Advancing from the region to the state duals will take quality work on the mat, but it will also mean getting everyone to the mat.

In a year of quarantines, wrestling teams around the state have seen their plans disrupted on a regular basis.

Madison County and other Region 8-AAAA teams will face off at Jefferson this Saturday with the top four teams advancing to the state duals Jan. 22-23.

“It’s difficult on a day-to-day basis,” said Red Raider head coach Richie Houston about the roster uncertainties in a year full of quarantines. “If you have kids out that you thought were going to win, that’s a 24-point swing the other way.”

Houston said his team is aiming to finish in the top four this weekend.

“We need to win a couple of dual meets to place in the top four,” he said. “I think it’s going to be whoever has everybody there and can fill all the weight classes.”

Madison County lost its planned Senior Night this week as Morgan County canceled due to covid protocols. A senior recognition is planned Tuesday when Rabun County and Franklin County visit.

The Red Raiders’ lone senior, Josh Kincaid, led Madison County once again this past weekend, finishing first at the Elbert County Inferno Invitational, where the team took third.

“Size-wise, he’s such a small 138 compared to everybody else he wrestles,” said Houston of his two-time state champion who continues to win. “He’s doing well.”

The coach praised other wrestlers, too.

“Tristan Poss did real well for us at 170; he looked good,” said Houston. “Dalton Giles (a freshman) wrestled a two-time state placer in the finals. So he got to kind of feel what that next level is like…. A lot of it is just confidence. When you’re 14 and 15 and you’re wrestling someone who’s 17 or 18, there’s a big physical difference. Confidence wise, this weekend helped Jace Jachimski at 132.”

Top Madison County finishers at Elbert County included Josh Kincaid, first, 138 lbs.; Jace Jachimski, second, 132 lbs.; Dalton Giles, second, 120 lbs.; Tristan Poss, second, 170 lbs.; Toby House, third, 182 lbs.; Caylen Kettle, third, 220 lbs.; Matthew Bond, fourth, 145 lbs.; Casey Lovelace, fourth, 152 lbs.; and Nate Krickel, fourth, heavyweight.

Junior varsity wrestlers traveled to Lambert High School this past weekend for a tournament. Top Raider finishers included: Wyatt Morris, second, 170 lbs.; Brodie Hawks, third, 106 lbs.; Bryson Drake, third, 160 lbs.; Kae Ser, third, 182 lbs.; Reese Braswell, fourth, 113 lbs.; Zach Esters, fourth, 145 lbs.; Max Brown, fourth, 152 lbs.; Saw Yo, fourth, heavyweight.

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