When the Area 5-AAAA duals kick off on Saturday, the two heavy favorites will be Alexander and Carrollton, who have each enjoyed strong seasons and will be the top two seeds for the area tournaments.
Six teams will participate in the tournament, with the top-two finishers advancing to the state duals.
For LaGrange to crack into that top two, it will need to find a way to beat either Alexander or Carrollton, which is a tall task.
LaGrange, which is the third seed, will face Sandy Creek in its opening match before taking on Alexander, the number two seed.
“We’re going to go in there and try our hardest,” Weathers said. “We’ll go in there and get after Sandy Creek and try to beat them. And then we’ll face Alexander. We know we’re the underdog. We’re young, and they’ve got a lot of seniors. They’re a senior-laded team. That’s no excuse. We’ll go in there and get after them and see what happens.”
If LaGrange loses to Alexander, it would still have one possible avenue to the state duals.
If Alexander and Carrollton end up wrestling in the finals, and Alexander wins, LaGrange could then challenge Carrollton for the second spot, assuming the Grangers only have the one loss.
“We probably would (challenge Carrollton),” Weathers said. “We may fall on top nine times and win. You never know.”
Whatever happens Saturday, there’ll still be plenty left for the Grangers to accomplish.
Still on the horizon is the traditional area tournament, where the top four wrestlers in each weight class will qualify for the state meet.
Also, LaGrange, Troup and Callaway are slated to meet in the county championship later this month.
“If we don’t make it, shoot, that’s fine, and we’ll get ready for the rest of the season,” Weathers said.
The Grangers are coming off a third-place performance in the Mike Silva Invitational last weekend, with freshman Corey Morgan leading the way with a second-place finish.
Also, Logan Pitts finished third, and Emmanuel Mann, Devonte Williams and Jorderias Brown earned fourth-place finishes.
Kyler Hall, Jacob Butler and Turner Duke each won two matches, although they didn’t place.
Qua Tucker struggled in the tournament and lost both of his matches, but he’s had a strong season.
LaGrange will also be aided by the return of Times Morgan from an injury, and he’ll be on the mat Saturday, and another injured Granger, Hunter Richardson, is set to return next week.
“We’ve got everybody back now,” Weathers said.
From here on out, the Grangers will be a busy team with all of the tournaments as well as the dual matches thrown in.
Weathers said this stretch of the season is why the wrestlers work so hard in the wrestling room.
“It’s a meat-grinder. It’s tough physically,” Weathers said of this stretch. “That’s the reason I tell them, college-football coaches love players who wrestled. They know how to get through a meat-grinding season.”
As for Saturday’s meet, Weathers said his team is eager to hit the mat.
“We’re looking forward to it,” he said. “We’re ready to get going.”