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2019-20 Wrestling season begins
Senior Christian Harper takes down his opponent on Nov. 14 in the 2019-20 season opener against the Fannin County Rebels. - photo by Bob Christian

The Dawson County High School wrestling team has kicked off the 2019 season at a furious pace as the team has faced-off against seven opponents in three matches over a nine-day period.

Starting on the road at Chestatee High School on Nov. 14, the Tigers battled the War Eagles and the Fannin County Rebels. Despite having to forfeit five weight classes due to the absence of wrestlers still committed to playing football, Dawson County gave as good as they got to fall short by only a handful of point against the two schools.

Seniors Bri Ray, Christian Harper and Danny Phillips led a ferocious attack by the Tigers as each picked up their first wins of the season against Chestatee. Harper and Phillips finished the night with another set of wins against the Rebels.

Unfortunately, the 30-point deficit was too much to overcome in each match and the Tigers fell to the War Eagle 47-25 and just short of Fannin County by a final score of 48-36. Considering the circumstances, head coach Arron Haynes was thrilled with the outcome.

“I’ll take those scores all day after spotting them 30 points,” Haynes said. “When you take out the forfeits, we were beating them in head-to-head match-ups.”

Dawson County picked up their first win of the season against Riverside Military Academy in the home opener on Nov. 21 at the Ford Phillips Arena. Still missing five wrestlers, the Tigers won all but one match to capture the victory 42-36.

Johnson County proved to be a tougher nut to crack, and the Tigers moved to 1-3 on the season after a heartbreaking 42-39 battle that wasn’t decided until the final bout.

On Saturday, Nov. 23 the Tigers once again played host, this time to three schools in a morning tri-meet that started at 9 a.m. with the Blessed Trinity Titans. In another match hampered by the absence of five weight classes, the Titans took full advantage of the early lead and went on to a 52-21 victory over Dawson County.

In their second match of the day, the Tigers finally faced another team on equal footing as East Jackson was also short a handful of players due to an extended football season. In a straight up fight, the Tigers proved their strength, doubling up the Eagles 42-21 for Dawson’s second victory of the young season.

The final bout of the morning featured a re-match with Fannin County, and this time the Rebels were well prepared as they quickly overwhelmed the Tigers with a 52-21 final score.

“Not having the football players really creates havoc in the early part of the season,” Haynes said. “At the moment Fannin County has the edge in our area since they have beaten us twice, but I think that will change after the holiday when we are back to full strength.”

Dawson County will have one more meet prior to the Thanksgiving break as they travel to Lambert High School for a pair of matches. Results were unavailable as of press time.