Three GCHS senior wrestlers state-bound

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The Grant County High School wrestling program has come a long way in the four years since its inception.
After not having a member qualify for state during their inaugural season, a lone Brave qualified each of the next two years before taking it another step forward this season with three athletes earning a spot in the state championships.

A trio of seniors, Brad Fryman, Austin Gripshover and Joey Roundtree, will represent Grant County at the Kentucky High School State Wrestling Championships scheduled to begin Friday, Feb. 21 at the All-Tech Arena on the grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The three earned their way to state with top four finishes in their weight class this week in Region 5 tournament action.
Grant County Coach Matt Shearer said he could not be happier for the three, pointing to a lot of hard work and dedication as reasons for their success.

“To come as far as they have in four years, with us not having a program before that, is a great accomplishment,” Shearer said. “A lot of kids have been wrestling for five and six years, or even more. So these guys had to work really hard to get where they are.”
Fryman battled injures his first three years in the program that kept him on the sidelines more than he was on the mat, but he never gave up on his dream and worked hard to earn his spot at state.
Fryman will compete in the 138-pound weight class at state. He has remained healthy all season and enters the state meet in the best shape of his life.

“That is a big accomplishment in itself,” Shearer said of Fryman remaining healthy all season. “He is a really hard worker. To be able to come back from his injures and make it to state just shows how hard he has worked. And he is a great person, too.”

Gripshover is a member of the high school’s football team. He has proven that while he may be small, he shouldn’t be overlooked. He will compete in the 113-pound division at state.
“Austin may be little, but he is all muscle,” Shearer said. “He is very strong and has improved a lot in his technique. Now he trusts his technique. He’s had some ups and downs, but he has worked real hard to get to state.”

Roundtree did not look like a wrestler when he joined the program as a freshman, but Shearer said he has transformed himself into a 195-pound force on the mat.
“Joey has had to work very hard for everything he got,” the coach said. “He didn’t come with all the athletic ability, so he had to work extra hard for it.”
Each wrestler will go head-to-head with 31 others from their weight class at the championship event. The biggest key to success for all three, according to Shearer, is to continue using the techniques that got them to state.

“They need to wrestle smart and stick to what they know, the moves they know, and don’t try anything silly,” said Shearer.

While he is excited for the three and their chances at state, Shearer is even more excited about GCHS’s program and the direction it is headed. And it’s because of athletes like Fryman, Grishover and Roundtree that the program is on the rise so quickly, he said.

“These guys are leading the way and setting the tradition that will be around for a long time,” Shearer said. “The younger guys are seeing this and they are already taking more interest and working harder.”