State duals contenders deal with weight issues

State duals contenders deal with weight issues

January 31st, 2014 by Ward Gossett in Sports - Preps

Tennessee state duals schedule

(All times EST)

Today

Gates open, 2

Weigh-ins all divisions, 3

AAA round of 16, 4:30

Division II, A/AA quarterfinals, 6:30

Semifinals all divisions, 8:30

Saturday

Gates open, 7:30 a.m.

Weigh-ins, 8:30

Consolation rounds, 10 and 12:30

AAA semifinals, A/AA consolation final, 2

AAA consolation semis, DII consolation final, 5

AAA consolation final, 6

Championships all divisions, 8

The Hixson wrestling team arrived early in Franklin for the TSSAA state dual championships that begin this afternoon, but the Wildcats and the rest of the Chattanooga-area contingent have had to overcome weather issues and school closings.

"We met at school yesterday and left from there," Hixson coach Garrick Hall said Thursday.

Hall plans to have his guys up early this morning to check their weights prior to the official weigh-ins.

"The weight thing is a huge concern," he said. "If kids can't work out, what are they supposed to do? A couple of kids here and there were two, three pounds over when we left, and that's a problem."

His plan was to use the hotel treadmills for those who needed to drop pounds to meet their weight requirements.

Schools being closed the past few days due to weather conditions caused problems for all the area's duals title contenders -- including also Central, Cleveland, Soddy-Daisy, Baylor and McCallie.

"There were a lot of teams that were hit in East Tennessee," Hall said. "Science Hill [in Johnson City] got hit pretty hard; we got hit pretty hard; Pigeon Forge and Greeneville got some bad weather. But I don't see anybody getting any weight allowances because of it."

Cleveland coach Jake Yost opened the Blue Raiders' wrestling building Wednesday and said parents would bring most of the wrestlers, so his team wasn't in as bad a predicament. They went to Franklin on Thursday as planned, and Yost had made arrangements for a practice facility there in the afternoon.

"Weight [management] is what it is and you deal with it, and the kids are responsible enough to take care of it or get an extra workout in if they need it," Yost said.

Baylor and McCallie were able to practice Thursday.

"We usually go up on Friday anyway. The kids can at least get in a couple of classes Friday morning before we leave," McCallie coach Mike Newman said.

Soddy-Daisy changed its plans to go Thursday to Franklin, opting to leave this morning. The Trojans haven't practiced since Monday.

"The practice thing is more psychological than anything by this time of year," coach Jim Higgins said. "You want to make sure the guys are fresh, and that is a lot more of a positive than any anxiety about weight. We'll be ready to rock and roll."

If Soddy-Daisy has weight issues, they'll be addressed on the trip up.

"There's always that five-mile run along a country road," Higgins said. "Or we'll stop by a cow pasture and have some folks chase cows. That's what we did in my day. We'll figure something out. Several guys called or texted. I'm sure they're concerned about their weight, but they'll man up and take care of business because this is a driven bunch of guys."

The duals are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. EST with the Class AAA round of 16. The Division II and Class A/AA quarterfinals will start at 6:30, and all will have semifinals at 8:30. Saturday's championship meets are to begin at 8 p.m. EST.

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.