Oconee County High School Declared 8-AAA Area Champs
The OCHS wrestling team beat Lumpkin County High School at the 8-AAA area duals held at Oconee County High School.
The Oconee County Warriors paved their way through Monroe and North Hall to face off against Lumpkin County High School in the Area 8 division AAA championship on Saturday. After eleven matches with the Indians, Oconee County was declared the winner and inherited the area champion title.
The Warriors went into the two-day tournament with an 89.7 % win record. On Friday, the first day of the tournament, Oconee dominated their match against Monroe Area High School and only gave up three losses, earning them a spot in the semi-finals.
Oconee County started Saturday off early with a seemingly effortless win against North Hall. This sent OCHS to the championships later in the day where Lumpkin County was waiting for them.
A lot of commentators expected White County to be the big winner for the area duals, but a loss to Lumpkin County early Saturday morning sent them to the consolation bracket. White County would play and beat Chestatee High School to earn their spot in the consolation finals against North hall.
The Oconee County wrestling team began the championship round on Saturday on a high note with Marshall Brown winning his match in the 103 weight class. 112-weight Creighton Arrington came back from his loss on Friday and won the Warriors' second match.
The OCHS team looked at the top of their game throughout the tournament; they seemed to never get tired; they were agile and light on their feet. If anyone got caught, the physical strength was there to get him out of the jam. Match after match, the Warriors showed incredible control over their own bodies and the match as a whole, commanding the pace and tempo on the mat.
On Saturday, 152-weight Cody Knight, who recently received a wrestling scholarship to the University of North Colorado, was on and off the mat in under half a minute. Knight quickly took his Lumpkin opponent to floor and pinned him in the first 20 seconds of the match.
The stands shook with the excitement of the onlooking Warrior crowds.
The final match on Saturday for Oconee saw Steven Myung return to the mat. Myung lost his match against Monroe Area on Friday. Myung got the upper hand midway through the first period, and brought his Lumpkin Co. opponent to the floor. Within seconds, as the quiet, anxious stare of every spectator in the gymnasium was on him, Myung had his opponent on his back as the referee's whistle blew. Myung pinned the Lumpkin wrestler.
The floor shook. The stands rumbled. Myung strode over to the bleachers and commanded the attention and actions of the crowd. He threw his hands up and the OCHS fans screamed even louder.
Lumpkin County walked off the gymnasium floor in defeat. Their season is not over with yet, though. Both the first and second place teams have the opportunity to attend the state meet in Macon next Friday and Saturday. Lumpkin may meet with Oconee again.
Saturday's meet ended with West Hall taking fourth place. White County placed third. Lumpkin was left with second. Oconee County was declared the Area 8-AAA Champs.
In the two previous years, Oconee has missed the opportunity to attend state, placing only fourth in the area duals in those years. Assistant coach Yauk told Oconee Patch after the match, "We're just happy to be going back. Everyone worked really hard today, and they deserve it."
The Oconee wrestling team did wrestle extremely well over the course of the tournament, but State will have a lot of new competition and the potential for a lot of tension and anxiety. Warriors head coach Jimmy Herring said after the tournament, "The team worked hard and this was a team goal that the seniors set out to accomplish during training. It's partly due to that senior leadership that the team was able to win here today. They wrestled extraordinarily well."