There are those expected to advance.
Then there are the surprises.
Local high school wrestling teams begin competition at their respective area traditional tournaments today, with Murray County hosting the Area 3-2A tournament, Coahulla Creek and North Murray heading to Central Carroll for the Area 2-3A tournament and Dalton, Northwest Whitfield and Southeast Whitfield at Gilmer for the Area 7-4A tournament.
In Area 3-2A, competition begins at 5:30 p.m. today and 10 a.m. Saturday, with the finals anticipated at 3:30 p.m. In Area 2-3A, competition starts at 5 p.m. today and 9 a.m. Saturday, with the finals expected at 3 p.m. In Area 7-4A, start times are 4 p.m. today and 8:30 a.m. Saturday, when the finals are slated for 4 p.m.
The top four wrestlers in each weight class will advance to next week’s sectional tournaments, where finishing in the top half of the bracket will grant them a spot in the state tournament.
At each of the area tournaments involving local teams, local wrestlers are among those who are either seeded high or expected by their coaches to do well. Yet each team is hoping for one or two eyebrow-raising performances from someone unexpected.
Murray County coach Chris Thornbury, who has led the Indians since the early 1990s and is the longest tenured among area coaches, knows the traditional postseason is good for a few strange turns of events. In addition to upsets on the mat, there could be controversial calls and wrestlers who either suffer an injury, don’t make weight or are ejected from competition.
Like other coaches, Thornbury just hopes the bracket shockers are wearing his team’s colors. He’s seen “unbeatable” wrestlers lose before and doesn’t want his team to pay attention to “hype.”
“We talk to our guys about competing,” Thornbury said, “because there are things that are going to happen in these next three weeks you never dreamed would happen. People are going to be shocked. But you can’t control those things, so you’ve got to compete and seize the day when the opportunity arises.”
There are those expected to advance.
Dalton High School’s baseball team started the fifth inning of Friday’s crucial Sub-region 7B-4A game against Heritage-Catoosa with four consecutive hits.
The only problem for the Catamounts was that was where their good hitting started and stopped.
Prep roundup: Upset puts N. Murray in baseball playoffs
Over the past few seasons, a late-season game with Sonoraville has been the deciding factor in whether the North Murray High School baseball team advanced to the state playoffs.
Miller, Mariners off to NAIA title tournament
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On to the title match
With around 15 minutes left in Thursday’s Region 7-4A semifinals match, Northwest Whitfield High School’s boys soccer team increased pressure on Southeast Whitfield with hopes of a tying goal.
But the host Raiders were the ones getting the late goal.
Prep tennis: Perfect Colts claim title in Region 5-3A
Coahulla Creek High School’s boys tennis team only needed three years to win its first region championship.
Prep baseball: Cats must win today to clinch No. 2 seed
Dalton High School’s baseball team led 6-5 against visiting Heritage-Catoosa as late as the fifth inning with a chance to clinch second place in Sub-region 7B-4A.
Region track and field: Richardson paces Murray Co. girls
Katlyn Richardson has had an impressive junior season for Murray County High School’s girls track and field team.
Colts boys have shot at 3A golf state sectional
Coahulla Creek High School’s boys golf team finished second in the Region 5-3A tournament at Calhoun’s Fields Ferry Golf Course on Thursday, but now the Colts will have to wait to see if they will advance to the Class 2A state sectional tournament.
Let’s keep playing
Academic offerings played a big part in which college football program nabbed Christian Heritage School’s Nich Bartley, one of the area’s top players in 2013.
Prep roundup: Coahulla Creek hurts N. Murray’s playoff hopes
One play in the fifth inning, during which the sun got in pitcher Braiden Jacobs’ eyes, seemed to encapsulate the entire season for Coahulla Creek High School’s baseball team.
But it could be one rule misinterpretation that defines the season for North Murray.
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