TIFTON — Wrestling season is soon to hit the mat for Tift County High School.

The Swamp Duals at Ware County High kick off Tift County’s season Saturday. The Blue Devils don’t have their lineup set yet; head coach Shawn Watson said he’ll have “various kids” wrestling Saturday.

He may or may not have all the weight classes represented and he may or may not have football players. The option, he said, is open if they feel they can go.

For a varied lineup, this will work out just fine. Watson said his squad is guaranteed of facing five opponents. Ten teams will be in Waycross and they will be divided into pools. Tift’s includes Effingham County and Richmond Hill, the latter being a squad he may see even more of next season if the Wildcats, as projected, move into Tift’s region.

One state placer returns to the lineup. Gerald Coney took third in last year’s Class AAAAAAA tournament 182-pound division. Coney is currently listed on the Track Wrestling team roster as 195 pounds.

Coney is one of eight seniors currently on roster. “For the most part, we’ll still be a young team,” he said. Other seniors are Braeden Wilbanks, Angel Calles, Colby Gann, Alvin Perez, Garrett Westberry, Hasean Williams and Bryce Stewart. Gann and Stewart are both football players.

After the Swamp Duals, Tift has three more meets scheduled for November. They will go to Acworth and Allatoona next weekend for the Blackbeard Duals. On Nov. 23 it’s the Ola Duals in McDonough and Nov. 26 sees them wrestle outside at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium for Grapple on the Gridiron. The Tift Duals will be Dec. 7.

Tifton will be the site of two high school events this year. Besides the Tift Duals, they will host the region team duals on Jan. 11, 2020.

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