Jackson County's Cooper Hoffman tangles with an opponent from Franklin County during the Panther Invitational. Hoffman won the 113-pound weight class. 

Jackson County coach Jason Powers said his team still has improvements to make but can’t complain with the early results on the mat.

Wresting in its first major tournament of the year, Jackson County produced a champion, a runner-up and seven placers to finish fourth in its own Panther Invitational Saturday (Dec. 5).

“I was very pleased with the fourth-place finish,” Powers said. “This is a great accomplishment for us at this point in the season. We have a young team in places, but they wrestled extremely well.

“We still have things we have to work on in the room on a daily basis and we must continue to improve, but I am pleased at where we are at this point in the season.”

Cooper Hoffman won the 113-pound weight class, while Jacob Crumley took second in the 160-pound bracket. Others placing in the top four were Jose Pacheco (third, 106), Ramon Castillo (third, 120), Trisitan Benton (fourth, 170), Jett Gonzales (fourth, 126) and Drew Campbell (fourth, 285).

“Having seven placers in this tournament is a great thing. We had a few others that barely missed out on placing in the top four,” Powers said. “Cooper had a fantastic tournament. He has really worked hard in the weight room in the off-season and it shows. He is much stronger and that helped him excel in the tournament this weekend.

“Jacob also had a great day, just came up a little short in the finals. However, he is working on very short practice time, as many of us are this year, and I expect that he will continue to improve as the season goes on. “

Powers added that his team “had a great medal round” to close out Saturday.

“Which is always important,” he said. “It's important not to be complacent and just settle for the medal. You must continue to strive to climb the ladder.”

Jackson County wrestles at Peachtree Ridge Wednesday (Dec. 9) and Elbert County on Saturday (Dec. 12).


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