Unfortunately, the inclement weather has cancelled practices this week and have put the teams on notice of a possible rescheduling of the event. Each area’s meet was scheduled to take place Friday and Saturday. However, in Cass’ area, the meet will become a one-day event and occur Saturday at Cass High.
In Adairsville and Cartersville’s area, the meet is still on schedule for Friday and Saturday at Central, Carrollton High, but a contingency plan has already been created. If the schools remain closed Friday, the meet will be moved to Monday and Tuesday.
Days off from school and practice could cause the wrestlers to miss weight and lose their conditioning, but Bartow County coaches are not worried.
“We’ll be fine. I’m more worried about the mats not getting down on the floor than I am about the kids not making weight,” Cass head coach D.L. Koontz. “My guys understand. We’re a pretty seasoned team with guys with experience going to the state tournament. They know they’re supposed to make weight. I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few of them were finding someone in their neighborhood with a treadmill and running on it today.”
“We’re all in the same boat. It’s not like anybody’s getting an advantage,” Woodland head coach Adrian Tramutola said. “We put a great year in. A day off is not going to kill us. If we lose two, three days off without being able to practice, obviously you get concerned how you’re going to manage their weight without getting workouts in.”
Cartersville head coach Garvin Edwards believes the time off may even benefit his wrestlers.
“Weight and conditioning will always be a concern, but to be honest with you, the season is long. [The wrestlers] are beat up, banged up and sometimes a little time off is not a bad thing,” Edwards said. “I’ve seen my kids wrestle much better after having time off right before the state level event. We started Oct. 28 and we’ve wrestled every weekend except for one. These kids get exhausted having to hold weight. So it’s not good that you don’t have practice, but I’ve seen it work sometimes.
“The biggest issue is if someone is really stressing to get to weight. My kids have done a great job of texting me and saying, ‘Hey, coach, what are we going to do?’ And the ones that are having issues with the weight, I’m telling them to make sure they are working out and not just laying around in the house and getting fat.”
The stakes are high for the wrestlers as failing to make weight in the area meet would cause a wrestler to miss the state meet, which is the event the wrestlers work all season for. A failure to make weight would cost a wrestler and his team dearly.
“You don’t miss weight at the area tournament,” Koontz succinctly said of how important it is not to miss weight.
“You definitely can’t win state this weekend, but you can lose it,” Tramutola said.
The coaches are confident that their wrestlers will make weight and several of them will qualify for sectionals. Cass and Woodland are looking to earn a state championship, something the two programs nearly missed out on in the duals season. The Colonels and Wildcats each came in second in their classifications and lost by devastatingly close margins. Fortunately, the traditional season offers each team a chance at redemption.
Adairsville also qualified for the state dual meet and should have several wrestlers in contention to move onto the sectional meet.
In the same area, Cartersville is looking for a good showing from some of the team’s top wrestlers.
“We do have several freshmen in the lineup and a few juniors in the lineup. Goal-wise, I’d like to qualify everybody, but realistically, I don’t know if that’s going to happen,” Edwards said. “Coming out of there, I hope to have eight or nine. I don’t know if we’ll have that many, but we hope to have eight or nine to qualify and move to the next round.”
Cass and Woodland are looking to advance all 14 members of their lineup into the sectionals.
“Our goal is going in their with 14 and getting 14 out,” Tramutola said. “As a coach, that’s our expectations. I never go in there thinking this kid can’t get out.”