With the 8-AA Area Tournament only days away, and the Sectionals for State just over a week off, the Banks County mat Leopards are down to the wire for getting guys back in top form to compete.
“At this point in the season, team wins just aren't as important as individuals being healthy enough to compete in the area tournament,” said coach Kasey Hanley.
Banks County had several starters missing from the mats due to injuries in several of the most recent matches, and it is still to close to tell how many will be ready to go on the weekend. Senior night
Tuesday night, the Leopards hosted Dawson County, Gainesville and Wesleyan for the wrestling Senior Night where the team’s seniors’ Clint Caudell, Travis Betts, Marcus Adams, Paul Newell, Nathan Holloway, Jared Gregory, Cole Albers, Brian Mathis and Jacob Bolton were honored. Also before the match, the USA club participants were honored for their achievements.
On Monday, Hanley said that he would hold back as much as he could and give the guys some time to rest while still putting about 70 percent speed on the mat.
“It is a tough call right now. We will probably still allow some to rest,” Hanley said. “We will have a fairly light week after Tuesday, mainly honing what we have.”
Hanley was looking for wrestlers to step up and that is what he got as Banks defeated both Gainesville and Dawson County on Tuesday.
Defeating Gainesville, 60-13, the Leopard grapplers had key match wins from Eli Smallwood, Cole Albers, Jared Gregory, Joe Denton, Jacob Bolton, Marcus Adams, Mason Patton, Fransisco Hurtado, Viet Pham, Homer Carver and Avery Tench.
The Leopards continued to roll, adding a win over Dawson County, 46-32. Key wins came from Gregory, Bolton, Adams, Mason Patton, Jordan Waters, Hurtado, Justin Fincannon, and Tench.
This weekend, Banks County joins the other 8-AA teams at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville for the Area Tournament.