WARRENSVILLE — The wrestling grind is nearing the finish line for the Ashe County Middle School Bulldogs. The team wrapped up the regular season last week and will focus on the upcoming conference tournament.
The tournament, set for this Saturday at Central Wilkes, will have a motivated Bulldog team ready to compete after dropping a pair of matches to close out the regular season.
ACMS finished the season at 7-3 overall with two of those losses coming against Central Wilkes in the last two weeks.
The Bulldogs were 4-6 last season, so this year has been a big time improvement for the middle schoolers.
“I still believe this team hasn’t reached its full potential yet,” said ACMS head coach Alex Wray. “We have wrestlers that have improved all year. Now it’s time to go into the conference tournament and shine. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
Last Friday, the regular season ended with a 19-point home loss to Central Wilkes, but the young athletes have continued to strive forward and not let any bit of adversity get in their way.
“I have been teaching a lot this year, trying to build something special. The kids have been working very hard for me,” said Coach Wray. “Every time they lose, they win. It’s a learning process in the sport, you have to learn from your losses so you don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again.”
The biggest question remaining may be whether or not Mother Nature will cooperate with a big snowfall being predicted for large parts of North Carolina, especially the mountains and the foothills where the conference teams are located. If it does snow the tournament out this weekend, it will be rescheduled.
“We are ready to go into the conference tournament this weekend and do something special,” said Wray. “I love this team, I believe in this team. We are family. We will fight to the end until we reach our goals.”
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87