When the Sectional tournaments begin today at various sites throughout the state, there is just one goal in mind.
“There will be no fanfare or hoopla at this tournament, the only goal is to qualify for state,” Alexander coach Sean Moistner said.
The Cougars will take the largest number of Sectional qualifiers into the weekend with nine.
In all, 17 wrestlers from the county will participate in various Sectional meets this weekend.
The top eight wrestlers advance to next weekend’s state meet in Gwinnett County.
Douglas County wrestlers will make the trek to Valdosta to participate in the Class AAAAAA Sectional B tournament at Lowndes.
Wrestlers from Alexander and New Manchester will wrestle at the Class AAAAA Sectional B match at Allatoona High in Acworth.
Alexander senior Leo Aylsworth is hoping to continue the excitement of this week with a state qualifying berth. On Wednesday, the two-sport athlete signed a football scholarship with Jacksonville State, a NCAA Div. I Football Championship Subdivision program.
The Gamecocks finished as national runner-up this past season.
This is Alysworth first year in the Alexander varsity program, but he has had some wrestling background.
As a middle schooler, he wrestled in the Alexander’s youth programs. Moistner saw some potential in the senior, who wrestles at 220-pounds.
“He is a very athletic young man that has really helped us,” Moistner said. “He has been a tremendous bright spot for us. We knew he would be a little behind because he hasn’t wrestled on the varsity level. Leo has put in the work, and has allowed us to not put some freshmen and sophomores in the lineup.”
Heading into the Sectional meet, Alysworth has a 21-6 record and was runner-up at the Area 5-AAAAA meet.
“I really came out to stay in shape as I prepare for college,” Alysworth said. “I really like the coaches and I wanted to come out and be a part of this team. I see nothing but good for me this weekend. I’m confident that I can make it to state.”
And Moistner feels the same way about the other eight competitors.
“We are taking nine to Sectionals, and I look to take nine to state next week,” he said. “I really feel great about our chances. Our goal the whole season has been to bring home a trophy from state. We just have to go out their and wrestle now.”