Everything is falling into place for the Tigers.
Troup High will take 11 state qualifiers to the Class AAAATraditional Wrestling Meet this Thursday through Saturday at the Macon Centreplex. The Tigers qualified all 11 at last Saturday’s Sectional Tournament in College Park.
“We’re confident, and we’re wrestling smart. You just have to take it one match at a time,” said Trevor Upchurch, the Tiger senior with the 47-8 record in the 126-pound division.
Upchurch qualified for the state meet after finishing second at the sectional. Chase Seals is another Troup High state qualifier after a second-place showing at the sectional.
Seals, 46-3 on the season, is a serious state contender in the 145-pound class. The Tiger senior has more than 30 pins. Seals has high expectations for himself and his team at the state meet, which begins tomorrow at noon.
“Don’t count us out. We know the deal. This is like a team thing. We just have to go out and wrestle,” said Seals.
Byron Butts of Troup High will also take his high energy to Macon. Butts is a senior wrestler for the Tigers in the 195-pound weight class. Troup High junior Darius Hanson is on a roll as well as he goes to state.
Hanson finished third at the sectional in the 120pound division. He is in the state championship conversation after an impressive sectional.
“More state champions come out of our side of the sectional. We’ve got some big names, and Troup went toe-to-toe with them. We didn’t get outworked,” said Drew Garner, the Tigers assistant coach.
Troup High has another potential state medalist with junior Michael Irvin. He is a strapping 220-pound wrestler. He knows the game, and Irvin has some uncanny moves.
“I’ve got some heart, and you have to gut it out. I’m going to try and stick it,” said Irvin, who placed fourth at the sectional meet.
The Tigers have six more wrestlers who are capable of winning at the state level. Already qualified and ready to rumble are Pearson Strickland at 113 pounds, Brantly Robinson at 132 pounds, sophomore Cade Garner at 138 pounds, senior Scott Hicks at 152 pounds and Quinten Kersey in the 170pound weight class.
Colby Harry, a junior, will also step on the mat for the Tigers in the heavyweight division. Harry finished fifth at the sectional meet.
“We’re going to need guts and determination. We need to score on (wrestling) basics,” said Garner. “We will find ways to score.”