Tigers striving to build on last year's success

COVINGTON - Success breeds success. At least that's seems what's happening for Alcovy's wrestling team.

"As of right now we've got 50 kids on the mats working. Last year we had 35 so we've added which is nice. We have more competition in the weight classes," Alcovy head coach Mike Mostek said.

In their first year, the Tigers sent several wrestlers to the Class AAAA traditional state tournament, where they had a good showing. This year should not be any different.

"We had five kids at state and two alternates. My goal this year is to improve on our record and our placement at area," Mostek said. "We just want to improve and get better."

Hoping to help keep the tradition alive are returning wrestlers Dustin Ballew, Jay DeRojas, Adam Pollard, Travis Knight, Corey Reid, John Pollard, Corey Gorham, T.C. Jackson, David Jones, Malachi Outlaw and Trey Twiford.

"They really have a good shot at going to state. Then who knows what can happen once you get them there," Mostek said.

Former Rockdale wrestler Daniel Burkett will also do his part to help establish Alcovy's reputation.

With more than 50 wrestlers trying to get 14 varsity spots, the competition is intense. Many of the weight divisions have two seasoned wrestlers from last year trying to get the one spot after moving up or down in weight from last year.

One position where that is not a problem is Knight, who is moving up to 135 pounds from 130.

"It's not a concern because knowing that Travis Knight is a two-time state qualifier," Mostek said. "We do have several kids at 130 and 140 that can fill that position if we need someone there."

The two weight classes where Mostek does not have experience to call upon are 103 and 112.

However, he feels confident that John Seymore at 103 and Tyler Thompson at 112 can fill in nicely.

"Our lightweights are going to be ninth-graders. They don't have any varsity experience coming in, but they don't look bad," Mostek said.

Even though Thompson and Seymore may be the early favorites, Mostek does not want them to think that their positions are set in stone as they could be challenged for their spot.

"When you have three and four kids in each weight class battling for the starting position it adds a lot to the competition," Mostek said. "Kids have to work harder to battle for that starting position, it's beneficial."

The first big challenge facing the Tigers will be Nov. 30 in the Last Man Standing tournament at Eagle's Landing.

This will be a good showcase as Nov. 30 is a team dual tournament while individuals will be able to show off their talents Dec. 1.

The Baldwin Brawl on Dec. 8 is their other team tournament, while the Brookwood Invitational (Dec. 14 and 15), the Redskin Rumble (Jan. 26) and the Red Devil Rumble (Feb. 9) will be individual tournaments.

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.

SideBar: At a glance

Team: Alcovy wrestling

Head coach: Mike Mostek

Last year: Finished third at Area 8-AAAA duals; sent five wrestlers to Class AAAA traditional state tournament.

First matches: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in a tri-meet at Mundy's Mill.