Bulldogs grow in number

Published 9:27 pm Wednesday, December 4, 2019

 

The King’s Fork High School wrestling program had a strong turnout this season, and they hope that translates to a strong season.

The Bulldogs return to the mats this season with a large group of wrestlers, both experienced and inexperienced. Coach Jason Dunaway returns at the helm of a group that sent three wrestlers to the state tournament last season and is looking to build on that for this season.

“This is probably the most confident and dedicated group of kids that we have had,” Dunaway said. “The turnout had been great this year. We can see big things happening for the program as it continues to grow.”

Returning for the Bulldogs this year are the Wyatt brothers, Alijah and Gabe. Both competed at the state level last year, and Dunaway believes the brothers can be state finalists this season. They also return Josh Portes, a senior who has been in the program for four years. King’s Fork also welcomes transfer Ashton Dunaway. With the team being larger this season with different types of athletes, Dunaway believes his team can compete well in the region.

“We can be a top-five team in the region,” Dunaway said. “I just think with this coaching staff we have, and the assistants we have and the work they have put in with this team, I feel like we are a couple of steps ahead right now than where we have been in the past.”

With the schedule the Bulldogs have this season, it gives his group a chance to build their confidence up throughout the season as they get ready for the postseason. As a Class 4A team in the larger Southeastern District, matching up with those teams will give the Bulldogs a chance to see top competition — a luxury other teams in their region may not have.

“Winning is contagious, so we feel like if we can win some tournaments, we have a good chance of competing in, we feel like that’s only going to help us,” Dunaway said.

King’s Fork will get things started this Saturday in a match against Jamestown High School and follow that with district matches against Hickory High School and Indian River High School.

In the first couple of matches, Dunaway hopes to see the more experienced guys continue to get into a rhythm and for the new guys to go out and see what the experience is like. Once they get the experience, then they can continue to work on the things that will be beneficial to them throughout the season.