Coaches: Randy Hill (head coach), Tyler Ozburn and Bryce Jarvis.

Returning starters and other key wrestlers: Senior Isaiah Skinner returns as a two-time region champion at 152 pounds, while seniors Kendry Chicas (120) and Jonathan Pittman (145), juniors Owen Mabry (113), Lando Turner (126) and Zachary Bryant (195), and sophomores Caden Steele (126), Christopher Venegas (138), Brett Sharpe (182) all return to the lineup. Senior Joseph Bentley (220) and John Jira (195) are also expected to contribute heavily. On the girls’ side, nationally-ranked senior Samantha Hauff returns after a third-place finish at 152 pounds in the GHSA Class 5A traditional tournament last winter.

Team strengths and areas most in need of improvement: Hill said the team has been “working hard” but needs to continue improving on takedowns and getting out from the bottom during grappling.

Region outlook: Hill said once the lineup settles in, Apalachee should be in contention for a top-four finish in the Region 8-AAAAA duals and a trip to the state tournament in January.

Season outlook: The Wildcats opened the season with a ninth-place finish out of 14 teams at the Jackson County Panther Scramble on Nov. 13. After competing in the Turkey Duals at Madison County on Tuesday, Nov. 23, they’ll be back in action Saturday, Nov. 27, at the Archer Turkey invitational. “Each week we need to improve,” Hill said. “Finishing the process and practicing hard should lead to success on the mat.”


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