Unfortunately for the Woodland wrestling team, injuries have hurt the squad in the early season. Fortunately for the Wildcats, several wrestlers have stepped up and are performing well.
Woodland had to forfeit a weight class at the Alexander duals because of an injury, which cost the Wildcats six points. They lost to North Forsyth by a point and finished in second place.
“We’ve been doing alright so far. We’re just battling some serious injuries right now,” Woodland wrestling head coach Adrian Tramutola said. “It was kind of a mix of emotions the first week because, even having to forfeit, we had several opportunities in the dual to win and kind of messed it up at the end for ourselves. It was the same thing this past weekend at Parkview. We had several matches that could have went either way.”
This past weekend, Woodland lost to Gilmer, who has won five state championships in the last nine years.
The team has faced some excellent competition and Tramutola believes his team is only going to get better.
“We haven’t wrestled a tournament yet this year with a full lineup, so that’s promising,” he said. “When we do get everybody in the lineup in the right weight classes, I think we’re going to be a pretty good team.”
The injuries have allowed some wrestlers to step up.
“We have several guys who are getting an opportunity to fill in for injuries and are doing a good job,” Tramutola said. “They deserve to get in and get some time because they are putting a lot of time in practices as well.”
Of course, there are several strong returners for Woodland who have continued their success this season from previous years.
“Logan Sims, who is the defending state champ, is 8-0 on the year. Jake Huffine is 11-1 on the year. Isaiah Ross is 10- or 11-1, and we got Jermel Lewis back this weekend and he went 5-0 with five pins this weekend,” Tramutola said. “Jahvar Lewis at 113 is 11-1. He was a JV kid behind Logan Sims, so he has gotten his chance to wrestle varsity this year and he’s been doing really well.”
The Wildcats will continue their season today when they travel to South Paulding for a region match and then go to the Walton Duals on Saturday.
Canes rounding into midseason form
With the success of the cross country and football teams, the Cartersville wrestling team is just now filling its lineup.
The Canes have still managed to go 11-6 this season despite wrestling against high-quality opponents.
“I think we’re doing pretty well. We are still early in the season,” head coach Garvin Edwards said. “Several of our starters are on the cross country team and they qualified for state. Our football team had an extended season, so we didn’t get our football players until they were done. We’re just trying to get the guys into wrestling shape.”
The lineup shuffling resulted in seven forfeits for Cartersville in a match earlier in the season. The Canes still finished in third place at the Banks County duals.
They also matched up with some of the best teams in the state at the Blackbeard duals in Allatoona and finished 1-4.
“It was a very tough field; I think we may have been sixth or seventh. It was a very tough tournament with very good wrestling programs,” Edwards said. “We’re just really trying to get our feet under us, but I think we have an outstanding group of guys in the room. I think we have a good chance of having an outstanding dual team, but it’s a work in progress right now.”
Cartersville has also had some quality individual performances early on.
“We have a few kids who have done real well,” Edwards said. “Evan Cole is undefeated at this point. Robby Earick has been doing well this year. Our other two captains, Seth Johnson and Brandon Reaves, they’ve wrestled well. They haven’t all been at the right weight class, but they’ve been wrestling well and winning for us.”
The Canes will continue their season today as they host Coosa and North Murray at the Storm Center at 5:30 p.m.