The team is 1/2 way through the regular season. Right now, we have an 8-7 Dual Meet Record with big wins over Wheeler, Campbell, Cherokee, and Dunwoody. We have also had good showings at the individual tournaments we've attended, finishing 6th out of 26 teams in Knoxville, and last weekend our JV guys finished in the top 10 out of 30 teams at the Marietta Tournament.
On Saturday, 11/15, the JV Jackets traveled to Cherokee for our first action of the season, and for some, their first match ever. In the round-robin format, all wrestlers got a minimum of three matches and all gained valuable experience to bring with them to North Cobb on Wednesday for our first dual match.
Standouts included Sophomore Jesse Seeley (160) going undefeated, rookie Junior Petar Stoev (138) finished 3-1, Sophomore Ishmael Love (138) finished 3-1, and Freshman Chance Conner (132) finished 4-1.
Practice starts in one week (10/27). Make sure you show up in shape and ready to roll. Get your physicals and paperwork in!
With the cancellation of Senior night due to weather, the Jacket wrestlers finished off the season with a 13-11 dual meet record. One of our pre-season goals was to finish with a dual meet record over 50%. Many of our losses came down to 1 match, and the team is already talking about hitting a 75% win record next year.
Sophomore Jacob Speeth (138), Junior Alex Labarre (106), and Senior Captain Darius Burton (195) will be representing Sprayberry at the State Tournament this weekend in Gwinnett. All three had impressive first day matches at Sectionals. Each of them went 2-0 in the first day securing top 6 finishes and taking the pressure off for day 2. They all had tough semi-finals matches and ended up losing a couple close matches in wrestlebacks to finish 5th (Speeth and Burton) and 6th (Labarre). Going in to State, the guys are going to need to win the close matches to make the podium.
Wednesday night, the Jackets hosted region rivals Pope and Kell. Our first match against Pope was a tough one. The Jackets started off strong with wins from Tyrik Woods (160), Colin Ramey (182) and Darius Burton (195). Going into the turn, we were only down 12-16, but again we had to forfeit 106, 113, 120, and 138, giving up 24 points. It will be tough for the Jackets to stay competitive without depth across all weight classes and the ability for guys to step up and fill in when V starters are out. Our second match was against Kell, who had an equally battered line-up. It was a much closer match that came down to the wire. Senior Ricky Dover (152) sealed the victory with a decisive victory to keep us ahead with a final score of 30-21.
The Jackets competed in the Knoxville Catholic Tournament this past weekend and finished in the top 5 out of 24 teams. This tournament is an annual trip that all the wrestlers look forward to. It's a great tournament with a good level of competition where our newer wrestlers are able to win some matches, and our most experienced run into some tough competition. Top individual place-winners were Ricky Dover (6th-152 lbs), Alex Labarre (4th - 113 lbs), Darius Burton (3rd - 195 lbs), Jacob Speeth (2nd - 138 lbs), Tyrik Woods (1st - 160 lbs) and Anthony Wessels (1st - 170 lbs).
Man of the Tournament goes to Anthony Wessels. He had outstanding early rounds getting through the preliminaries with 3 pins. He drew a tough kid for his semifinals match, and going into the 3rd period, he was down by 2. He scored a late escape, and with 15 seconds left, hit a shot, scrambled and was awarded the 2 points for the takedown with literally no time left on the clock. In the finals, he got an early lead with a couple great take-downs, 2 point tilt and was able to ride out the match for a comfortable 8-4 win earning him his first tournament championship as a Yellow Jacket.
The Jackets headed north for a tri-meet with Creekview and Pickens Co on Wednesday and walked away with 1 win and 1 loss. Creekview physically dominated almost every match, teaching us valuable lessons about how far strength, endurance, and mental toughness can take a wrestler. Sprayberry wins came from Darius Burton (195), Tyrik Woods (160 - Pin) and Jacob Speeth (145).
The second match against Pickens was a different story. Our guys matched up well with the Pickens wrestlers and fought hard for every point and every win. Not including several forfeits, wins came from Ian Taylor (126 - Major), Speeth (138), Ricky Dover (152 - Pin) Tyrik Woods (160 - Pin) Anthony Wessels (170 - Pin) and Freshman Austin Beyers (182 - Pin).
Man of the Match goes to Ian Taylor for his Major Decision over Pickens Co. Ian had great shot defense, and applied relentless pressure on top turning his opponent three times using three different moves. By working hard and refusing to give up, Ian found opportunities to score and put up big points against a tough opponent.
Prior to indulging on Thanksgiving festivities, the Jackets traveled to Hillgrove for their annual dual team tournament. It was a tough field, and Sprayberry was hoping to get out of there with a few wins and some good experience, but after an opening round win over Kell, another upset win over Lassiter, and close win over Hillgrove, Sprayberry found themselves in the hunt for 3rd place and a chance to take home some hardware.
The third place match paired us up against a very tough Kennesaw Mountain team. Sprayberry's lower weights started us off hot with wins by Alex Labarre (120), Ian Taylor (126) and Jacob Speeth (138). Like us, KM was very tough in their upper weights, but going in to the turn, Sprayberry was up by 11 points. Forfeits at 106 and 113 meant we lost by 1. Another perfect example of how every point in every match matters. One more major win, or one pin instead of a TF would have made the difference and completed the upset.
Man of the Match for the day at Hillgrove goes to Tyrik Woods (160/170) who went 4-1 on the day and won an overtime match with a beautiful high-C single to top Kennesaw Mountain and keep us in the chase for 3rd place.
After Friday night's big win over North Cobb, the Jackets traveled to Wheeler on Saturday for a dual meet. Wheeler is a tough team and the squad knew they were in for a fight. Senior Captain Darius Burton led us off at 195 with a quick pin and things were looking up. Going into the turn, we were up 12-6. Wheeler's lightweights were very tough and stuck it to us taking the lead back. After losses at 120, 126 and 132, Jacob Speeth got us back in the chase with a pin at 138. Our middle weights lifted us back into contention with big pins from Ricky Dover (170), Austin Beyers (182) and a Technical Fall from Tyrik Woods (160), but the deficit was too much to overcome. We won 50% of the matches (6 out of 12), and the difference came down to the 12 points we gave up with forfeits at 106 and 113.
Man of the Match goes to Ricky Dover, who got moved to 170. To be honest, he was not happy about the move after weighing in at 154, but the team needed him there, and he answered the call with a hard fought take-down and relentless pressure to turn his opponent and get an important pin for us late in the match.