THOMASVILLE — Despite missing several key wrestlers due to the football season and other situations, the Thomas County Central Yellow Jackets wrestling team took third place in the Cook County competition.
“We wrestled well. We are wrestling with kids who typically aren’t ready to be in the lineup yet, but they’re out there pleading their case,” said head coach Matt Tanner. “So, overall I was proud of their effort and their work ethic.”
The Yellow Jackets were down five “big point scorers,” but had several young wrestlers step up and produce.
“That was the difference,” Tanner said. “There were a lot of points scored that we weren’t counting on and that was the difference in us coming home with a trophy.”
Jaxson Ward, Rodney Edwards, Logan Ward and Armando Perales all reached the finals in their respective weight classes and took second. Ean O’Neil, Mason Brown and Malachi Gaskins all took third, leading to an overall third place finish for the Jackets.
With a lineup that consists of ten seniors, it’s always nice for coaches to see their young talent step up in big moments. For Tanner, who has been with the Central wrestling program for eight years, it’s a sign of good things to come, even after he loses ten seasoned wrestlers to graduation.
“It was nice just to have proof of the direction of the program. This is my eighth season here and having guys rolling in year after year ready to go is what makes us competitive,” Tanner said. “I have ten seniors this year so, all but four guys in my lineup are going to be gone next year. So, having these other guys that are working just as hard and are competitive and producing for us in tournaments and matches, it’s huge.”