Madison County Middle School wrestlers recently wrapped up a successful 2020-21 season, with a final record of 14-2.
“Our season went well to start with, but as we have all dealt with this year, covid and quarantines took their toll on us,” said middle school head wrestling coach Eric Berryman. “We knew going in that it was the flip of a coin on how and when we would be affected, but we were in the same situation as every other team, because they would also be dealing with the same issues.”
The Mustangs’ only losses of the year both came against Social Circle.
The team opened the season with a tournament win at the Ram Invitational in Elbert County. Seven Mustangs won individual championships in that event: Brody Drake, 75 lbs.; Andrew Fairchild, 103 lbs.; Julian Dyer, 112 lbs.; Reid Dudley, 147 lbs.; Nolan Russell, 171 lbs.; Curion Hyche, 190 lbs.; and Jasiah Toole, heavyweight.
Madison County then hosted the annual Mustang Classic.
“This year we divided the tournament into two days to attempt to space people out and limit numbers of spectators and participants,” said Berryman. “We turned this tournament from an individual to two separate Dual Team Tournaments. One tournament taking place on Friday night and the next tournament taking place on Saturday.”
Madison County won the Friday night tournament with a team record of 5-0 on the night and placed second on Saturday with a team record of 4-1 falling only to Social Circle.
Madison County then won the seven-team NEGIAA region dual event at Stephens County for the third year in a row, defeating every team in the region. The region individual tournament was held the next day, with Madison County once again dominating the competition, winning this portion of the tournament for the third year in a row. Berryman said two participants were allowed per weight class, however the second participant in each weight class is not allowed to score points for your team.
Madison County had total of 14 placers out of 17 weight classes, with 10 of those placers in the finals. The Mustangs had four champions on the day: Caiden Mize, 80 lbs.; Aleister Meilke, 85 lbs.; Nolan Russell, 171 lbs.; and Curion Hyche, 190 lbs.
After region, the middle school and high school were on virtual school and this basically ended the Mustang season.
“We do participate in a League Called the Peach State League which has a total of 16 teams in it,” said Berryman. “We typically host this tournament and were unable to host it this year due to Covid restrictions. The fate of this tournament was in limbo until Jackson County agreed to host the tournament almost on a last minute deal on Jan. 1. We were not able to fill a full line up in this tournament for the first time in seven years. We took a partial team to the tournament now hosted in Jackson County.”
Madison County has won that tournament the past two years.
“However, we knew going in this year would be different,” said Berryman.
Madison County finished eighth on the day with one individual champion, Braelon Curry, 220 lbs.
“The current eighth grade members have had a great run,” said Berryman. “In the past three years they have been part of a team that has won 14 tournaments and placed second in three tournaments. In the three second-place finishes, two of those we didn't have a full line up for different reasons.”
Mustang 20-plus match winners this year were as follows:
•Brody Drake 20-10, 18 pins
•Aleister Mielke 28-6, 27 pins
•Andrew Fairchild 22-10, 19 pins
•Julian Dyer 29-5, 20 pins
•Nolan Russell 29-3, 28 pins
•Curion Hyche 28-0, 27 pins (did not participate in the Peach State)
•Braelon Curry 20-7, 15 pins.