kyle Bates (135), Chris Savage (140) and Issac Smith (145) all won their respective weight classes as Madison County totaled 166 points for the day, 49 points behind champion Jackson County.
Strengthening Madison County’s overall score were second-place finishes from Cody Phillips (112), Michael Kilpatrick (130) and Tanner Johnson (152).
Caleb McCain (125) and Tyler Adams (215) turned in third-place showings, and Steven Resby (171) finished fourth.