The stage is set and the Dawson County wrestling team knows what it will take to qualify for the state tournament in duals.
After finishing third in their region dual at North Murray High School on Friday, Jan. 15, the Tigers travel to Sonoraville High School in Calhoun, Ga., on Saturday, Jan. 23 for the GHSA 3-A state dual sectionals.
“I feel pretty good about our young men right now,” Tigers head coach Arron Haynes said after the region tournament on Friday. “They are starting to figure things out on the mat. If we get beat by an opponent that is better than us, then so be it, but it won’t be for a lack of effort or want to.”
Each region champion hosts three other schools. Joining the Tigers at Sonoraville will be West Hall High School and Stephens County High School. West Hall will battle Sonoraville while the Tigers take on the Indians from Stephen County. The Indians finished in second place at the region 8 3-A duals.
“I think having everyone at the correct weight is going to help us tremendously,” Haynes said. “Several of our guys have been slowly working their way down based on the descent plan so this will be the first time we have put everyone at their state weights.”
After beating the Indians, the Tigers then have to face the winner of the Sonoraville and West Hall match. Assuming Sonoraville, one of the favorites to win the 3-A duals state tournament, wins their first-round match, the sectional championship will be against Sonoraville.
“We have to get everyone at the right weight and have a heck of a day wrestling,” Haynes said. “Not much will change strategy-wise since we do not have a big team. We just have to overcome forfeit points where we have open weight classes and hope that we do not get caught by a quarantine.”
If the Tigers finish the section duals as champions, they move onto the GHSA State Duals tournament for a state championship on Jan. 30 at Cherokee Bluff High School.
The Tuesday night match against Forsyth Central High School has been canceled so the Tigers have no match before sectional duals on Saturday.
“This week we just have to heal up and work on getting more physical on the mat,” Haynes said. “We will be refining moves and our young guys will continue to improve.”