After coming up short a year ago at the podium, the Alcovy wrestling team is looking for another big performance this season. So far, the Tigers look on pace to repeat last season’s impressive run.
The Tigers finished with more than 20 wins a season ago, qualifying 11 wrestlers for the Class AAAAAA East Sectionals. The Tigers also defeated Rockdale 36-29 for the Area 2-AAAAAA Dual Championship, sending four individual competitors to the Class AAAAAA State Tournament.
Alcovy coach Mike Mostek said the experienced returners will play a big part in preparing the Tigers for another run at the area title this season.
“I think our returning starters provide us with a strong nucleus this season,” Mostek said. “They’re going to carry our team early.
“We have about four or five weight classes this season that will feature new faces this year, so our older guys are helping out the younger ones and helping them improve,’ he said. “We’re getting better every day and we’re hoping to compete come January in the area duals. That competition is what we’re working toward so we can qualify for the state duals.”
The Tigers return state qualifiers Austin Richardson, Parfait Fondseyuf and Kamari Williams, solidifying their rotations from the 160-182-pound weight classes. Mostek said that their run through the state tournament last season means they have a lot of experience to share.
“They are a good, strong group, and they’ve continued to work hard this offseason and early into this season,” Mostek said. “Our seniors, including Michael Thurman, Parfait and Kamari, are leading the younger guys early on, and we expect a lot out of them.”
Alcovy will also return wrestlers Jake Hendrix and Nickolas Turner.
The group has done well early, helping the Tigers to a 4-1 record in their first dual of the season Nov. 16 at Alexander High School.
At the Alexander Duals, Alcovy earned wins over Alexander (40-27), Woodward Academy (38-37), Parkview (48-29) and LaGrange (60-20) before falling to Woodland 49-22.
Three days later, the Tigers earned a pair of victories at the Battle of Lake Jackson, defeating Monticello 43-23 and Jackson 59-15. Against Jackson, the Tigers recorded six pins, including four in the opening round.
In a sport where individual success drives team success, the Tigers are trying to focus on bigger, team-oriented goals.
“Right now, we’re focusing on our team goals more than anything else,” Mostek said. “We hope to qualify for state duals and try to make a run for one of the top four positions and bring a trophy home. After January, we’ll start focusing on more of our individual goals and trying to get our guys in the best weight classes for them to succeed.”
The Tigers return to the mat today at 10 a.m. at Stone Mountain.