By EDDY GIFFORD
The Dade County wrestling team traveled to Jeff Davis High School on Friday, Dec. 1, to compete in the Jacket Duals, a 28-team dual tournament in Hazlehurst.
The Wolverines surprised themselves a little by going 6-0 in their pool and making the gold bracket consisting of the top eight teams in the tournament.
Dade County opened up competition Friday night with wins over Dodge County (60-24), Wayne County (48-28), Hilton Head, S.C., (48-28), and Vidalia (48-31).
Saturday morning, the Wolverines faced Statesboro and won 45-33. The final pool play match was against a strong Oglethorpe County team, who defeated the Wolverines in the state championship match in 2021. The Patriots jumped out to an early lead in the middle weights, but the fun was over when the match reached the upper weights. The Wolverines went on to win 42-40 with two big wins by freshmen, Ashton Case and Hayden Cureton.
The Wolverines opened up bracket competition with a first-round loss to Pierce County 41-31 but bounced back in round two with a win over Effingham County 42-31. The last dual of the day was a loss to Ware County 52-21.
Coach Jeff Poston said, “To come down here and do what they did after only having three days of practice was impressive. We don’t even have a full lineup yet, and we’re in football shape, not wrestling shape. We hit a wall after the Oglethorpe match physically. We had a couple guys who had trouble lifting their arms up, which is to be expected, but they continued to battle. Finishing sixth in this tournament is a huge accomplishment, and I’m excited about what this team can accomplish in January and February.”