January 23, 2022

Brave wrestlers first to compete at GHSA Girls State Championships

HCHS Brave wrestling at Macon (L-R): Assistant coach Christopher Tatum, freshman wrestler Destiny Ray, senior wrestler Jasmin Aquino, and head coach Jimmy Haynes

(Macon, GA) — Two Heard County High School athletes made school history this week becoming the first Heard County athletes to compete at the GHSA Girls State Wrestling Championships at the Macon Centreplex.

Senior Jasmin Aquino and freshman Destiny Ray competed against the best of the best from all around the state in the third annual event.

Unlike the boys State Championships, the girls were not divided by classifications meaning that girls from the smaller schools like Heard competed against girls from much larger schools.

There were over 300 female wrestlers a the meet competing in just 10 weight classes for only 10 state titles.

Jasmin became the first Heard High female wrestler to score a win a the state meet when she pinned freshman Kai-Emon Whiteside from Eagles Landing Academy in the third period of her very first match of the day Wednesday. She led the match on points 9-4 prior to the pin.

Aquino was pinned in her second match versus junior Lakiah Battle from Jordan before bouncing back to defeat Amanda Dorman from Johnson High in her third match. She finished the state meet with a 2-2 record.

Braves head coach Jimmy Haynes was very pleased with Jasmin’s first-time performance at the large arena.

“Jasmine grew tremendously throughout the season. Being her first year of wrestling, she bought into the program immediately,” said Haynes after the meet.

“She stepped up and  worked with our middle school girls wrestlers when practice for her hadn’t started yet. She set the foundation for women’s wrestling at Heard County.”

After graduation this spring, Aquino plans on coming back next year to help out in practice and give back to the program.

“It was a pleasure to coach her, and I’m looking what the future holds for her,” Haynes added.

“Actually, our guys can learn something from Jasmin. This was her first year and yet she fought hard after never cutting weight before staying disciplined and doing the extra things to keep her weight down. At the end of the day, wrestling has changed her life forever and I am so proud of her.”

In her first appearance at Macon, freshman Destiny Ray also fared well scoring her first ever state win over Jocalyn White from Dodge County in the 152 pound weight class in her second match of the day. Ray went 1-2 on the day and as only a freshman has a bright future in the program.

Coach Haynes was especially proud of Destiny for not giving up on her season despite the obstacle of a major injury that gave her only one day to practice prior to the state meet.

“Destiny had some adversity to overcome before taking the mat at the GHSA State Tournament, with her breaking her hand in the middle of the season and she was only able to get on the mat for one practice after being quarantined,” said Haynes.

“We didn’t get the results we wanted, but it shows her dedication for the sport. She’s going to get better in the off season and prepare to make some noise next year at state.”


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