Injuries always come during a wrestling season.
However, for all but two local teams, it’s becoming tough to fill out a full lineup.
When Coahulla Creek, Dalton, Murray County, North Murray, Northwest Whitfield and Southeast Whitfield each begin their respective area tournaments today, each will need to overcome at least one injury to the preferred starting lineup. Only the Indians and Raiders expect to avoid forfeiting a weight class.
The Mountaineers, the Area 2-3A tournament hosts, have become the main example for in-season roster shakeups. North Murray has had seven wrestlers — 106-pounder Kayla Webb, Raul Perez (120), Matt Pelam (126), Hagen Stealman (126), Elias Lechuga (132), Brandon Brock (138) and Ethan Center (160) — either leave the team or receive injuries. Tyler McKee (152) received a neck injury during Thursday’s practice and could be added to the list. North Murray coach Steve Colley expects the Mountaineers to forfeit classes 113, 126, 170 and 195.
“I’ve never had anything like it,” he said. “The kids are even scared now. They’re scared to do anything.”
Some teams are more hospital ward than weight room.
Joining them in the area tournament will be the Colts, who will fill each class except for two. Coach Anthony Thomas said 113-pounder Francisco Sanchez, who made sectionals last season, suffered a broken wrist. Fortunately for Coahulla Creek, Dennis Carrier will fill the void. The Colts still will forfeit classes 106 and 195.
“We haven’t had anybody at those all year,” he said.
Northwest heavyweight Joey Roth’s broken ankle equals a definite forfeit for the Bruins heading into the Area 7-4A tournament in Cedartown.
“Some teams are deep enough that they can put a JV kid in,” Northwest coach Allen Tucker said. “I expect that most of the 11 teams down there will have one or two weight classes that they can’t fill.”
Murray County coach Chris Thornbury, who has enough depth to fill voids made from a couple injuries, said forfeits and non-full lineups are a common occurrence in lower classifications.
“When you’re a (Class 2A) school, like us, that’s true for a lot of teams, because you’re drawing from a smaller pool of students,” said Thornbury, whose team competes in Area 3-2A at Lovett. “All those things are just excuses, and someone has to step up and do what they’re supposed to do.”
Southeast also has been fortunate in avoiding major injuries. Raiders (17-11) coach Michael Herndon predicts not forfeiting any classes in the Area 7-4A competition despite having his wrestlers shift weight classes mid-season to provide a complete lineup, and the best one possible.
“We took last weekend off just for that reason,” he said. “After coaching last year, this is the point I realized we’d have sickness and injuries. So we took a week off (to heal). Hopefully it has paid off.”
Another hindrance to many teams is the timing of the tournament. With the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season barely in the past, many wrestlers are still far from home. Dalton coach Michael Keefe only sent seven wrestlers to Wednesday’s Bulldog Slam in Cedartown, the same place the Catamounts return to today.
“I had kids who were out the entire break because they (went on vacation) with their family and went out of town,” said Keefe, who expects to forfeit at least four weight classes. “It’s hard to have a practice with a team like that.”
Injuries always come during a wrestling season.
Catamounts remain in control
Dalton High School’s boys soccer team defended its winning streak and No. 1 ranking while earning county bragging rights again by defending for 80 minutes.
Prep roundup: Scoreless match offers benefits for NW Whit and Coahulla
Both North-west Whitfield boys soccer coach Ryan Scoggins and Coahulla Creek coach Eric Parker got exactly what they wanted Friday night when their teams clashed at Bruin Stadium.
The one thing neither got was a win. But they didn’t get losses either.
Granger adds familiar sports to coaching duties at North Murray
By the time he is done with his teaching and coaching career, there is a good chance that North Murray High School’s Steve Granger will have worked with every sport Georgia high schools have to offer.
Calhoun's big for Class 2A basketball title comes up short
Isaiah Wilkins scored 29 points to lead undefeated Greater Atlanta Christian to a 58-55 win over Calhoun in the Georgia High School Association’s Class 2A boys state championship game on Friday at the Macon Coliseum.
Prep Roundup: A little bit of momentum
Neither Dalton High School baseball coach Shane Ramsey nor North Murray coach David Redmond has had much reason to complain about their offensive production this season.
Defense is another matter.
Prep football: Cats will kick off in Alabama
Faced with a scheduling quandary after going through three different rounds of region realignment by the Georgia High School Association, Dalton High School football coach Matt Land relied on his Auburn University ties.
Land said the Catamounts will kick off the 2014 football season taking on a team coached by a former teammate of his with the Tigers.
"After Deadline" sports podcast - March 5, 2014 (free)
The Daily Citizen's "After Deadline" sports podcast returns to talk about the high school soccer season so far, including the surging Coahulla Creek boys team, which sports writer Devin Golden predicts will win the Region 5-3A title.
Jamie Jones: Punk's agent says situation is 'tricky'
Here are the notes and news items from the week in pro wrestling: With WWE “Raw” emanating from Chicago this past Monday, fans were buzzing about the possible return of C.M. Punk.
Northwest's Godfrey, Souther sign with Cleveland (Tenn.) State
TUNNEL HILL — Hannah Godfrey and Mallory Souther won enough games and championships at Northwest Whitfield to make most high school softball players jealous.
Area prep roundup: Chastain's homer lifts Cats over Mountaineers
On a night when both teams had solid pitching and defense, Dalton High School’s Jase Chastain put his team over the top at the plate.
- More Sports Headlines
- Catamounts remain in control