Troup hosting area duals

Published 1:51 am Friday, January 11, 2019


Daily News

It’s a different cast of characters, but the goal remains the same for the Troup High wrestling team.

A year ago, the Tigers swept to the top spot in the Area 5-AAAA duals before finishing fourth in the state.

Today, a new-look Troup team will look to win the area duals once again.

Troup will host the five-team tournament, with the top-two finishers qualifying for next week’s state duals in Macon.

Last season, Troup dominated the opposition on the way to the area championship.

That was a veteran, senior-laden Troup team that also won the traditional area tournament and had top-four finishes in both state meets.

Nonetheless, while the lineup is a drastically different one from a year ago, the Tigers head into today’s area duals hopeful of at least doing well enough to advance to state.

Central-Carroll comes into the tournament as the number one seed, and it will be joined in the field by Troup, LaGrange, Cartersville and Cedartown.

Troup will try to overcome a handful of forfeits, each of which will cost it six points.

“The problem we have is, anytime you’re down so many points because you don’t have anybody to put in a spot, it makes you feel like you’re behind the eight-ball right off the bat,” Busby said. “We are strategizing, doing everything we’ve got to do to maximize our chances to win.”

If Troup is going to repeat as the area champion, it will likely have to beat Central-Carroll to make it happen.

“Our attitude is we want to beat them, but if we don’t beat them, we want to finish second and go to state,” Busby said. “That’s our attitude going in.”

One of Troup’s top wrestlers this season has been senior Darious Hanson, who was a state placer a year ago.

Hanson is appreciative of his teammates who are new to such a demanding sport.

“They’re pretty adaptable people,” Hanson said. “They’ve come in and worked hard every day, and they stick with it. I respect them, because a lot of people didn’t make it. We had a lot of people quit.”

Hanson has been wrestling for four seasons at Troup, and he knows how difficult the sport is.

“It’s a hard sport,” Hanson said. “If you’re not disciplined mentally, you’re not going to last in this sport. It’s challenging. There’s always something hard to deal with.”

Another one of Troup’s veterans is Mason Lumpkin, who was one of the team’s four placers at the Chattahoochee River Wrestling Association tournament earlier this season.

“This is my first time wrestling at area,” Lumpkin said. “I’m looking at this as it’s my time to say what needs to be said, and do what needs to get done.”

Other standout wrestlers for Troup have been seniors Colby Harry and Pearson Strickland, who were both state placers last season.

Riley Bowles has been getting it done at 220 pounds, and Thomas Fuller has been a standout in the lineup as well.

“He’s probably the third-most winningest wrestler we have,” Busby said of Fuller. “We’ve put him in some really tough situations to try to fill spots throughout the year.”

One of Troup’s first-year wrestlers is senior Monta Hall, who was a defensive lineman for the football team.

“He never wrestled before,” Busby said. “He’s been able to improve so much that I think he’s going to help us out. He came out, he weighed 220 pounds, and he’s down to the 195-pound weight class. He’s a big kid who has slimmed down to nothing but muscle. He has learned a lot of technique. He’s impressed me.”