By Evan Grice
For the past three years, when teams have ventured to Collett Fieldhouse for the Piedmont Invitational wrestling tournament, there’s only been one outcome: Piedmont standing tall at the top.
Head coach Erik Ford and his squad will be hoping for a four-peat this weekend as the Wildcat wrestling team readies to host the annual tournament, which is set to begin Friday morning at noon with matches running all day and into Saturday.
First though, there’s the small matter of meeting Geary for a dual Thursday night Jan. 23 at Collett.
“We’ve got a dual against Geary first before the tournament, which is going to be a good test for us,” Ford said. “This year at the tournament it’s going to be tough. Del City is coming back, which we were able to sneak out a victory from last season. Western Heights is going to be here as well, and they are a solid 5A team. We’ve tried to deepen the field as much as possible, and make it as tough of a tournament as possible.”
With the season winding down quickly towards regionals and the state competition, along with dual state, Coach Ford said these next few weeks are all about getting his kids mat time and getting them prepared for what’s to come down the road.
“Our kids need to have as much competition as possible,” he said. “The main goal for these kids is improving each week and each day as they prepare for regionals and state. We haven’t even discussed dual state since we clinched our spot in it. There’s still a lot of work to do before that happens.”
Blane Culp and Brody Largent, who have been battling skin infections throughout the week, should be medically cleared to compete according to Coach Ford.
“I got it last week or the week before,” Culp said. “They gave me some average medicine, which we found wasn’t working very well. So, we went to the doctor and they gave me some stronger medicine. I was told it should clear up in a few days and I should be good to go.”