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January 21, 2014

WRESTLING WEDNESDAY: Pirates look to continue Mid-Southern dominance this weekend

C’town has won 10 conference titles, including eight in a row

CHARLESTOWN —  Since 2003, one team has dominated Mid-Southern Conference wrestling — the Charlestown Pirates.

Charlestown has captured the MSC championship 10 times. That includes winning the last eight conference championship meets.

Along with those conference titles, the Pirates have claimed the MSC Duals championship 10 consecutive times.

On Saturday, Charlestown will attempt to strengthen its prowess within the conference as the MSC Championships meet will take place at Corydon Central.

Pirates’ coach Adam Doherty says his wrestlers take a lot of pride in winning the MSC every year.

“It gets your picture on the wall [at Charlestown High School]. It gets you remembered,” said Doherty, who won two state championships during his high school career at Jeffersonville. “We have as good of a shot as anybody. We had a good showing at the MSC Duals. Corydon is pretty good and Scottsburg has improved a lot.”

Doherty thinks four Pirates have a shot to bring home individual MSC titles this weekend. They are senior Luke Woods (113 pounds), juniors Bryant Haynes (126) and Josh Hurley (220) and sophomore Zach Higdon (170).

Woods, Higdon and Hurley each have already won a conference title this season, as all of them captured individual crowns at last Saturday’s Southern Indiana Wrestling Conference meet at Southwestern. Haynes finished second at the meet.

Doherty also expects good showings from four other Charlestown grapplers in junior Cameron Hopson (132), sophomores Dillon Gray (138) and Christian Davenport (285) and freshman Antonyo Gaddie (152).

The Pirates are coming off last weekend’s SIWC team title, and Doherty hopes that momentum will carry over into the MSC meet on Saturday.

“The kids stepped up and won some big matches. They had the team score in mind as they were wrestling,” said Doherty, who will find out his wrestlers’ MSC seeds tonight.

In preparing for another MSC title run, Doherty has stressed to his grapplers to focus on this year’s meet and not bask in the glory of their past MSC accomplishments.

“The kids know about [the Pirates’ MSC dominance],” Doherty said. “But it’s a new team this year. We want to prove ourselves. We just want to add another tournament title this year.”

There is more on the line for Charlestown this weekend besides capturing another MSC crown.

The Pirates must perform well to try to improve their seedings for the Jeffersonville Sectional on Saturday, Feb. 1. Also, they would like to gain even more momentum entering the postseason.

“We talk about the MSC a lot. We need to wrestle well, so we can do well in the state tournament series,” Doherty said. “Our ultimate goal is to do well [at sectional and regional] in the state tournament series.”

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