High School Wrestling

Teams return to mat today for area tournaments

by Chris Goltermann

Josh Herring was determined to make sure today's Area 3-AAAAAA wrestling tournament began without a hitch, even after a week filled with detours and stoppages.

Now it's up to athletes from East Coweta and Newnan to take care of the rest.

Wrestlers representing the county's three GHSA schools will be battling to keep respective seasons alive today without much of a chance for mat time since Monday. Four consecutive days of school closings presents an added challenge toward advancing to next week's state sectionals and the hope of eventually reaching the GHSA championship tournament in Gwinnett.

The six schools that make up 3-AAAAAA begin action this morning at ECHS's John Thrower Gym around 9 a.m., while Northgate heads to McIntosh for the Area 4-AAAAA tournament featuring 11 schools.

Coaches have been away from their athletes for four days when Winter Storm Leon caused enough havoc with icy roads to keep students out of school since Tuesday. It gave teams just one day of practice heading into area tournaments.

Not only are wrestlers a bit rusty, some of whom haven't had a match for more than a week like East Coweta, which took last weekend off. But coaches also have to concern themselves with this morning's weigh-ins even though athletes will have a buffer of two pounds.

The National Federation of High School Associations allows all athletes a maximum of two pounds when competitions or practices are postponed for reasons beyond the control of the participants.

Regardless, some like Herring, were concerned through much of this week about how their wrestlers would handle the extended break.

"I am praying, hoping for the best and thinking about what I can do to motivate kids to keep active in the snow and manage their weight," Herring said Wednesday.

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