August 18, 2019

Middle Braves sweep wrestling titles

2018 West Georgia Middle School Wrestling Champions (Front L-R): Destiny Ray, Waylon McCay, Nathan Allen, Michael Hedrick, Sammy Calhoun, Todd Huey Jr, Brady Davis, Jasmine Swindle
(Back L-R): Coach Garner, Jack Japour, Aidan Nelms, Noah Atkinson, Jacob Miles, Dylan Stephens, Colton Bates, Kent Jones, Nick Barber, Tommy Googe, Kristian Garrison and Coach Brandon Smith

(Carroll County, GA) — The Heard County Middle School wrestling team captured both the West Georgia small school dual title and the overall traditional championship last weekend in Carroll County.

The squad dominated opponents for the entirety of the regular season under new coach Drew Garner while facing some of the best wrestling programs in the area and the title matches were no different.

The Braves defeated Temple 84-6 and Mount Zion 79-10 in Villa Rica Friday night to claim the Small School Duals Championship and followed that up with another strong showing on Saturday at the overall traditional finals at Mount Zion High School.

The Braves earned 212 points at Saturday’s overall meet which included both the small and large schools.

Rounding out the top five were Central with 170 points, Carrollton (124), Bremen (123), and Haralson County with 114 points.

Individual wrestlers earn points based on placing in each weight class. A total of 13 Brave grapplers earned top four finishes at the traditional meet Saturday including five who won individual championships.

Leading the way with individual titles were Todd Huey, Jr. (98 lbs), N. Atkinson (105 lbs), Colton Bates (120 lbs), Dylan “Little Kountry” Stephens (152 lbs), and Jacob “Juice” Miles (200 lbs). Miles and Stephens followed up on strong third place finishes in 2017.

Other top four placers included Nick Barber (2nd – 136 lbs), Michael Hedrick (3rd – 70 lbs), Nathan Allen (3rd – 77 lbs),  Brady Davis (3rd – 112 lbs),  Aidan Nelms (3rd – 144 lbs), Kent Jones (3rd – 175 lbs), Waylon McCay (4th – 91 lbs), and Tommy Googe (4th – 265 lbs).

The outcome likely would have been even more decisive if not for a couple of key wrestlers (Bailey Parker and Nathan McClellan) missing Saturday’s meet due to illness.

Parker, McClellan, Stephens, and Miles each finished undefeated for the season in their respective weight classes.

Coach Garner and Coach Brandon Smith have been impressed by the Brave athletes’ work ethic and ability to learn new concepts quickly.

“These kids learn twice as fast because the retention rates is so high and they  work twice as hard as other kids we have coached in the past,” said Garner after the meets. “You will have kids move in and move out but we feel like this core group has a shot to compete for a state title at the varsity level.”

Garner, Smith, and other new coaches are quickly building towards the future with a youth program in Heard County featuring both male and females from the age of three and up.

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