May 17, 2021

Dynamic Start for Denney

(Franklin, GA) — The Heard County High School varsity wrestling season is underway and the lone senior on the Braves roster is already making some big noise on the mat.

Wyn Denney has started the season with an impressive 14-0 record including 13 wins via pinfall and a 2-0 points win over a strong grappler from Class AAAAAA to win first place during the ‘Redskin Rumble’ at perennial wrestling powerhouse Social Circle.

Denney is looking to build on his area championship and sixth place finish at state as a junior and he’s been putting in the work to help make his dream of becoming Heard County’s first ever State Champion a stronger possibility.

Senior Brave wrestler Wyn Denney at the ‘Redskin Rumble’ on December 14

Denney says that his experience at the state meet in Macon last season was a real eye-opener that has fueled his desire to improve.

“Last year really exposed a lot of what I needed to work on,” says Denney.

“I wasn’t as strong as I needed to be, I wasn’t as fast and offensive as I needed to be, and I wasn’t happy with the outcome in February. So this year I decided it was time to get faster, stronger, and way more offensive.”

Denney wrestled at 182 pounds at state as a junior, but has competed at both 182 and 170 this season.

His training regimen during the summer and fall not only included weightlifting and mat time, but also an increased focus on his food intake and nutrition.

While most teenagers might survive off of fast food and junk food, for the last few months Wyn has been consuming lots of fish, chicken, rice, and other healthier options.

“Changing my eating habits was kind of a big step toward a possible state championship. All the college wrestlers you see now are usually pretty fit — they condition their bodies strictly. Diet means everything,” says Denney.

“If you put crap in your body you get crap out. Luckily, I know a former wrestler Hunter Cantoral who has helped lead me in the right direction as far as my diet. He sent me plans every week and he helps work wrestling into my cardio.”

First year Brave head wrestling coach Jimmy Haynes has been impressed by Denney’s start and his ambition to succeed at one of the toughest sports around.

“Wyn has been wrestling tough this season. I made it a point to go to the Redskin Rumble because Social Circle is where I am from and I knew the competition would be tough,” Haynes states. “The match Wyn won 2-0 in the finals — we needed him to have a match to go the distance like that. We had to ride out the whole third period up 2-0 and that is huge.”

Coach Haynes knows first hand how tough Denney is as a grappler because he takes him on himself in practice sometimes to try and make him better.

“I jump in live with him every day and kind of beat him up a little bit to try to make him better so he can then hand out the butt whippings when he wrestles,” says Haynes.

Haynes says after he wrestles with him live, he always gets the same response fro Denney — “Coach thanks for pushing me.”

Denney and the rest of the Braves will wrestle in the Jacket Invitational tomorrow at Rockmart (9:00 AM) and be closer to home next Saturday, January 4 at 9:00 AM when they compete at the Callaway duals at Callaway High in Lagrange.

Despite the individuality and personal rigors involved with the sport of amateur wrestling, Denney says a big support system from both past and present have been crucial to his successful efforts on the mat.

“Knowing I have one of the best support teams in the world helps me a lot. My mom and dad are always there to help me every step of the way,” says Denney. “And every wrestling partner I’ve ever had — Gage Cannon helped me every day almost since my sixth grade year. Also Matthew Nilsen, Kevin Hendrix, Luis Vasquez, Logan Moran, Coach Kyle Yates, Coach Garner, Coach Nixon, and for all the other guys that pushed me every day leading up to this year I am thankful for them.”

The senior says that large group of people is one of his big motivators in trying to become Heard County’s first state champion.

“I just want to go out and win it — not only for myself — but for everyone who has helped me along the way.”

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