Prior to competing at the State Duals in Macon last weekend, head coach Jeremy Fountain said the season was going well and his team will compete hard in the state competition.
“Right now the season is going well. We’re wrestling the best we’ve ever done. We’re progressing but still want more,” he said.
“It’s a big honor for us to go to state. The guys and myself aren’t going to lay down for anyone, we’re going to make some noise,” Fountain said.
The Tigers had to finish in the top of the Area Duals to make it to state and they did just that as they finished first.
“The area duals went well for us. We won our region; that’s a first for us. We certainly improved,” Fountain said.
The Tigers went into the State Duals with a 23-9 team dual record.
One change from last season that Fountain noted was the size of the region. Competing in a 12-team region last season was “monstrous” but Fountain said his team can compete better this year in a six-team region.
Not only has the competition eased for state tournament spots, but competition has increased for top spots in each weight class because of the number of wrestlers on the team.
Fountain said the 65-man roster at the start of the season shrank to about 40 wrestlers. However, with more athletes than some football squads, Fountain said this number still makes for a better team.
“We’re building a program. With this many people they have to really compete for their spot,” Fountain said.
Fountain named seven people as his top wrestlers — 170-pound junior T.J. Beaird, 113-pound sophomore Keywan Gaines, 138-pound junior Solomon Greene, 182-pound senior Woodrow Kavanaugh, 132-pound sophomore Kalum Lo Vargas, 152-pound senior Drew Sanders and 285-pound junior Quinzavious Sands.
All seven of these athletes possess great wrestling qualities including strength, smart moves, being relentless, quickness, leadership and hardworking, Fountain said.
Overall Fountain said he hopes this is just the beginning for his team.
“We’re still working on being an elite team, but we have a great group of guys that work their butts off,” Fountain said.