It still burns LaFayette's first three-time state champion that he fell short of winning a 103-pound GHSA title as a freshman. That fact alone explains a lot of the success of the future Arizona State University wrestler. "I wanted to be a four-timer, but I had to settle for three," said McCalmon, who won titles at 112, 130 and 135 pounds to go along with four area titles and numerous other tournament honors. "It's a nice honor to be the school's only three-time champ, because there have been so many great wrestlers to come through." During his 47-1 season, McCalmon worked with some of LaFayette's younger wrestlers. He also spends time helping out with the community's youth program. "It's fun to help the kids," he said. "The older guys helped me when I was coming up. That's one reason the LaFayette program is so good every year."
The Sonoraville coach is the first to admit that, while his program has achieved more in six years of existence than most, it still hasn't reached its main goal of winning a state championship. The Firebirds were runners-up in the duals and traditional tournament to state power Jefferson this year, the third time in two seasons they have finished just behind the champs. Still, Elrod, who must replace nine starters next season, can see the progress made and knows the future is very bright. "In six years we've gone from 'Where's Sonoraville?' to where people want us in their tournaments," said Elrod, who took his team to the prestigious Breckinsville event in Ohio this year. "Now we've got two kids who are being looked at from Ohio colleges. We haven't won our title yet, but we are building our tradition."
He was 55-15 and finished third at the Class AAA traditional state tournament.
The 2010 145-pound state champ went 60-7 and was fifth in the state in the heavier class.
He followed up a strong freshman season with a state championship and a 54-7 record.
The two-time 7-AA champion was 59-13, giving him 160 career victories, and a state runner-up.
The area champion had a 50-6 breakthrough season with a Class A state third-place finish.
He earned bonus points in every postseason match, culminating in his second state title.
Despite regularly being outweighed 75-100 pounds, he won 54 times and was a state runner-up.
The AAA state and twotime area champion went 57-5 record and has 144 career victories.
One of the area's best in any class, he went 55-3 and won his second state and third area titles.
The relentless worker was a state runner-up, capping a season in which he won 46 times.
He finished second in the Class AA state tournament and went 65-15 this season.
The first-year starter ended the season with a 53-17 record and a fifth-place state finish.
Already a two-time state champion, he won his second area title and went 70-2 this season.
Helping the Firebirds to two state runnerup finishes, he was 35-7 and third in the traditional state.
NICK COKER Trion Senior 215
RICHARD DAVIS Sonoraville Senior 145
CODY GOINS Heritage Senior 130
BRADY HART LaFayette Junior 140
GARRETT HENDERSON NW Whitfield Senior 160
LUIS JUAN Dalton Junior 112
MADISON MARTIN Heritage Junior 119
AUSTIN McGRAW Trion Senior 189
PAUL McKNIGHT Sonoraville Junior 171
JAMIE PHILLIPS Sonoraville Senior 152
KENNY SARTIN LaFayette Senior 285
ETHAN WEST Gordon Lee Freshman 135
JEREMY WHITE SE Whitfield Junior 103
AUSTIN WILLIAMS Sonoraville Senior 125
The Firebirds gave mighty Jefferson a run for the dual and traditional state titles after dominating their way through Area 7-AA.
The Generals were the traditional and dual state tournament runners-up, and their only losses were to state champion Gilmer County.
3 GORDON LEE
The young Trojans of first year coach Brent Raby were area champions and top three in both the traditional and dual state tournaments.
Photos by Allison Carter. Text by Ward Gossett. Layout by Stacey Wysong.