Wrestling leaves South with a 4-1 record on Saturday’s dual meet


Used with permission from Carrie Meersman

Wrestling is a way of life. Seniors Aragon and Fogarty meet for the flip that will start the meet. Last Saturday, South Forsyth War Eagles went 4-1 in their Dual Meet. Each week, these athletes work for nine hours to perfect their techniques so that they can perform to their best ability.

Kayleigh Emberton, Senior Editor

On Saturday, November 16, South Forsyth parents and fans filled the bleachers of the Arena for the first dual wrestling meet at South Forsyth High School. The sound of mats and fans rumbled through the gym. Coaches stood near the mat, preparing their wrestlers for the meet that was five minutes from starting. Volunteers sold food and candy to hungry fans who were waiting in anticipation for the outcome of the meets.

Ya'Donnis Hardaway

This season, South’s roster had a new change. Teams incorporated a girls’ team into wrestling. Mia and Brianna Mcelyea are now on South’s team, and, though it was a boys meet, each girl had a chance to wrestle other girls in the county. Brianna and Mia won their meets on Saturday and added to South’s victories.

Wrestling is based on a point system. A takedown is two points and putting them on their backs is three points. In dual meets, like this one, if a wrestler wins their match, it is three points for the team, if the wrestler wins by more then fifteen points then it is five points for the team, and pinning is six points for their team. South boys went 4-1, only losing by one point. 

Coach Stephens commented on the meet this weekend, “I felt they performed well considering that we don’t have my football players back yet and started several 9th and 10th graders.” 

However, after a grueling loss against Norcross on Friday night, the football players will be back and on the roster for the next meet on Wednesday, November, 20.

Sophomore Eric Dugan has been wrestling since his freshman year in high school, returns for the informative coaching staff. Though it a huge commitment and cuts in lacrosse, but the new coaches and formative style of South’s coaches keep Dugan’s interest and returning membership in the sport. 

At the meet on Saturday, Dugan explained how his performance was not yet up to his own standards, “As a team, we did pretty well. As for me, I did not do that well. I had a lot of close matches and a lot of them did not end in my favor.”

 Each day in practice, wrestlers condition and work on techniques in all positions. Getting a little bit better every day is the goal–the gateway to a successful season. 

“We have some great leadership in the older guys that can bring a lot of the inexperienced wrestlers along. We have several freshmen starting and they’ll take some lumps along the way. We just gotta get 1% better every day,” Coach Stephens explains. 

South has a large number of seniors and upperclassmen on the team this year and each one is vocal and leads through representation. Their leadership qualities are what may lead to South to a successful wrestling season. Whether it is teaching small tricks or perfecting their technique, each athlete works hard to prepare themselves and each other for the meets ahead.

Freshman Owen Wardle commented on his strengths and weaknesses, “One of my weaknesses is that I’m not tall so most people have a reach advantage on me, but one of my strengths would be I pick up on things fast. 

Eric Dugan does some self-reflection when listing his strengths and weaknesses, “My conditioning, it will get better, and technique. A lot of kids have been wrestling since they were five or six years old so I am a little behind the curve. I never give up. Some kids give up when they think their opponent is better than them.”

This year’s goal is to win the state championship. Practices and meets have been preparing the athletes for the championship’s environment. Practices are every day after school and allow for much room to grow. Mondays through Thursdays,  wrestlers, practice technique for two hours while Fridays consist of one hour of constant moving and conditioning. Each athlete on the team has been preparing hard for their end goal as well as the meet on Wednesday, November 20 at Forsyth Central. Last year the Junior Varsity team won regions. They were able to top Central by significant amount of points and expect to do the same this year.

“Our JV won region last year and we beat Central by a lot so I hope we do pretty well, hopefully, that continues,” Eric Dugan says.