The Upson-Lee wrestling team is currently in preparations for their upcoming season. Under head coach Craig Logan, the Knights have became a staple in wrestling in the middle Georgia area, including producing State Champion Logan Winkles just three years ago.
This season, the Knights will take to the mat in a new region. According to Coach Logan, the Knights should continue to build their program and compete well in 2012.
“This new region has a lot of great athletes,” said Logan. “We expect Locust Grove to be really good this season. They have a really good program over there, and they have been one of the best programs around for a few years now. I think that Dutchtown and Jonesboro should have a pretty good team also.”
The Knights have six seniors on their roster, including C.J. Kirschmann, who advanced to the State Sectionals a season ago at 182 pounds. Also returning for their seniors season in 2012 are Jake Weatherford (Heavy), Dillon Watson (Middle), Tyrese Davis (Middle), Anthony Delli-Gatti (Middle), and Devontae Daniel (Middle).
Joining Kirschmann last season at the State Sectionals was Deven Green. The junior, who competed at 132 pounds last season as a sophomore, should be part of a strong group which will wrestle in the middle weight classes. Other returning wrestlers at the middle weight classes include John Weatherford, Michael Kirschmann, Dustin Stuckey, Jake Haley, and Juwan Adams.
At the heavier weight classes, the Knights return Jake Weatherford, Jacob Thayer, Jeff Bloodworth, Jacob Jackson, Nathaniel Youngblood, and Colton McRae. In the Knights’ lighter weight classes, the Knights return Dustin Yandle.
Many new faces join the Knights team this season, after finding success at the middle school level. Freshmen on this season’s team include; Josh Draime (Light), Kolby Schadenberg (Light) Jacob Daniel (Light), Dominique Stuckey (Middle), Mikah Daniel (Middle), Bo Cummings (Middle), and Matthew Delli-Gatti (Middle).
The Knights will participate once again in the Auburn High School Invitational in Alabama in early December. The Knights have participated in the event for the past few years, an event which boasts some of the best wrestlers and wrestling teams in the southeast.
On the Knights’ schedule this season, Upson-Lee will face seven teams which advanced to the State Meet last season. Whitewater, Harris County, Jonesboro, Woodland, Locust Grove, Stockbridge, and Eagles Landing all advanced to the State Meet.
Jonesboro and Woodland each had a wrestler make the podium in the State Meet last season at 113 pounds. Jonesboro’s Telly Sloan reached the podium at 285 pounds. Emilio Conde from Locust Grove placed sixth in the state at 160 pounds. Joseph Farrell returns for Locust Grove this season, after finishing sixth in the state at 182 pounds a season ago.
At 192 pounds, Tyler Rapes returns for Locust Grove after placing fourth in the state at 192 pounds, while Eagles Landing returns Shawanye Lawrence, who placed sixth last season at 285 pounds, while finishing with a 47-12 record.
The Knights will start their 2012-13 season with a junior varsity meet at Lamar County on Nov. 27, while the varsity will kick their season off a day later at Whitewater.