LEESBURG, GA (WALB) - As south Georgia wrestlers prepare for the biggest meet of the year so far, the Lee County Trojans are doing it with the weight of being defending champs.
The Trojans won the 1-AAAAAA duals title in 2015, and will try to defend that crown Friday in Tifton.
Head coach Tom Matheny says the region is so improved across the board, and his team has a tall task ahead if they hope to make it back-to-back duals titles.
"The Atlanta schools have nothing on this region. Region 1-AAAAAA is a very good wrestling region," Matheny says. "Colquitt County is probably the most improved team in our region. They have some outstanding wrestlers down there. Lowndes and Valdosta are perennial top 10 teams in the state of Georgia, so they're always good. And Tift County is probably the favorite to win it."
Matheny says he knows the team is feeling a little weight being the defending champs, but he hopes they're able to shake it off when it's time to hit the mat.
"I think they are feeling some pressure. I hope it's not coach-induced," he laughs. "I want them to relax. You can't wrestle tight. You have to be relaxed. Just do the best you can do, work as hard as you can work, and the wrestling is the fun part. Hopefully, they'll be ready."
The Region 1-AAAAAA duals tournament begins Friday morning at Tift Co. High School. Cairo will host Region 1-AAAA, while Fitzgerald is hosting 1-AA.