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While they didn’t bring home the gold, the Grant County High School wrestling team was well represented at the state championship meet held two weeks ago at the All Tech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
Seniors Brady Fryman, Austin Gripshover and Joey Roundtree put together impressive displays at the state meet. Fryman won his first match before being defeated, while Gripshover and Roundtree more than held their own before falling.
In the end, the competition was just too experienced for the Braves, who are only in their fourth year of existence.
“Going to state is a real eye-opening experience especially for kids who don’t have the background of wrestling for several years like they do at some of the other big schools,” said Grant County Coach Matt Shearer. “We’re very proud of what our guys accomplished this year. It was definitely a positive for our program.”
It was the third time in four years the program has sent a team member to the state meet. The previous two seasons the Braves had one player make state.
But Shearer, who has nothing but praise for his wrestlers, believes his program is about to take it to another level.
“Making it to state is good, and we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished, but now its time to wrestle for wins,” he said.
The road to being even more successful has already been paved by the five seniors on this year’s squad, especially those who made it to state, showing the younger team members what it takes to make it to the big stage.
“Two of the guys who made it to state have little brothers who are wrestling in the program,” Shearer said. “This allows them, and the others, to see how much hard work it takes to get to state and how it pays off.”
Grant County will graduate five seniors from the current roster. Next year’s team is currently slated to have just one senior.