“We did not have a good feeling for a runner-up finish. You have to understand, we are proud of the fact that we reached the finals, but our goal was to win a state championship,” said head wrestling coach Sean Moistner.
Moistner is pleased with how his team performed, but going home without the first place finish, according to him, there is still some work to be done.
“I feel like we performed well, but not great. We did make the finals, so that is a good accomplishment, but we did not win it, so there is room for improvement,” said Moistner.
Alexander wrestled four rounds, first beating Eagles Landing 50-17, then taking down Marist 43-21. In their third round the Cougars defeated West Laurens 36-28, before falling in the finals 45-14 to Gilmer.
When it comes down to why the team didn’t bring home the championship, Moistner used one word to sum it all up — hustle.
“The championship came down to hustle. We simply got outhustled by Gilmer. We lost two matches by one point each and one match in overtime. Those losses are attributed to hustle,” Moistner said.
The final matchups aside, Moistner had three wrestlers to do a great job and help get the team as far as they did.
Wrestling at 106, senior Trae Green finished with a 4-0 record on the weekend and Moistner said he “did a tremendous job of scoring points for the team.”
Competing at 126, sophomore Roman Boylen “did a great job the whole tournament of trying to score bonus points for the team” as he, too, finished 4-0.
Rounding out the top three is senior Deandre Sims, wrestling at 170. Moistner said Sims “was dominant in every match he wrestled.”
The team is now switching focus to prepare for the traditional tournaments coming up, beginning with the region meet on Feb. 2. The traditional tournament emphasizes individual championships as opposed to team titles.
“Practice will become more individualized for each of our wrestlers. We will work on each wrestler’s strengths and weaknesses in hopes of winning their individual championships,” Moistner said.
Just as with the state duals, the goal for Alexander is to win it all.
“Our goal, as it always is, is to win the state championship,” Moistner said.