Aggressive is one way to describe the Troup High wrestling team.
The Tigers are like a downhill train. They’re gaining momentum, as well as wins. Troup High currently sits with a 31-2 record. But the Tigers are not content. They have just begun to work.
There is still a state team title out there for some hard working squad in Class AAAA. The Tigers would like to think they’re in the running this season.
One thing that Troup did do after last week’s Dariel Daniel Grind was reflect on what they just accomplished. The Tigers outworked and outwrestled all of the teams in the deep and talented field.
Troup High School went 10-for-10 in the tournament. There was not one team that was able to beat the Tigers. In the process, Troup won by some king-sized scores. The Tigers are the tournament champions.
“It feels pretty good. We were in condition, and we showed some endurance. We fought hard. We had more confidence, and we were better than everybody else,” said Troup High freshman wrestler Cade Garner, who did some winning himself with five pins in the 132-pound weight class.
The Troup High team took lots of second chances, third chances and a boat load of victories. The Tigers beat Carrollton by 19 points. Troup topped Heard County, 75-6. The Tigers won again against Lamar County, 69-12.
Troup also beat Luella by 18 points. The Tigers tacked on a 39-33 victory over Alabama wrestling power Central Phenix City. Now that was just the appetizer for the Troup High Tigers.
They also pummeled Northgate, 70-6. The Tigers blew past East Paulding as well, winning by 58 points. Troup went one step further with a 57-14 beatdown against the Creekview Grizzlies, the Class 6-A team from Canton.
Troup then went after the tournament title, and the Tigers left their calling card with a 33-point victory over the Locust Grove Wildcats.
“We persevered, and we had no quit. We didn’t come here for second place. We kept plugging (away),” said Tigers assistant coach Drew Garner. “Locust Grove was the favorite, but it helped us wrestling in front of our fans.”
In the tournament finals against the Wildcats, the Troup High fans watched as Tiger junior wrestler Scott Hicks pulled off one of the most miraculous matches of the two-day meet.
Hicks came back from deficits of 9-1 and 10-3 in the third period. The end result for Hicks was a win, thanks to a last-minute pin. Hicks pinned his Locust Grove opponent with 1:05 left in the final period.
“I saw the opportunity, and I took it. My opponent was getting tired, and I had nothing to lose. This (dramatic win) shows what I’m capable of. I came back with vengeance,” said Hicks.
He and the Tigers went the extra mile in the Dariel Daniel Grind.
“We won with guts and intensity,” said Hicks.
Troup High School did lose one of its wrestlers along the way, however. Tiger junior Trevor Upchurch sustained a nasty injury against Central Phenix City last Tuesday afternoon in the 120-pound weight division.
Upchurch was on the verge of winning before fate intervened. And Upchurch’s injury did look like it was season-ending. Upchurch landed on his back and had to be helped off the mat in the third period. The Troup High wrestler did not compete again in the tournament.
“I was ahead 7-4, and I got my arm doubled up. And I fell on my shoulder wrong. It was hurting bad,” said Upchurch, who found out later that he dislocated his collarbone.
Upchurch will be able to return this season. He might be able to come back within the next three to four weeks. But Upchurch did have to forfeit his match against the Central Phenix City Red Devils.
The Troup High wrestler is just glad he didn’t break
Chris Fernsler Sports Writer