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Wrestling: Local teams prep for Area 6 traditionals
Raiders look to defend title at home
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Forsyth County News

With the Area 6-AAAAAA wrestling traditionals championship set to be decided on Saturday at Raider Arena, local coaches are eager to begin the most important stretch of the season.

North Forsyth will try to win its third consecutive area traditionals title, while South Forsyth — along with West Forsyth, Lambert and four other schools — will aim to unseat the defending champs in their own house.

"We want to win and qualify 14 [wrestlers for sectionals]," North head coach Travis Jarrard said. "Some people might say that’s not realistic, but anything can happen. I tell them to win one more match than you’re supposed to.

"... This is all about the individuals now. My focus is on every player to win the last match."

After winning area duals early in the month, the Raiders haven’t practiced up to Jarrard’s standards.

"I haven’t been 100 percent happy with practice," Jarrard said. "We’ve had a letdown in practice, and I know you can’t stay focused all the time. But, I expect the intensity to be higher and the leaders to do the same and step up."

Although North will host the contest, Jarrard doesn’t give much credence to a home mat advantage.

"It’s not really a factor; it has to be somewhere," Jarrard said. "I’ve never seen it matter [in the traditionals]. I’ve seen it in duals when you got guys going back to back, but not for this."

South Forsyth head coach Danny Sinnott is hesitant to give specific goals, but expects his team to come out sharp and give a gutsy performance.

"I want them to train their butts off," Sinnott said. "We want to outlast guys in the third period and push the pace.

"I don’t want to give an exact number, but I’d say that I’d be very happy with five state qualifiers."

Sinnott is in his first season with South, but has coached wrestling for 15 years. The challenge for the War Eagles this season is to reach the Top 20 in Class 6A, even with a young team that only has four seniors, including one in his first year with the program.

The War Eagles will return more than 10 starters next season, when Sinnott thinks the team will shine and have a chance to be ranked in the Top 10.

However, the veteran coach can already see improvement in the team and thinks it may have to do with the group spending a large amount of time together.

"They’re closer to each other," Sinnott said. "They’ve bonded and are starting to learn what it means to be a wrestler and a competitor.

"We’ve done a lot of team bonding. We took a trip to Chattanooga to watch a [Division I] wrestling match and slept in a wrestling building in Cleveland, Tenn. …We’ve watched wrestling movies together and just gotten closer."

Whatever Sinnott has been doing is working for Michael Scullin.

The senior heavyweight boasts a 45-2 record and took second place in the Sham Slam Invitational at Habersham Central Jan. 18-19, considered one of the toughest competitions of the season according to Sinnott, while teammate Bryan Troye took home sixth place in the 170-pound division.

"[Scullin] is a hard worker," Sinnott said. "He’s strong and big, just a great kid in general. He’s smart and a good leader and captain. It’s hard to find partners for him since he weighs 270 pounds. ... We’re hoping [he qualifies] for the state finals."