Eagles fare well in first scrimmage

Graves High enters wrestling arena

Even after 27 years as a high school, some things still are brand new at Graves County High School.
In its September meeting, the Graves County Board of Education approved hiring necessary staff to begin a wrestling program as part of the athletic offerings at GCHS. Troy Gerrard - a retired law enforcement official from Florida and substitute teacher in the school system - who now resides in Wingo has been hired as the head coach; and, Ron McClung - the volunteer coach of Cuba-Farmington’s elementary football program since the program began in 1984 and bus driver for the district – is serving as the program’s assistant coach.
Though the sport is immensely popular in other states and has been a KHSAA sanctioned sport for many years, it is still very much an emerging sport in Western Kentucky. GCHS joins 89 other teams in the state who fielded a wrestling team last year, but they join Paducah Tilghman and Calloway County as the only schools in basketball’s First Region with a program. The Eagles will be the 13th team in wrestling’s Region One which incorporates all schools in basketball’s Regions 1-3, which includes 2008 & 2011 state champion Union County.
As the season officially began on October 15, athletic director Doug Gloyd and the coaching staff have scrambled to get uniforms, safety equipment, and mats to get the season rolling, but currently 27 athletes are regularly participating as part of the initial Eagle Squad. Though some players are still to become active after they recover from football injuries, the majority of the squad participated in its first scrimmage on Saturday, November 19 at the Trigg County Pre-Season Takedown Tournament.
Ten teams participated in the event. The Eagles wrestled in four rounds of the tournament, with all of its wrestlers, except Josiah Sisco participating at the JV level. Sisco, who recently moved to Graves County High School from Oklahoma, has previous wrestling experience and enjoyed a big first day for the Eagles. He went undefeated on the day, winning all three of his matches.
Also performing exceptionally well was Graves County Middle School student, Chris Barham - another student who moved to the county with out of state experience, his from Michigan. He had also had three wins on the day.
Other students gaining wins on Saturday were Collin Feezor (2), Kyle Henry (2), Elijah Smith (2), Blake Staples (2), Nathan Barham (1), and Dylan Riley (1).
Others participating in Saturday’s inaugural scrimmage were Chance Foy, Ethan Foy, Hayden Gerrard, Hunter Goree, Ben Mathis, Abrahm Oliver, Roy Menser, and Jeremy Shultz.
Athletic Director Doug Gloyd was pleased with the first day. “It was really fun to watch how our kids competed. There was a lot of excitement and energy, and we have some kids that are going to surprise some people and see some success.”
Coach Gerrard was equally excited. “These athletes have come a long way in the last two weeks. After competing in this tournament, the wrestlers have a clearer understanding of the high level of commitment required to achieve personal and overall team success.”
The Eagles’ first official match will be a three school meet with Calloway and Tilghman at Paducah Tilghman High School on Thursday, December 1 at 6:30 PM.

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