Since taking the reigns of the wrestling program at Fannin County High School, head coach David Henson has been working to create a winning culture. Each year he begins the season with a team meeting, where he discusses team and individual goals and expectations. While he expects his athletes to have fun, he also pushes them to toe-the-line, hoping to see them standing on the podium at the end of the season.
This year, three of Fannin’s varsity boys have fought their way to the big finale – the GHSA Traditional State Championships. The tournament will be held in Macon later this week.
To get to the state event, wrestlers first had to place within the top four of their class at Area competition. In doing so, they then qualified to compete at the Sectional tournament this past weekend at Greater Atlanta Christian School. The Area 6-AAA meet was held last weekend (Jan 17) at Morgan County High School in Madison. 113 lbs sophomore Landon Galloway (2nd Place), 126 lbs freshman McCay Turner (4th Place) and heavyweight senior Bradley Flowers each qualified to advance to the Sectional meet. Flowers was the Area Champion, going undefeated in the event.
“It felt great to win,” Flowers told TeamFYNSports after winning the Area tournament. “Coach Henson and Coach Hutsell have been telling me to keep working hard in practice and this is something I’ve trained hard for.”
At the Sectional meet, the top eight finishers qualify to advance to the state tournament in Macon. Flowers finished 3rd, Turner finished 4th and Galloway once again came away with a 2nd place finish to advance all three teammates to state.
At the state tournament, Flowers (31-6) will face Dalton senior Walter Richards (54-5) in his first match to kick off the bracket. Turner (41-10) will face senior Blake Rice (3-0 in the 126-lb class) of Hall County; and Galloway (30-7) will lock horns with Calhoun freshman Blake Bailey (27-10). Weigh-ins are at 10am on Thursday morning and TeamFYNSports will be on location, posting updates on twitter and facebook throughout the tournament.
The Burnt Mountain Classic took place on Friday night and Saturday at Pickens Co. High School. The Classic comes with high expectations by the teams attending – and although inclement weather forced school cancellations throughout the week – the tournament still lived up to the bill.
Although the weather was rough all week, 15 of 19 Varsity teams that were scheduled came off the buses ready to strap on their head gear and hit the mat. Fannin County was one of 22 varsity teams scheduled to attend but like a handful of the teams who cancelled, they followed the school cancellation schedule due to potential hazardous road conditions.
The acclaimed Gilmer Bobcats varsity squad, who have been living up to their legacy of absolute domination all season long, was originally scheduled to attend as well. After speaking with head coach Josh Ghobadpor about his decision to give his varsity the weekend off, he stated that with the weather being what it was during the week, they hadn’t been able to practice. Rather than put his varsity in a high-pressure situation so close to area and sectionals, Ghobadpor focused instead on taking his junior varsity team to compete in the JV Scramble.
“We tried to get to the gym to train but with ice on the roads we didn’t want to take any chances. This weekend we decided to bring our JV and let them get the extra work in, though. After all the JV is the future of Bobcat wrestling,” Ghobadpor told TeamFYNSports.
As the wrestlers laced up and shook hands, match-by-match the competition began to heat up right away. Pickens, Lumpkin, Creekview, Etowah, Cherokee High, Calhoun, Alcoa, Milton, Sequoyah, Chestatee, Towns, SE Whitfield, Walker, West Hall and River Ridge all came in pursuit of conquest.
With each win or loss, the cream began to rise to the top. While all in attendance had much to be proud of, two standout teams battled for the heralded prize of tournament champions. As the dust (and sweat) settled, congratulations went to the Creekview High School Grizzlies for capturing the crown in the team scoring with 219 points. Narrowly taking the runner up award in the team points was the host: the Pickens County High School Dragons.
On Saturday, the action heated up with the JV Scramble. The young freshmen and sophomore athletes showed up and showed out on the mats with Calhoun Yellow Jackets taking the JV trophy. Individual award winners from Pickens County included: Zach Meadows(113 lbs) 2nd Place, C.J. Murphy(120 lbs) 2nd Place, Joseph Ferguson(152 lbs) 2nd Place Michael Burrell(160 lbs) 1st Place, Tyler Vreeland(170 lbs), Kellie Dover(182 lbs) 3rd Place and Dalton Bruhner(195 lbs) 4th Place.
Other results were not available at the event. Congratulations to all athletes and best of luck in Area Competition and State!
The Fannin County High School wrestling team, coached by Joshua Snider, held its annual end of the year banquet, to honor outgoing seniors, and superlatives. (more…)