Over the years, Edwards had watched the tournament descend into a two-layer meet: Four teams involved would wrestle a respective opponent, and the two winners would wrestle for the championship. The two losing teams would wrestle each other for third place.
“And that would be it,” he said. “Two matches and we were done.”
Determined not to see a repeat performance at the Storm Center Friday, Edwards sought approval of his vision from the wrestling coaches at Woodland, Adairsville and Cass on how the tournament should be run.
Upon receiving their approval, Edwards proceeded with implementing a framework he hopes will be adapted by other Bartow County schools for years to come.
It is a framework that includes both the varsity and middle school wrestling programs, and having all Bartow County schools wrestle each other at least once.
“Everything happened exactly the way I planned it,” Edwards said. “We wrestled three rounds instead of two. We had middle schools wrestling on one mat, and varsity schools wrestling on another mat.”
Emerging from all the preparation, however, were two scenarios that nobody could have foreseen happening. Not even Edwards.
One was the need for a tiebreaker to decide the 2012 county championship. The other was how well Bartow County’s two AAA wrestling programs fared against perennial tournament favorites Woodland and Cass.
“Adairsville defeated a solid Woodland team,” Edwards said. “And you had Cartersville beating Cass. Then you had Cartersville and Adairsville fighting to the end.”
Criteria comprised of wins by pins, decisions and forfeits was instituted when the tournament ended in a three-way tie between Adairsville, Cartersville and Woodland. All three teams were 2-1.
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