Marcus Sayers spent three years coaching the wrestling team at Franklin High School before getting the opportunity to lead the Panthers this season.
“I am very excited that Coach Jay Brooks has given me the opportunity to be the head coach this year,” said Sayers.
The team will be without last season's standout, Jackson Roper who graduated last spring.
“He was a strong leader and will be missed, but we have a few new wrestlers that have joined the team. We have Kaleb Duerre, Bryan Lopez, and Garrett Sanders. They need a little work, but February is a ways a way so there is no reason that they do not have a shot to make it [to State],” he said.
The State tournament is where the team's goals stand at the moment. According to Sayers, it is nice to win as a team, but wrestling is still an individual sport and that means that their main goal is to send as many wrestlers to the 2A State tournament as they can.
“Our returning seniors should make it. James Watson (120 lbs.), Chris Richards (126 lbs.), Dustin Smith, and Jimmy Briggs (220) shouldn't have a problem,” said Sayers.
According to the new coach, the season has gone well so far with Chris Richards placing second and Tristan Longworth placing fourth in Towns County recently. Yesterday the team travelled to Asheville for a tri match and Saturday they will hit the road again when they head to Waynesville for another invitational at Tuscola High School.