Matt Moore’s quest for another state wrestling title was delayed not by an opponent but by the weather last week.
Old Man Winter put a freeze on the state wrestling tournament causing Moore and his Apalachee High School teams to have to wait another week before finishing their quest for championships. The state wrestling tournaments will now be held at individual venues with Class AAAAA being hosted by Loganville High School Friday and Saturday.
“It was disappointing,” Moore told the Journal Sunday afternoon. “I was excited about wrestling in the Gwinnett Arena to finish my high school career. However, not being able to was out of my control.”
With school closed most of last week, Moore had to work out on his own. He also attended some wrestling practices for his club team.
Moore won a state title as a sophomore and was state runner-up last season. He is undefeated this year and most expect him to claim another state medal. Would anything less be a disappointment for the wrestling standout?
“Everyone is expecting me to win, but I haven’t wrestled everyone in the state,” Moore said. “I’m going to do the best I can. I am going to do what I can to win it.”
The state runner-up finish in 2012-2013 has fueled Moore to some degree this season. He lost on points in the state championship a year ago.
“It has been a motivation,” he said. “I got a little full of myself last season. I had beaten him before, but he got me when it counted. It’s not a great feeling. It has stayed in the back of my mind.”
The senior said he does not do a great deal of scouting of his potential opponents although he said his father does.
“I’m going out there to wrestle the way I wrestle,” Moore said. “It helps me not to focus on an opponent, but to focus on what I need to do.”
Moore has wrestled several times at LHS during his career, but he said he’s not sure how much of an advantage that will give him this weekend. He said the state finals will have a different atmosphere than a regular season match.
“They are going to showcase everyone,” Moore said. “They will try to make it as big of a deal as they can. It might be different than what would have been in the Gwinnett Area, but Loganville is always a good host.”
“Matt will be ready,” AHS coach Graham Burns said. “He’s such a strong competitor. It would take a monumental effort for someone to stop him from winning it all again. He has been focused all season.”
Moore will continue his wrestling career for the University of North Carolina following graduation from AHS.
Moore will join teammates Dylan Staples, Justin Skinner, Kevin Bindshusz and Keyvontreal Jefferson Friday and Saturday in the finals.