- Written by Coach Travis Elrod
The Jackson wrestling team was well represented at the GHSA AAA Sectional wrestling tournament with 5 guys and 3 girls competing. 6 of those athletes had never advanced this far and none of the 8 had made it to the State tournament in Macon the previous season so expectations were little more unclear than in years past. “I’ve been preaching that they just need to get out there, wrestle with heart, and leave it all on the mat. No matter what happens, leave no doubt that you gave it your best and have no regrets. What more can you really ask of your athletes?”
The inexperience of the Jackson team showed early as 3 of the guys lost in the first round on Friday to tough competition but seniors Dalton Loveless and Alex Lopez advanced to the quarters, one win away from advancing to Macon. Lopez was able to secure his spot with a 1st period pin over an opponent from Greater Atlanta Christian School. Loveless however saw his season come to an end as he suffered an injury in his match and was unable to recover for the duration of the tournament.
The girls, Joy Bragg, Lana Miles, and Savannah Miles, joined the guys for the second day of the tournament to compete in the inaugural girls only wrestling post season in Georgia high school athletics. Saturday got off to an exciting start as Lana Miles and Joy Bragg both advanced to the finals in their weight class, with the downside being that they would have to wrestle each other for a chance to compete at the girls state wrestling championships as only 1 participant per weight class qualifies. “All week leading up the tournament I’ve been telling those two that I want them both in the finals to show the world how hard the Jackson ladies have been working up to this point. It was an awesome sight seeing two athletes wearing the same uniform compete at a state level competition.” Miles was the victor in the match of Red Devils, securing her place as a Sectional Champion and a spot at the first ever, all girls GHSA state wrestling championships. Joining Lana in Macon is Alex Lopez who finished 5th in his weight class.