Josh Kincaid

Madison County's Josh Kincaid (right) defeated Jefferson’s Mason Mingus for the 138-lb. Region 8-AAAA championship Saturday.

It’s become routine: Josh Kincaid grabbing the title. That was true once again Saturday as the decorated Red Raider senior won his fourth-straight Region 8-AAAA championship.

Now, he’ll turn his attention to the state tournament and winning a third-straight state title. He won the Class AAAA championship at 113 lbs. in 2019, at 126-lbs. in 2020 and will seek the 2021 138-lb. title at the Macon Centreplex this weekend.

Kincaid, Madison County’s all-time wins leader, won this weekend by fall over Troy Timmons from Flowery Branch in the semifinals, then won by decision over Jefferson’s Mason Mingus for the region crown.

“Josh joins Cody Bond being a four-time champion, almost the same deal,” said Madison County head coach Richie Houston. “Cody had Jefferson in our region for a couple of years. And then they were gone, and then they came back. Mingus was the same person he wrestled as his freshman year for the region title and the sectional title. It’s kind of a full circle kind of deal.”

Houston said Kincaid has a good chance at grabbing his third state title, but he said nothing can be taken for granted.

“There’s a kid from Columbus in the quarters that’s pretty tough, a guy who we could have in the semis,” he said. “The name of the state game is you take it one round at a time. You don’t look ahead. You don’t ever know who can win. You just wrestle to your strengths and don’t worry about everybody else.”

Kincaid will be joined in Macon by sophomore Red Raider Casey Lovelace, who finished third in Region 8-AAAA in the 152-lb. class.

“He (Lovelace) had a tournament, beat a kid he wasn’t supposed to beat,” said Houston. “Kudos to him.

He’s a first-time qualifier, got hurt last year. I think that was a big positive surprise for everybody involved. It’s get him kind of an upper foot for next year going into everything being a state qualifier. And hopefully it can help rally some of those other guys.”

Of course, if the traditionals this year were indeed “traditional,” and not affected by covid, then Madison County would have five more wrestlers competing in Macon. The Georgia High School Association reduced state qualifiers in each weight class from four to three, meaning anyone finishing fourth in the region this year wouldn’t make it to state as they usually would. That covid rule change knocked out five Red Raiders who finished fourth in their weight class Saturday: Dalton Giles, 120 lbs.; Matthew Bond, 145 lbs.; Bryson Drake, 160 lbs.; Tristan Poss, 170 lbs.; and Toby House, 182 lbs.

Houston said all the fourth-place wrestlers did really well and he is disappointed they won’t get to compete at state. He said Region 8-AAAA includes the three best Class AAAA teams in the state: Jefferson, North Oconee and Flowery Branch.

“Those guys who came in fourth would probably come in second in about 80 to 85 percent of the other regions,” he said. “That’s tough.”

Houston said Poss was very close to qualifying.

“I feel bad for Tristan Poss,” he said. “He lost to a kid from East Hall who finished fifth in the state last year in 3A. Tough kid, had the kid beat, 6-0, then the kid caught us in a Peterson and stuck us.”

Houston said he’s looking forward to the trip to Macon.

“Hopefully we’ll end on a good note,” he said. “Covid has given everybody a curve ball. I’m grateful that we got to get the season in for the kids. You got to tip your hat to the GHSA for getting through it. It kind of stinks not qualifying all four guys as we normally do. Hopefully, we can end on a good note and Josh can sew up his legacy.”

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