Jeremy Worth lunges at his opponent.

Jeremy Worth lunges at his opponent.

By Nick Nunn, staff writer

The Morgan County wrestling program hosted their annual Morgan County Christmas Classic this past weekend at the Morgan County High School (MCHS) gym.

Wrestlers and parents for Morgan County’s middle school, JV, and varsity teams participated in making sure the Christmas Classic went smoothly for the 12 teams in attendance.

Morgan County’s wrestling team placed seventh during the tournament, with several individual Mat Dogs placing in their weight divisions. Nathan Lundy earned a third-place finish in the 106-pound division with a 3-1 record.

After pinning his opponent from Westside High School, Lundy fell to the consolation bracket with a loss to an Oconee County wrestler, but he achieved the bronze finish by earning two more pins during the tournament. Jody McAlister (138 lb.), D’Monta Wright (160 lb.), and Zack Jenkins (285 lb.) finished the tournament in third place in their respective weight classes.

McAlister and Wright finished their days with 3-2 records, and Jenkins went 4-2 during the tournament. Additionally, Carter Martin (113 lb.) earned fifth place for the Mat Dogs with a 2-2 record. “Our parents and coaching staff did a great job hosting the Morgan County Christmas Classic this weekend,” said MCHS Wrestling Head Coach John Robbins.

“Our middle school staff and team were particularly helpful, making this a really high quality tournament for another season.” Concerning the team’s development so far during the 2013-2014 season, Coach Robbins said that “our squad continues to grow and learn in terms of experience, which is obviously what we are lacking this year with so many new starters.”

“They are definitely improving and beginning to put more and more things together, which hopefully will lead to a strong performance at the Area Duals championships in Savannah in January.”

The tournament wasn’t without a dose of tragedy, however. During a match on Friday night, Clayton Bearden, three-year starter and returning area champion, suffered a broken arm, which necessitated surgery. “He has already had surgery and is recovering well, but this will create a huge void in our line-up,” said Coach Robbins about Bearden’s injury. “Hopefully we can find a young wrestler to step up in his place.”

Last Tuesday, Dec. 10, the varsity and JV Mat Dogs traveled to Commerce High School to compete in duals agaisnt Commerce, Habersham Central and Chestatee High School. Morgan County lost the first dual to Commerce High School 12-62. Lundy and Dalton Fulcher both pinned their Commerce opponents during the first set of duals.

After the loss to Commerce, the Mat Dogs rallied to beat Habersham Central 47-26. Jeremy Worth, Colin Efird, John Grubbs, Zack Jenkins, Jody McAlister, and Luke Mitchell each earned pins during this dual. D’Monta Wright won his match with a 16-0 technical fall, and Brian Guinn won by forfeit. The Dogs lost a close 32-46 dual against Chestatee to close the competition for the day.

Efird, Sean McElligott, McAlister, and Bearden won their respective matches by fall, while Worth won by a 5-3 decision and Lundy won by forfeit. Tuesday, Dec. 17, the Mat Dogs traveled to Athens Christian to compete against Athens Christian, Union County and Laney High School. This Saturday, Dec. 21, the varsity Dogs will be competing in the Granite City Duals in Elbert County with matches beginning at 9 a.m.