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Possible weather poses problems for area wrestling teams
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Doug Thurmond can’t be looking forward to this weekend.

Once again, the outlook for snow has impacted the wrestling schedule and the Class AA Eastern Sectionals his Jefferson High program was scheduled to play host to this weekend.

The GHSA made the decision Thursday to avoid any travel conflict for the upwards of 32 schools represented from north to south in the state at the meet, and moved the state sectionals to Monday and Tuesday.

The postponement of the state sectionals comes one week after area champions in the traditional competition were crowned, and less than a week before the state championships at the Gwinnett Arena.

“Our wrestlers have been pushing the gas, pushing the gas, pushing the gas, and then they have to put it in neutral,” Thurmond said.

Thurmond says the biggest problem with changing the schedule is getting the necessary involvement from parents and volunteers to make the tournament run without a hitch. Instead of volunteers being able to work Friday and Saturday, Thurmond is going to have to have enough people on hand during work days to keep all angles of a tournament — such as gate, scoring tables and concessions — properly manned.

Jefferson, which qualified wrestlers in all 14 weight classes for sectionals, will practiceSunday to make up for the lull in action.

“We just want to be able to get the sectionals done,” Thurmond added.

Luckily for Jefferson, school is out of session for winter break on each day of the tournament. Hall County schools will be closed Monday.

However, wrestlers from Area 7-AAA will have another huge hurdle with the GHSA’s new schedule for the state sectionals. With weigh-ins at 7 a.m. Monday morning, schools will be almost bound to stay an extra night in a hotel for the Class AAA sectionals at Locust Grove High, about 30 miles south of Atlanta.

“It seems a little awkward to have the weigh-ins so early in the morning,” North Hall coach Jay Hargis said. “It seems like the scheduling may have been a little rushed.”

Another option would have been to eliminate the sectional process, which was only set into place last season to cut the original field of 32 in half that would travel to state.

“I thought that (eliminating the sectionals) would be the first choice,” Hargis said. “I guess they (sectional hosts) bought too many sodas (for concessions) to be able to cancel it.”