Bulldogs shift focus to postseason

Published 10:18 pm Friday, February 2, 2018

The King’s Fork High School wrestling team is shifting its focus to the postseason after a solid regular season.

The Bulldogs wrestling team will compete in the Class 4 Region A regional tournament next week. Coach Jason Dunaway believes his team is focused and ready to compete in the postseason. The top four wrestlers in each weight class will advance to the Class 4 state meet.

“We finished up the regular season good,” Dunaway said. “Kids are healthy and are in good spirits. I feel good about where we are. I feel like I have one of the better-looking teams I have had going into the postseason. I am excited to see how we do next week.”

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In recent years, the 4A region has had some of the toughest competition. With the realignment in the region, it offers an opportunity for more wrestlers to reach the state tournament. Dunaway believes his wrestlers being able to get a chance to experience it all will motivate them to work harder for next season.

Postseason advice comes in many forms. Sometimes, nothing needs to be said, and sometimes, there are a few words of encouragement offered. Dunaway has told his team that everything goes out the window come postseason time.

“It basically comes down to who wants to win more,” Dunaway said. “Sometimes there are guys who come in with losing records and just perform well. There is always that surprise. I told my kids, let’s be that surprise this year. Let’s believe in what we are doing.”

Outside of standout Dennis Whitehead, Dunaway believes he has some wrestlers who have a chance of making it to the state tournament. Kirk Bond Jr. is one that stands out. Dunaway speaks to the way Bond has bought in to the program and has come along strong recently for the Bulldogs. Twins Alijah Wyatt and Gabe Wyatt will also have good chances to advance in the postseason.

Whitehead is expected to compete for a state title this season. He was the runner-up last season in the heavyweight division. He has surpassed the 100 career wins mark and has the most wins in school history. His accomplishments have impressed even his coach.

“Just having him around has been amazing,” Dunaway said. “To see him succeed and see where he has come from since four years ago has been amazing. He is a team leader in the room and outside of the room. He has a big heart, and it has been a pleasure watching him. I’m going to hate seeing him go, but I think he can move onto bigger and better things.”

The Class 4 Region A tournament will be held at Churchland High School Feb. 9-10.