The Jackson County girls' wrestling team took a quality over quantity approach to the Burnt Mountain Classic at Pickens County.

The Panthers brought just four wrestlers to the event and still finished 1st among 13 schools with 38 points. Jackson County surpassed 2nd place River Ridge by just three points. North Hall rounded out the top three with 30 points.

"Saturday was another successful team day," said head coach Melissa Krause. "Every girl that wrestled placed and we brought home the team trophy.

"When we only send a few it's nice to finish well and finish strong with the few that we have. Hopefully by the time late January, early February rolls around everybody will be healthy and ready to roll. 

Lily Chavis (225-lb.) led the team with a 1st place finish by earning two first period pinfall wins over Lindsey Giles (Towns County).

Roxy Bennett (122-lb.) finished 2nd with a 1-1 record at the tournament. She defeated Alyssa Roberts (River Ridge) by pinfall in the semifinals, but lost to Abby Escobar (West Hall) in the finals.

"She's got a couple of things she's got to figure out," Krause said. "She just can't quite finish on a few of these girls. She's taken 2nd a couple of times. I think she's more capable so we have to fine tune a few things for her so she can bring home those 1st place medals. 

'She's a hard worker and I know she'll come through and get it figured out."

Annastasia Skoda finished 3rd with a victory over Sahana Krishjanthan (Alpharetta) in the consolation finals. Her victory was Jackson County's last of the tournament and gave the Panthers the points needed to finish 1st.

'We needed her to win so we could come back into first place," Krause said. "I didn't tell her that before she went out there. The girls were cheering her on and she ended up pulling it off and won. That was an exciting moment for us as a team.

"When I told her afterwards it completely made her day. She was smiling ear-to-ear, it was really cool."

Ansley Herrin went 1-2 on the day to finish 4th. Her victory came against Lesley Martinez (West hall) by pinfall. Krause said she fought hard at the event despite not being 100-percent health-wise. 


Jackson County sent two girls to Woodward Academy on Monday (Dec. 20). Chavis finished 1st and Skoda finished 3rd. Team scores weren't kept at the event.

"[Skoda] is starting to get some wins under her belt," Krause said. "It's only her first season ever, so she's starting to get it figured out. She's eager to learn and improve which is awesome to see.

"Lily keeps fine tuning what she knows, what she's capable of. She's working towards another opportunity at state this year for her third year in a row as a junior. Today was a good day."


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