Commerce’s quest to regain its state duals title couldn’t have started off in more convincing fashion.
The Tigers — who saw a streak of six-straight dual state championships end last year — ran through the area tournament at Towns County Friday (Jan. 15) without a blemish, beating the host Indians 84-0 and following with an 84-0 win over Washington-Wilkes in the finals for the 8-A title. Commerce will now host the state sectionals Saturday (Jan. 23).
“Sometimes that’s how duals go,” coach Kendall Love said. “You kind of get rolling and feed off each other’s momentum. And that’s kind of what we did.”
The coach said “it’s been a while” since his team has recorded a pair of 84-0 wins on the same day.
Love noted several wrestlers “got some mat time” during the lopsided victories.
“I’m sure it will be little different this weekend,” Love said.
Top-seeded Commerce will host a sectional quad that will include No. 2 seed Wesleyan, No. 3 seed Gordon Lee and No. 4 seed Bowdon. Wrestling starts at 11 a.m. Only the winner of this sectional quad advances on to state.
“I really think we’ve got the toughest little quad that Class A has,” Love said. “You’ve got two teams that have won state championships in Wesleyan and Gordon Lee. They’ve both won wrestling state championships within the last few years.”
Commerce will wrestle Bowdon in the first round. If the Tigers win, they’ll face the winner of Wesleyan and Gordon Lee.
In addition to a tough bracket, Love said other variables can always affect the starting lineup.
“You always worry with the way the world is right now with COVID and everything else, on top of injuries … throwing COVID in there is just something else to worry about,” Love said. “If we have our starters available Saturday, it would be a big plus. I feel like if we wrestle our best, we’ll be OK.”
But Love reiterated the strength of this sectional quad, again pointing to Wesleyan and Gordon Lee.
“Again, those are two tough teams that have full lineups,” Love said. “They’ve been there before so to speak. They know how to win, so it’s going to be interesting.”