In multiple sports, the Greyhounds compete in a region that provides fierce competition. Wrestling is hardly an exception.
In the midst of that, and wrestling in front of their home crowd, the Greyhounds rose to the occasion on Saturday, powering through to beat Locust Grove finish second in the region duals, ultimately falling to Ola, one of the state’s top teams. With that finish, Jones County will go to next Saturday’s state preliminaries in Villa Rica as a No. 2 seed. The winner from that four-team grouping will then advance to the state duals.
It was a revenge of sorts for JCHS, which earlier this year lost 57-21 to Locust Grove in a dual match.
“We’re really excited. Our region is tough in just about every sport, and it’s tough in wrestling, too,” Greyhounds head coach Adam Gillhouse said. “Locust Grove and Ola are two of the top teams in the state, so to beat Locust Grove was a big thing for us.”
After starting the morning with an easy win against Woodland, the next round pitted the Greyhounds against Locust Grove. As expected, a dual match in which every point was tantamount played out. Even in the matches among the lighter weight classes, the Greyhounds helped themselves in times they did not win as Aiden Lipford and Jackson Brown avoiding being pinned multiple times in addition to Carson Lumley getting points for an escape. That prevented the Wildcats from gaining early points, putting Jones County in position to take advantage as the middle and heavier classes would take the mat.
“That was the difference in the dual,” Gillhouse said. “Those lighter guys not getting pinned was the difference for us. We had smaller guys that didn’t get pinned; they fought off their back and didn’t get pinned.”
The middle and heavier classes seized the opportunity, getting big wins from Tobias Clements and Bayden Burns, garnering not only momentum on the scoreboard but also taking full advantage of the Greyhounds home crowd as JCHS moved into the lead.
“Our bench just erupted; he wore his opponent down and pinned him late,” Gillhouse said of the Burns win. “At that point, we felt like we could finish it out.”
From there, wins in the heavier weight classes helped secure the victory with Chi Anderson, Marquez Hunt. Grayson Lundy and Grayson Dugger doing so.
“I couldn’t be more proud of how hard we wrestled,” Gillhouse said. “That’s what we have preached from day one, to wrestle hard. Against Locust Grove, we wrestled harder than we had all year. That’s one of our core values, to wrestle harder than anyone else.”