Celebrations are becoming a common occurrence for the Warren County High School wrestling team.
Tuesday’s cause for a crowd at the WCHS indoor facility was for the send-off of six seniors. The Pioneers honored Tucker Cantrell, Ethan Jaco, James Ramsey, Allison Franco, Ethan Cowen and Garrett Vallem before their final regular season match against Stewart’s Creek.
Warren County lost the match 49-30, but the final result didn’t dampen the spirits of the surging squad. Coach Matt Turner’s team finished the season as the District 9 runner-up and has several members who could qualify for state.
“I’m very proud of this team,” said Turner. “We’ve grown as a team and we’ve had a lot of people have success individually. It’s been exciting.”
The event against Stewart’s Creek was little more than a scrimmage for both teams. With the region individual tournament right around the corner, the motivation was to protect seeding and stay sharp.
Caleb Mackie was the lone Pioneer to earn a win on the mat, taking down Jermiah Monk in 1:40. The Pioneers also gained four forfeit wins due to Stewart’s Creek not filling the weight classes.
Coach Turner had scheduled his team to compete Thursday in Blackman, but the Pioneers decided to pull out due to spreading illnesses across the Midstate.
“We forfeited due to illness. I didn’t want to expose Blackman and ruin its chance at the state dual championships,” said Turner.
The forfeit gives the Pioneers a few more days to recover before the region individual tournament coming up Feb. 8-9. The event will be in Warren County, with Friday matches being held in the WCHS indoor facility before moving into Charlie Dalton Gym Saturday.
If any standouts emerge, the state tournament is set for Feb. 14-16 in Franklin. Franco has represented Warren County in the the state tournament the last two years, finishing fourth both times.