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Haynes wins GCHS’ first wrestling state title

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By Matt Birkholtz

Grant County High School can now claim they have a wrestling state title.

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Freshman Tommy Haynes won the 112 lb. weight division in the Kentucky Junior Varsity State Championships Jan. 29 at Moore High School in Louisville.

“I was shocked,” he said about experiencing his first career state title.

The wrestling program was added to the list of sports offered at GCHS this school year. The first meet was Dec. 4 at Harrison County Rumble.

First-year coach Matt Shearer said he was ecstatic watching Haynes win the title. A little surprised too.

“He came to me and said, ‘Are you proud of me coach?’” he said. “I told him ‘Duh!’”

Also competing at state for Grant County was Dakota Carter, Isaiah Leonard, Ethan Workman and Dustin Shively. Each of them placed fifth in their weight division.

The final match for Haynes in the 112 lb. weight division was a seesaw battle.

“It was going back and forth point for point,” Shearer said. “It was nerve racking for me.”

Shearer said there was about 30 seconds remaining in the match when Haynes got the escape. His opponent tried to make a counter move and Haynes was able to pin him for the win.

“I knew it was over when I saw the scoreboard say there was 10 seconds left,” Shearer said. “I was jumping up and down. It was a great enjoyment for me as a first-time coach.”

Shearer said that Haynes is a coachable wrestler and that he listens to what he is told.

“I could tell he was ready to go,” Shearer said. “You could just see it in his eyes.”
With wrestling now a part of the athletics program, Haynes was excited that it was being added at Grant County.

“I went and asked my mom if I could join and she allowed me to,” he said.
Haynes said he got into wrestling at a young age and would wrestle his brother and watch World Wrestling Entertainment.

Shearer was happy where the others placed, but felt that with patience that Workman could have done better, considering at the time in the match he was tied 8-8.

“He was starting to panic out there and rushed his opponent,” Shearer said. “The guy threw him to his back. He learned to stay calm out there.”

Shearer was pleased with how all of his wrestlers performed at the state meet.

“With all of the freshman and even eighth graders accomplishing what they did, the future looks bright,” he said.

While the junior varsity season may be over, that doesn’t mean the Braves junior-varsity wrestlers are done as they will be used as extras at the varsity regional tournament at Walton.

“I want them to gain the experience and build upon that,” Shearer said.

The varsity regional meet is scheduled for Feb. 12 at Walton-Verona High School. Weigh in is set for 8 a.m. with the matches to follow.