Janet Schrader, Democrat Reporter
There were those who thought wrestling at Suwannee High had died. But thanks to the efforts of the wrestlers and a dedicated coaching staff, new this season, wrestling made a huge come back this year at SHS. So huge they won the district championship.
Coach Jimmy McCullers took on the job of coach and with it the job of bringing the wrestling at Suwannee High back to life. Through the school's e-mail network McCullers gained the interest of a school that had forgotten wrestling. After every meet, he e-mailed a story about the wrestlers and how great they were doing. It worked. Slowly but surely the school became aware of the great work McCullers was doing. Some of the teachers told him they hadn't even known Suwannee High had an existing wrestling team. More athletes came out for the team and the weight classes were filled.
"The season was much better than people thought we would have," McCullers said. "this has been one of the best times in my life."
McCullers started with just a few veterans of last year's season and many freshman in from a thriving middle school wrestling program. It was a beginning and McCullers and the wrestlers made it happen.
"The first thing I let the wrestlers know was that I believed in them," McCullers said. "I wanted them to believe in themselves. At the first team meeting I told them this was their team. We became a family as the year progressed."
The Bulldog wrestlers had an 11-2 season at dual meets. Their two losses were to Wakulla and Lincoln, both highly rated teams. They brought home the district championship to Suwannee High for the first time in five years. They did well in the regionals and were the only team at the regionals that sent all 14 members to the tournament.
Not only was there a full team with all weight classes represented. but Suwannee was also able to field a small JV team. The two permanent JV members were Justin Mowls and Hank Broxey. Look for them on the varsity team next year.
The varsity team members were: Greg Boyle, Leon Camiel, Brian Campbell, Josh Davis, Paul Horne, Michael Jessup, Andrew Jones, Greg Jones, Peter Kyne, William McCrimmon, Mike Mobley, Casey Osborn, Caleb Wainwright, Eric Wright and Michael Wright.
Stat girls for the wrestling team were Megan Robinson, Jackie Jo Brinson, and Amanda Wainwright.
Most Improved wrestler for the 2003 season was Caleb Wainwright.
Most Outstanding JV wrestler was Leon Camiel.
Scholar Athlete was Michael Mobley with a 3.8 GPA.
The Hustle Award which is voted on by the players was given to Peter Kyne. According to McCullers, Kyne was committed. He never complained and was one of the toughest men on the team. Kyne won his first match at the district tournament allowing him to compete at regionals.
The Coach's Award went to William McCrimmon. "There is no fear in him," McCullers said.
The Most Outstanding Wrestler Award went to Josh Davis. Davis led the team in all stats including most pins and most takedowns. He placed in every tournament he went to. Davis had 64 takedowns, 14 pins, 31 wins was a two-time state qualifier, District Champion, Regional Champion and placed eighth in the state.
The wrestling team is looking forward to a great year next season. They lose one senior, Mike Mobley, and they will be gaining several great middle school wrestlers. Overt the summer, McCullers will be taking the wrestlers to a summer camp to improve their skills and gain more experience.
Janet Schrader may be reached by calling 1/386/362-1734 ext. 132 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.