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Coal Cracker Tournament

Photo by Jamie White

By: Isabella Shea/Junior Writer

On Jan 22, the Blue Ridge Raiders wrestling team traveled to Lehighton for the 13 annual Coal Cracker wrestling tournament. The Coal Cracker tournament was originally planned for Janurary 21, but was rescheduled due to the weather. Multiple schools were unable to attend. Even with this move, the Blue Ridge JV and varsity team overcame this adversity and made the tournament.

The tournament was competed in by 10 wrestlers. Two wrestlers made it to the second day of the varsity tournament, while the other 8 wrestled in the junior varsity tournament on the second day.

Blue Ridge Wrestler Jackson Maby won the 133 bracket of the tournament. When asked how he felt, this is what he had to say about his win.

“Coming from a small rural area, it’s cool getting to wrestle in this tournament. My area doesn’t host anything like this so getting to compete with people from all over the state gave me extra motivation to do my best.” He said.

Brice Woodruff, also made it to the second day of the tournament but unfortunately did not place.

He was asked what the tournament was like.

He stated, “it was a fun and good experience. I learned a lot from it and it was a tough tournament to compete in.”

Freshman Giovanni Annesi was eliminated from the varsity tournament but competed in day two in the junior varsity tournament. While he didn’t place, he was asked what he thought of the tournament.

Annesi explained, “Competing in this tournament as a freshman was the hardest thing I’ve done in the sport. Besides that I had a great experience being able to go against teams that aren’t in this area, making the atmosphere a lot different than here at Blue Ridge.”

Torin Fissel, a sophomore from Susquehanna Community High School was injured the first day of the two day tournament. Fissel was still asked about his experience being at the tournament.

He said, “It was exciting, but at the same time it was nerve racking because it was such a big ground with good competition.”

This tournament was competed in by 53 schools. Where multiple state qualifiers and state champions attended. This shows the competition that our Blue Ridge wrestlers were up against. The head coach Charles Church helped prepare them for the tournament. He was asked about what competing in the tournament meant to him.

Church states, “It’s a tournament where the best of the best get to meet without the pressure of placing in the tournament. You go, wrestle hard, and have fun. It helps our team by giving us competition we wouldn’t see otherwise.”

To learn more about Blue Ridge wrestling click here- https://www.raiderreader.org/jackson-maby-100-wins/

To learn more about the history of the Coal Cracker Tournament click here-http://Coal Cracker Tourney gets bigger, better – Times News www.tnonline.com › coal-cracker-tourney-gets-bigger-better

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Isabella Shea
Isabella Shea
Isabella Shea is a junior in high school. She is a part of the NHS, Leo Club, SADD, and is treasurer of the Student Council.  Isabella participates in softball and is the manager of the wrestling team. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends and hanging out with her cat.
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