Panthers clinch superb wins in area matches

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It’s not easy to come out as the victor more times than one, but the Jackson County Comprehensive High School wrestling team demonstrated their ability to do after a couple of fantastic finishes.

The Panthers were faced with a little bit of adversity as a few wrestlers were feeling under the weather but, the team proved they can get the job done with a smaller crew. The Panthers defeated East Jackson and Franklin County High School on Dec. 11 in a home match.

“It was a great night for us. I am very proud of how we wrestled. We still had a couple of wrestlers out of the line-up and we were able to pull together for a couple of big wins,” said Head Coach Jason Powers.

“The flu has impacted numerous local wrestling teams and we are no different. We are fighting off the flu better than some teams, but we still have a few out sick and others [that are] not at one-hundred percent yet. Every area match carries a lot of importance not only for the team but the individuals as well because of seeding [that will take place in] February,” said Powers.

This past weekend at the John Smith Mountaineer, the Panthers remained dominant with wins over East Hall, Riverside Military and Forsyth Central High School. However, it was their performance over host Lumpkin County High School that helped JCCHS garner an overall first place finish.

“I thought this was the best dual showing that we had all year. We [were] very disciplined and stuck to our strengths. We still have a lot to learn and have a lot of areas to improve upon but, we are coming together nicely individually and [as] a team,” Powers said.

“We followed up the good showing on Friday night with a great individual tournament on Saturday by placing all nine wrestlers that entered the tournament in the top three; [we were] eventually [named] tournament champions [after] fending off Lumpkin County by 1-point,” stated Powers.

Conner Andreasen, Luke Gonzalez, Daivon Ledford and Evan Breakspear took first place while JT Wood and Zak Evans achieved second place. Conner Crump, Anthony Ledford and Lane Robertson finished in third.

“For some of our wrestlers, this was their first high school medal of many to come. I am very proud of how they wrestled. Each one of them showed a lot of heart at some point during the tournament and it paid off for them as individuals and as a team,” said Powers.

The Panthers will compete at Woodward Academy on Dec. 21-22 in the War Eagle Classic which will serve as a pivotal meet for JCCHS.

“This will be a tough tournament and will test [a] numerous [amount] of our wrestlers and will give them a good [look] at state opponents that we normally don’ t see until the end of February,” said Powers.

Following the War Eagle Classic, the Panthers will head to Oconee County for the Area Duals which are set for Jan 4-5.