It took some extra planning and logistics, but the 41st Jacket Invitational once again hosted some of the top wrestling talent in the state last week at Rockmart High School.
With COVID-19 precautions keeping organizers from hosting a traditional two-day tournament, the 17 teams were split up with eight wrestling on Day 1 last Tuesday and 10 coming in on Wednesday.
The host Yellow Jackets had wrestlers competing on both days and had five individual champions as well as four runner-ups on Day 2, which included Central-Carroll and Oglethorpe County.
“It's always good to get mat time. We've been fortunate that we haven't had to stay off the mats so far this season, so every day we get a chance to compete is a day that hopefully we get better,” Rockmart coach Drew Lindsey said. “So two days in a row in our own place, that's always a nice thing.”
Rockmart finished second in the team standings on Day 1, with Trion taking the top spot. On Day 2 it was Oglethorpe County pulling ahead of the competition while the Jackets finished third overall.
“This is the 41st year of this tournament and I’m glad to say we were able to put a strong team out there and keep competing and, you know, we're just grateful to keep hosting this event in a crazy year,” Lindsey said.
Rockmart’s 106-pounder TK Davis won his weight class on both days of the tournament, including a thrilling finals match against Oglethorpe’s Rainy Thompson on Day 2 that Davis won by fall.
Alson winning titles on Day 2 for Rockmart was Izaeah Beavers (120) and JaKamron Ammons (220). Runner-up finishers were Garrett Pace (113), Gunner Chambers (126), Dalvin Millhollan (160) and Jase Davis (285). Pace and Davis both won their weight classes on Day 1.
“We probably wrestled 15 to 20 matches over the holidays so it was busy. And now we want to rest up, you know, start slowing it down a little bit and get ready for area duals,” Lindsey said.
Cedartown wrestled on Day 1 of the Jacket Invitational and had three third-place finishers in Bryson Dooley (106), Drew Kirkpatrick (195) and Peyton Holloway (285).