As his wrestlers sat around him, coach Mark McCall stressed the importance of technique and also asked questions, pointing to those who raised their hand.
The classroom-like setting was a perfect way to go over the final points before the Glenn Hills wrestling team heads to Macon for the GHSA Class AAAA Team Dual Wrestling State Tournament. The Spartans are the only area representative in the GHSA event, which starts today, out of all the classes.
“They’re up for it,” McCall said. “I think they’re ready.”
A year ago, Glenn Hills won in the first round of the bracket tournament in Class AAA before it lost its next two matches. The Spartans’ experience ended against Chestatee – the same opponent Glenn Hills gets in the opening round this year.
The wrestlers say their cardio work is going to be key to beat Chestatee; McCall wants his team to make sure the heads are kept up and back.
McCall’s bunch, which is led by juniors, wants to improve on the previous year’s performance. The coach thinks that first-round win against McNair, an Atlanta school, helps boost his program’s credibility around the state.
“To beat an Atlanta team, it was like, ‘OK, maybe we’ve arrived,’ ” McCall said.
As for the wrestlers, the win catapulted them to this season.
“It made us work hard at practice,” said junior LaRon Heath, who competes at 195 pounds. “It was motivation.”
Heath is just one of the juniors who lead the Spartans.
But McCall isn’t resting. As he walked around on the mats during Wednesday’s practice, he pointed out mistakes he saw.
He harped on the need for wrist control, or for the wrestler on the bottom to keep trying.
McCall also wants this group to take that next step.
“I don’t care about the past,” he said. “I care about what you’re doing right now.”