The Callaway High wrestling team has jumped head-first into a new season.
After opening their season last weekend in the Chattahoochee River Wrestling Association tournament, the Cavaliers returned to the mat on Wednesday to participate in a four-team meet at Troup High.
The Cavaliers are under the direction of new head coach Ben Bone, who was an assistant coach under Kurt Napier last season.
Bone likes what he’s seen from this team, although he said the Cavaliers are going to have a hard time competing in dual-format competitions because of their lack of numbers.
Callaway will usually have to forfeit a number of matches, which is worth six points for the opposition.
“The majority of our dual matches we’ll lose. It’s the numbers game,” Bone said. “We’ve got a lot of people stuck at a certain weight. That’s just how it goes. I’m praying every year our numbers keep going up and up. Hopefully they will.”
Bone believes the Cavaliers will be a strong traditional-tournament team, though, with a number of wrestlers capable of placing high in a given event.
Leading the way among that group is senior Brandon Sutton, who finished fourth at state last season in the heavyweight division.
Sutton didn’t wrestle on Wednesday because he’s preparing for an all-star football game this weekend.
“He’s so athletic, sometimes he doesn’t realize how athletic he is to be a heavyweight,” Bone said.
Bone said Sutton has what it takes to win a state title, although a wrestler from Woodward Academy is the heavy favorite in the heavyweight division.
“He’s got to go through Woodward to win state. He knows that,” Bone said. “Me and him have talked about that, and what we have to do to prepare for that.”
While Sutton is the foundation of the team this season, Bone said the future is bright as well thanks to the presence of some talented newcomers.
“I’m real excited about some of these freshmen that we have,” Bone said.
One of those freshmen, Houston Jones, was involved in a terrific match with Troup’s John Williamson on Wednesday.
In a back-and-forth match, Jones prevailed 10-9..
“Houston’s going to shock a lot of people when he wrestles,” Bone said. “He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with.”
Bone also said freshmen Khaliq Swift and Andrew Thomas have the potential to do big things in the program.
Against Troup, Swift and Thomas both won by pin.
Callaway lost to Troup 55-24, and it also fell to Chapel Hill and Heard County.
Callaway forfeited six matches against Troup, meaning it gave away 36 points before the match started.
“That’s just how it goes,” Bone said. “We take pride in what we’ve got, and we work with what we’ve got, and we try to make them better each year. That’s the case this year.”
Bone added that “it is a good feeling knowing you have three freshmen going. And there are a couple of eighth-graders that are doing good for coach Morris at the middle school, and they’ll come up next year.”
Next up for Callaway will be the JC Ferrell Duals on Saturday at Central-Carroll High.
Bone said the goal is to have everyone at their best by the time the area traditional tournament comes around on Jan. 31.
“We’re mainly a traditional team,” he said. “I like to get us in tournaments with the traditional brackets. We try to make ourselves better to get ready for the area.”