BEHIND THE OPERATION: The men behind P.S. Jones’ perfect season

Published 2:39 pm Friday, February 5, 2016

P.S. Jones swept A.G. Cox in its season finale this week to finish the season a perfect 7-0. The Demons won 66-36 thanks to wins from Landon Ragland, Brody Moore, Walt Gerard, Hayden Anderson, Mykel Warren, Dylan Clark, Christian Whitney. Tyler Bradshaw, Alaza Stanley, Sherfield Smith and Khyric McCloud.

The stupendous season wouldn’t have been possible if not for the effort on the part of the team and the volunteer coaches at the helm, as well as plenty of other factors.

It began with Phil Harris, who started the middle school wrestling program decades ago. He is still involved today.

“I’m 49 years old and he was coaching when I was there,” fellow Demons coach Lee Moore said. “He was the one that was there every day that got them started. …Without him, it would have been difficult for us.”

The other coaches would take over from there. It was a cooperative effort on the part of Moore, Brett Campbell and Russ Chesson. The three would get together early in the week and determine who could conduct practice on what days. They’re all coordinating running over to P.S. Jones from work, volunteering their time to develop the new blood of what could be a dynasty in the making at the high school level.

“We really have some good kids. Not just good wrestlers, but good kids,” Moore said. “In the last few years, (Washington) has come up short in the dual team. … I’d say as early as next year, we’re going to go from being the guy that is the underdog to the team and people are going to say, ‘Washington is on the board.’ We’re going to have a good program, not just a good team.”

As far as the immediate future of the Demons, the program has 13 seventh-graders returning for their eighth-grade seasons next year. Record-wise, there’s not much to build on from an undefeated season. However, the boys will continue to work hard between now and then. There’s a local wrestling club that gives the kids a chance to extend their season a bit and it also works well as a recruiting tool for the Demons.

“It’s hard to compete. We have soccer now, you’ve got baseball, basketball, swimming,” Moore said. “A lot of these kids, even though P.S. Jones doesn’t have a swim team, plan on swimming in high school so they don’t wrestle. The competition is tough and a lot of people don’t understand wrestling.”