There is a comfort of waking up on a Saturday morning knowing you don’t have to travel a long way to do what you need to do for the day.
The Jonathan Alder wrestling team will experience such a comfort when they play gracious host during the annual Jonathan Alder Invitational which will be held on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 10 a.m.
“As a team it’s nice to be able to wrestle at home in front of our home crowd,” Alder coach Ron Thomas said. “We don’t have to worry about waking up early and having to take a bus somewhere and then getting back at night after a long day.”
The Pioneers will welcome in eight other squads to its home event, including Madison County foe West Jefferson. Other squads will include Centennial, Whetstone, Northeastern, Kettering Alter and Columbus West.
“It’s always nice when you get a chance to have teams come in to your place,” Thomas said. “Yes we have to worry about getting everything set up, getting the mats down and making sure everything is ready to go. But we only have a couple home meets a year so we look forward to hosting this event every year.”
The more tournament wrestling teams can get at this time of year the better. With league meets as well as upcoming sectional and district tournaments on the horizon, getting a chance to be in this type of environment can surely help.
“These type of tournaments prepare you for those bigger tournaments,” Thomas said. “A tougher tournament will get you ready to face tougher competition later on. In the tournament we were at last week (Marion County Invitational) the second day was filled with good wrestlers against good wrestlers.”
The most competitive weight class could feature two of Madison County’s best wrestlers squaring off against one another. At 220 pounds, Alder’s Troy Caldwell and West Jefferson’s Carter Harris could meet in what would be a state-caliber showdown.
“There should be some good match-ups but if those two meet each other at 220 that could be a lot of fun to watch,” Thomas said. “The West Jeff kid is ranked second in the state (D-III) and our guy is ranked second in D-II.”
Thomas said he likes the progress his team is making as the regular season begins to wind down, but he points to areas where improvements can be made.
“We’ve got a couple kids that need to improve some,” he said. “We also have three or four kids that have really stepped up, hopefully they’ll continue to improve. We only have two seniors and this is their last year to do something.”
MPHS travels to
London gets break
The Golden Eagles of Madison-Plains will spend their weekend competing at the Don Wasserbeck Classic at North Union Friday, Jan. 17 and Saturday, Jan. 18.
Wrestling is slated to start at 5 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday.
London will not wrestle this weekend and will be back in action on Friday, Jan. 24 and Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Sally George Invitational at Marion Pleasant.