ELLIJAY, Ga – The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners are moving forward with plans to seek state recognition of the school system’s major success in the wrestling world with a proclamation of Gilmer as the State Wrestling Capital.
Parents and Coaches filled the Commissioner’s conference room on Wednesday, September 12, to ask the board for a sign at the county line claiming Gilmer as the wrestling capital of the state in honor of the 17 state titles the county has brought home in the sport.
Coach Mark Waddell spoke first for citizens in the work session saying that what Gilmer has accomplished is “pretty unprecedented.” Noting the 17 team state titles, he said that these were only the team’s titles, not individuals.
As each student practices and becomes part of the team, several parents noted in the work session that their kids have become entirely different people. From the discipline to the camaraderie and the inclusion of faith into the program, many of those present threw support behind the idea, lauding the coaches who have done so much and pushed these athletes to accomplish even more.
One parent even said, “They carry themselves differently.” The changes the students go through during the program was constantly repeated emphasizing its importance to them.
Waddell asked for the support of the Commissioners in placing a sign to highlight the 17 combined titles. He noted that part of the success is that it is a singular program. It doesn’t individualize the middle school, the youth, and the high school. With the whole program on track to a singular vision, the success follows with the students accomplishing everything they can.
Coach Sam Snider also spoke about the program’s state recognition sharing stories about the numerous times that Speaker David Ralston brought Gilmer Wrestling to the capital to highlight their championships. Students from Gilmer are spreading across the country, Snider pointed to those who wrestle on scholarships in college and others who use what the program teaches to further their careers in other areas.
Honoring their success, these and other coaches want to highlight the students with a sign acknowledging them. As Snider said, “A sign that says Gilmer County has accomplished this rewards success.”
Coaches weren’t the only ones pushing for recognition of these students as several parents were present at the Work Session. Some spoke of the program’s influence, but Jim Fox emotionally recalled one of the parades they held for winning the state championship, “The memory I have is right across the square during the parade. People were coming out on the sidewalks from the different stores. And out of the city barbershop comes a man with shaving cream on half of his face and a bib trailing behind him… We were escorting all the trucks down the road and I got a view of the sunrise, the flags, and people cheering and wondering what was going on. They were coming out of the store saying, ‘Why is traffic stopped?'”
Fox continued saying that they were explaining that they were celebrating the young people involved in the state wrestling title when he was asked, “Gilmer County won a state wrestling title?”
Fox says he replied, “No, they won two.”
No less emotion came to the Commissioners Regular Meeting when coaches returned with part of the wrestling team. This time, though, it wasn’t parents or coaches to share what the program meant. It was a wrestler, Thomas Chastain, who stood before the Commissioners saying, “It helps everybody grow as a team. Most people don’t think wrestling is a team sport, but it is because you all have to work together to get a team score to get first. Not just one person can get first in duals.”
Addressing the request for a sign calling Gilmer the capital, Post Commissioner Travis Crouch said the state would only give the county one state-level recognized “capital” sign. Though that didn’t stop the board from planning to seek state-level recognition without the sign.
Additionally, Crouch brought up an older discussion that the county seek a county-owned sign at the line recognizing the Wrestling Capital among other things.
Gilmer County Commission Chairman Charlie Paris noted that an electronic sign of substantially larger size than requested was something the county could feasibly look at next year as they move forward seeking the state’s recognition as well. Engaging in talks with Speaker Ralston, they hope to have the item in the legislative session early next year.
In the last few moments of discussion during their regular meeting, one of the coaches offered his deepest thanks to the commissioners for listening and for what they do.
Paris responded by saying, “This is not so much something that we are doing as it is something that ya’ll have earned.”
And with that, an unanimous decision was made to move forward with both options.
The Gilmer Co. Board of Education recognized the Gilmer High School wrestling team for an outstanding season on Thursday. Bobcat wrestling was first on the agenda with Coach Josh Ghobadpoor thanking Dr. Wilkes and the entire board for doing all they do for the schools in Gilmer Co. Coach Ghobad, as he is commonly called by his team, brought to the forefront that the accomplishments for Gilmer wrestling this season once again followed the continued winning tradition the program is known for.
The 2018 season saw the Bobcats win 1st place in Traditional Duels and Area Duels with a Runner Up in State Duals falling just short of a strong Jefferson Dragons team. On the individual level, the Bobcats had 12 athletes qualify for the GHSA State Tournament with 6 of those placing and bringing home the hardware. All Bobcats performed well in the state tournament with Tristan Kendall(126 lbs) placing 4th, Alex Repetun(138 lbs) placing 6th, Caleb Waddell(152 lbs) placing 2nd, Grant Ledford(160 lbs) placing 6th, Ryan Crump(182 lbs) placing 3rd and Anthony Zilke(285 lbs) placing 3rd.
Congratulations to the 2017-2018 Bobcats on a great wrestling season!
See the video of these Bobcats being highlighted below:
Daddy/Daughter Dinner & Dance Fundraiser for CCMS Wrestling
When: March 17, 2018 at 6 p.m.
Where: Agricultural Center at Clear Creek Middle School
Cost: $25 per couple, $5 for each additional daughter
Cost includes: Dinner, flower for each daughter, and picture
Dinner will include: Barbecue, chicken tenders, mac and cheese, green beans, roll, and dessert
If you wish to purchase a ticket, please contact Michelle Bentley at Chick-Fil-A, Monica Berry at Huff’s Drug Store or Melissa Galloway at Clear Creek Middle School.
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 Kyle Maynard Duals are one of the most heralded wrestling tournaments in the Southeast, drawing some of the best competition the area has to offer. The success Gilmer High School has had on the mats this season certainly warranted their invitation to compete, and compete they did.
They kicked off the duals with a huge win over Hoover, Alamaba; followed by team victories over Cook County and Union Grove to catapult the Cats into the semifinals.
In the semi’s, they “exchanged pleasantries” with Commerce, arguably one of the best wrestling programs in the state of Georgia. Commerce was able to derail the Cats from their championship run, but only by 3 points (33-36).
The loss pitted Gilmer against tournament host Collins Hill, resulting in a 41-24 win after what head coach Joshua Ghobadpoor called “an outstanding performance by everyone on the team”.
Locust Grove defeated Commerce to win the overall top team place.
The team returned to mandatory practices on Wednesday and look forward as they prepare for upcoming Area Duals and a hopeful run at another state title.
The Gilmer Wrestling mandatory hydration test has been rescheduled for this Tuesday, 10/24 at 5pm. GCHS wrestling coaches will be taking a bus and it will leave the high school at approximately 3pm Tuesday afternoon. Wrestlers who are still in football will have to go to the Hydration Test this coming Saturday 10/28 and will meet at the high school at 8:45am. GCHS Coaches are asking that the wrestlers please drink plenty of water and eat healthy in preparation for the test. Athletes will need to wear a t-shirt and shorts, and the cost for the test is $10.
The upcoming Hydration Test has been cancelled by the UNG Testing Administrator. He told coaches that he forgot “Gold Rush” would be this Saturday. Though the coaches offered several solutions, the testing administrator chose to postpone the mandatory hydration test until a later date.
“I am working on rescheduling, and it will be either this coming Tuesday or Saturday,” Coach Joshua Ghobadpoor told his wrestlers Thursday evening. “I will let everyone know the time and date once it is rescheduled.” Coach Ghobadpoor added, “I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused for many many people.”
TeamFYNSports looks forward to following and reporting coverage of the Gilmer Bobcats’ wrestling season. If you are a parent, alumni, or simply a fan; we are looking for volunteers to help us cover matches and upcoming events! If interested, please contact Jason Banks at Jason@FetchYourNews.com !