Defending a championship takes more determination that many teams struggle to achieve because of the pressures to repeat.
Sims wrestling team is not typical by any stretch of the imagination. The Tigers went against all odds as they defended their Peachtree Conference championship and claimed their second consecutive conference title last Saturday.
Sims became the first Peachtree Conference team ever to win two consecutive titles. The road to the championship was bumpy as Sims struggled maintaining their weight.
"I knew we had a good chance at winning but that it would be tough because we were struggling with our weights and already had to forfeit the 80-pound weight class," said Sims coach George McDaniel. "I don't ask our kids to cut weight but I do ask them to keep their weight where they are. Eating candy and chips all day doesn't help that."
A forfeit in the lightest weight class did not hold the Tigers back from conquering a championship as they ruled their conference matches.
"Our kids did very well with 10 of our guys making it to the championship finals to wrestle for first or second. We had one wrestling in the consolation finals for third or fourth," McDaniel said.
Sims not only won the team title but also had six to claim top honors in their respective weight divisions.
Ty Thomas (85), Shawndarian Caldwell (110), Devonte Simmons (115), Dylan Beheler (140), Chase Puckett (185) and Octavious Thompson (HWT) each finished on top at the conference championships.
It was total dominance by the Tigers at the Peachtree Invitational as four wrestlers also finished in second place.
Cole Seymore (90), AJ Workman (95), David Marin (105) and Spencer Horne (160) were runners-up.
"Last year we had nine in the finals and only won one championship, that hurt us last year. I pulled our team together and stressed how they all had one last match to wrestle 110 percent," McDaniel said. "We broke it down on 'One Match!' It seemed to work as we came away with six championships, four seconds and one third.”
McDaniel's squad indicates a bright future for the Yellow Jackets wrestling program.
"After all was said and done, this team was a great one. This is my third championship in the Peachtree and this team has definitely been my best team as far as records, medals, and wins goes. This is probably the most athletic team I ever had. That is why it was so fun to watch them wrestle," McDaniel added.
Champions — Sims 228.5
Second — Gable 156.5
Third — McCracken 155.5
Boiling Springs 128.5
Rainbow Lake 121
DR Hill 29
Florence Chapel 17.5