Clayton Bearden holds his opponent close to the mat during last week's Warrior Rumble in Cherokee County. Photo by J. Walker

Clayton Bearden holds his opponent close to the mat during last week’s Warrior Rumble in Cherokee County. Photo by J. Walker

By Nick Nunn staff writer

The Morgan County High School (MCHS) varsity Mat Dogs began their 2013-2014 season last Saturday, Nov. 23, at Cherokee County High School’s Warrior Rumble.

The Mat Dogs advanced to the Silver Bracket finals after beating Blessed Trinity 60-22 but fell to 6A opponent Parkview High School in the final match 33-48.

“I was pleased with the effort out of our varsity,” said MCHS Head Wrestling Coach John Robbins after the Warrior Rumble.

“With the exception of Blessed Trinity, the rest of our opponents were 6A schools.”

The Mat Dogs began the day facing Brookwood High School in round one of Pool A play. Despite wins by Zack Jenkins, Nathan Lundy, Jacob McAlister, Jody McAlister, and Colin Efird for Morgan County, Brookwood came out ahead 49-27 in the first round. Morgan County rallied against 6A opponent, the Walton Raiders, whom they beat 39-30.

Lundy, Carter Martin, Chris Bazemore, Jacob McAlister, Jody McAlister, Dmonta Wright, Wyatt Martin, and Jeremy Worth all contributed points against Walton for the win, which sent the Mat Dogs on to a semi-final match in the Silver Bracket.

Morgan County crushed Blessed Trinity 60-22 in the semi-final round of the Silver Bracket, with wins by Jenkins, Sean McElligott, Bazemore, Jacob McAlister, Wright, Martin, Worth, John Grubbs, and Garrett Bone.

The final round of the Silver Bracket saw the Dogs fall to Parkview High School 33-48. Lundy, Bazemore, Jacob McAlister, Jody McAlister, Wright, Worth, and Jenkins each pulled out a final victory for the day during the last round of competition.

Senior Jacob McAlister, returning state medalist for Morgan County, won all four of his matches at the Warrior Rumble. Nathan Lundy, Jody McAlister, Chris Bazemore, and Zack Jenkins also provided outstanding individual performances, winning three of their matches during the event.

“We held our own just fine considering we had seven first time starters in the lineup,” said Coach Robbins about the team’s performance in Cherokee County.

The JV Mat Dogs also began their season last Saturday, competing in a set of five duals at Ola High School. The JV Dogs took on Locust Grove twice during the day, beating them during the first dual match of the day 36-30 and then capping off the event with a 54-18 victory.

The second dual of the day for the JV Mat Dogs was against the host team Ola High School, who topped Morgan County 36-30. The Morgan County team suffered their second loss of the day against Eastside, who took the win 48-39. The Mat Dogs got their groove back after the loss to Eastside, beating Luella High School 42-30.

“I’m really pleased that our young guys could go and get five quality matches,” said Coach Robbins. “ It will really benefit them as well as our program to be able to have there own schedule this season.”

This year, the JV Mat Dogs will have their biggest schedule to date, with 11 events scheduled. Tuesday, Nov. 26, both the varsity and JV Mat Dogs traveled to take on Madison County, with their matches beginning at 2 p.m. Next Tuesday, Dec. 3, the varsity, JV, and middle school wrestling teams will host duals against Jackson County and Alcovy High Schools for the first Morgan County home event of the season. Come out to support all levels of Morgan County Mat Dogs at the MCHS gym beginning at 4:30 p.m.