However, the Purple Hurricanes outmuscled Gainesville and Pickens County in Jasper on Wednesday as Cartersville defeated each oppponent convincingly in preparation for the Parlay Invitational on Saturday.
The Canes beat Gainesville by a score of 53-30 before taking down the host, Pickens County, 72-12.
“It’s good to get a couple of wins, but it’s not as tough as the competition we’ll see this weekend at Allatoona,” Cartersville head coach Garvin Edwards said.
Saturday’s Parlay Invitational at Allatoona High will feature some of the state’s top wrestling programs such as Cass, Woodland, Alexander, Allatoona, Darlington, Paulding County, Heritage and Walton among others.
Instead of a dual format where teams are competing againt each other, the Parlay Invitational will feature a traditional format focusing on the indivduals.
That is good news for the Canes because they are currently looking for a wrestler to fill the 185-pound weight class in the dual format. Cartersville has been forfeiting the weight class, giving up six points in every dual.
“We had to forfeit 185, so we’re one weight class short of a full lineup. We’re trying to rectify that. We had some kids try out and I had them hydrated today, so hopefully that will rectify the one spot come dual season,” Edwards said. “This is an individual tournament so it won’t be scored the same way, but the following week at Woodland, hopefully we’ll have a full lineup by then.”
Edwards does not need to worry about adjusting his lineup this week, but he still has to prepare his team for the tough competition.
“[The Parlay Invitational] will be very tough competition,” he said. “We’re just going to get some mat time this week to get ready for this individual tournament this weekend.”
With Cartersville moving up a classification to AAAA, Edwards believes the tougher competition will be beneficial to the program.
“We might as well get used to it because we’re going up next year,” he said of facing AAAA and AAAAA classification schools in the Parlay Invitational. “We want to wrestle the tougher competition, so we’ve always scheduled tougher matches as is.
“[The Parlay invitational] is an excellent tournament. It’s run excellent and you get good competition there, so we’re looking forward to it.”
The individual format of the Parlay Invitational should allow some of Cartersville’s wrestlers to stand out. Those wrestlers include Evan Cole, Brandon Reaves, Zaal Zafair, Shae Andrews, Seth Johnson and Robbie Earick to showcase their talent against some of the best wrestlers in the state.
“Right now we’re really being led by our senior leadership,” Edwards said. “Those are the ones who are setting the tone. As long as they’re winning, we can win. If they get beat, the other team ends up getting the win.”