By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent
After its most successful season in 2011-12, Gadsden City has more participation in its wrestling program than ever.
Last year, four grapplers made it to the state tournament.
“A lot more kids came out this year and I think it’s because we did so well at sectionals last year,” coach Rayshaun Edwards said. “We’ve got a chance to do that well, if not better, this season.”
At 145 pounds, Devin Crook is the Titans best hope of a state championship. Last season, he made the quarterfinals.
Tavoris Pearson (220 pounds) lost his first match at state, then made it to the semifinals of the losers’ bracket before being decisioned.
Aquarius Jones is wrestling at 220 pounds and Edwards feels he has an excellent shot at state.
Also last year, 132-pounder Hannah Jones lost her first match then rebounded to come within one win of third place.
Two others that Edwards thinks will qualify for state are Kyle Tomas at 170 pounds and Tyreek Williams at 182 pounds.
Last season, Tomas was injured and didn’t get to wrestle at sectionals or state.
“The rest of the team is pretty young,” Edwards said. “They’ve listened to us tell them what to do but until they actually do it, they don’t really know. They’ve got to get experience to get better.”
The six older athletes are helping the young ones along, according to the coach.
“Besides those top six, the rest would really need a good break or two to make state,” he said.