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Andy Baker

Wrestling time

By Michael Butler

It's wrestling season. Tallassee's varsity and junior varsity teams will host Enterprise and Russell County in the first matches of the season at THS on Nov. 27.

Head coach John Mask is ready with some new whiskers on his face.

"I told the kids I will not shave until we lost a match," he said. "It's a real tough schedule."

On Dec. 1, Tallassee will have 12 teams participate in the Tallassee Duals at the high school.

"We've got about 45 kids out, 7-12, that's a good number. We have a lot of newcomers and some guys with experience."

Andy Baker is a veteran on the squad entering his senior season but has an injury.

"Everything's looking good," said Mask. "We're hoping and praying he can make it back. I'm not expecting him until the end of the year. We want him to be well and healthy."

Baker broke the team record for victories last season with 57. He was a state runner-up at 195 pounds. Another senior, Cody Kelley was expecting to join the team but was also injured, ironically with Baker on the same play in the Beauregard football game.

"Cody was going to wrestle 220. He's not going to participate. Jacob Ledbetter has a minor injury. We're pushing through it. Other guys will have to step up."

Junior Zak Haynes is back this season for the Tigers. He finished third in the 126 pound division at the state tournament last year and was 48-7 overall.

Wrestling in the elements on a cold night at O'Brien Stadium last December

Tallassee will return to the football field for an outdoor match at J. E. "Hot" O'Brien Stadium on Dec. 14 vs. Stanhope Elmore and Reeltown.

"Let's hope it's warm," Mask said. "That same night we have a JV tournament in the gym."

The traditional wrestling championships will continue this season, and like last year, there will be dual state tournament rounds as well.

Coach John Mask with Zak Haynes

"We'll have a region duals. Tallassee's going to host this year. All eight teams in our region will come to our gymnasiums. We'll use both of them. The top two teams advance to the state dual format tournament."

As a team, Tallassee was No. 13 out of 49 teams in the Class 1A-5A standings last season.

2018 Schedule

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