The Golden Lions are coming off a competitive showing — falling shy of qualifying for the state tourney — in the Area Duals over the weekend.
“All in all, as young as this team is they made a fine showing of themselves,” said St. Pius coach David Sabino.
Sabino, in his fourth year at the helm, saw his squad rebound from a tough first day at the duals to get back in the thick of things on Day 2. The Golden Lions recorded match wins over Pike County, Fannin County and Jackson High School before falling in a tough contest to state qualifier McNair.
The St. Pius faithful has much to be amped about this season.
“We’re a stronger team this year in terms of our depth and strong retention of our wrestlers,” Sabino said. “We’ve just got to keep the ball moving in the right direction, as they say.
“And, hopefully that strength will become more evident toward the latter part of the season … at the traditional area tournament and traditional state tournament.”
For all its talent, the fate of St. Pius’s 2012-13 campaign will likely be determined by how it masters the inevitable learning curve.
Senior co-captain Quinn Peragine is the Golden Lions’ only returning state placer from last season’s club.
Co-captain Harris Woodward — who’ll suit up between 138 and 145 pounds — has the potential for a strong run in the state tourney. Dalton Scoggins is expected to be solid in the 138 lb. weight class … the same for fellow juniors, twin brothers Joe (132 lbs) and Nick (145) Twiner. Senior Phillip Camp is expected to make waves of his own at 160.
Their contributions will guide the team as it adjusts to life after the GHSA’s latest re-classification initiative ushered in powerhouse programs Blessed Trinity and Dawson County to its league/area.
“We have a level of depth this year that we haven’t had in previous years, especially at the middle weights,” Sabino noted.
Character is something else the Golden Lions have in spades — as evidenced in the aftermath of the aforementioned disappointing area duals.
“We came up short … it was a tough pill to swallow,” said Sabino. “But, this is a resilient bunch.
“They’re going to bounce back with character and persevere through the rest of the season.”