Jody McAlister pushes his opponent toward a pin.

Jody McAlister pushes his opponent toward a pin.

By Nick Nunn staff writer

The Morgan County High School (MCHS) varsity Mat Dogs successfully defended their fourth consecutive Region Duals title with a championship at the 1-AAA Region Duals, which took place at the New Hampstead High School in Savannah last Saturday, Jan. 4.

“This marks the fourth consecutive region duals title for these seniors, who will look to improve on their top five finishes in the State Finals from the last two seasons,” said MCHS Wrestling Head Coach John Robbins.

Morgan County was ranked as the first seed in the 1-AAA duals, earning a bye into the first round of the semi-finals.

The Mat Dogs’ first opponent was Islands High School from Savannah. Morgan County beat Islands 62-13. Nathan Lundy (106 lb.), Jacob McAlister (126 lb.), Antonio Robinson (138 lb.), Luke Mitchell (145 lb.), Gurmindher Singh (152 lb.), Wyatt Martin (170 lb.), Jeremy Worth (182 lb.), and Zack Jenkins (HWT) all earned wins by fall during the Dogs’ first round of competition. Additionally, Jody McAlister (132 lb.) and Dmonta Wright (160 lb.) won by major decisions, and John Grubbs (195 lb.) won by forfeit.

In the championship match of the 1-AAA area duals, Morgan County fought for an equally commanding victory over Appling County, whom the Dogs beat 63-15. Appling County had beaten Pierce County in the semi-finals but were not able to handle Morgan County in the last round. Lundy, Sean McElligott (120 lb.), Jacob McAlister, Jody McAlister, Rogers Burke (145 lb.), TJ Abernathy (160 lb.), Martin, and Jenkins beat their Appling County opponents by falls, while Jack LeClair (138 lb.) won by a 10-3 decision, and both Singh and Garrett Bone (220 lb.) won by forfeit.

“I’m super proud of these young men,” said Coach Robbins. I think that they have had a bit of a chip on their shoulder and have been getting tired of being referred to as a ‘young rebuilding’ team.”

“They certainly went out and made their own mark by winning this region tournament, and have put themselves in great shape for a good showing… at the AAA State Duals.”

Because of the Mat Dogs’ fourth-place finish at the AAA State Duals last year, they have been granted fourth-seed status for this years’ State Duals. Morgan County’s first opponent at the State Duals will be the Region 2-AAA runner-up, Adairsville High School.

The Dogs will take on Adairsville at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 10, at the Macon Coliseum. With a win against Adairsville, the Dogs will move on to the semifinal round of the State Duals and the chance to take on Banks County, the defending state champion. A complete bracket and schedule for the State Duals can be found on the Georgia High School Associations’s website, www.ghsa.com.