One of the two imposed “dead weeks” put in place by the GHSA during the summer – weeks during which no athletic activity is permitted statewide among teams – ended at 12:01 a.m. this past Monday. The Greyhounds wrestling program was among those wasting little time this week getting started, taking full advantage of going up against a wide cross-section of outside competition under new head coach Adam Gillhouse.
The Greyhounds started things off this week with work on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and that’ll include nine teams from across the midstate as well as Oglethorpe County being at Gray Station Middle School on Thursday for a team camp. Early work with other teams included a session at Walnut Grove on Tuesday, as well as next week at home against Putnam County and at West Laurens later in the summer. Typical offseason for Jones County will include a mixture of weight lifting and work on the actual wrestling mats.
In more ways than one, it’s an acceleration of work for the Greyhound grapplers. Last summer, outside competition in the summer was put on hold due to COVID-19, and the number of teams and wrestlers that JCHS is going up against is also an increase over previous years.
“This is definitely different than anything that has been done before,” Gillhouse said. “If you want to compete at a high level, you have to go against a high level of competition. During the summer, the goal is to go against as many kids as possible. When we go to West Laurens, our heavyweight will go against the No. 1 heavyweight in the nation. It’s all about getting all better. We don’t keep score; it’s just a great opportunity to compete.”
As the summer portion of the offseason starts, the Greyhounds will be looking to build on enthusiasm that’s been built up since finishing 12th in the state.
“Our numbers are great; we’ve got more kids out than we have had in long time,” Gillhouse said. “We’ve had a lot of football players out (working out), and they’re excited about wrestling,” Gillhouse said. “The guys are excited.”