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Union Grove's Higginbotham earns wrestling gold
by Bobby Tedder
btedder@neighbornewspapers.com
February 20, 2013 02:34 PM | 1287 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo submitted by Jeff Hurndon
Griffin Higginbotham, pictured in action here, won the Class 5-A state title in the 126-pound division at the 2012-13 GHSA Traditional State Wrestling Tournament over the weekend.
Photo submitted by Jeff Hurndon Griffin Higginbotham, pictured in action here, won the Class 5-A state title in the 126-pound division at the 2012-13 GHSA Traditional State Wrestling Tournament over the weekend.
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Union Grove coach Matt Ferrari’s assessment of star grappler Griffin Higginbotham heading into the GHSA Traditional State Tournament rang true over the weekend.

“Good wrestlers flow like water … [Griffin] does that, from one [move] to the next,” Ferrari said.

The Wolverines senior’s fluidity was at peak precision at the Macon Centreplex as he mowed down the field en route to claiming the Class AAAAA individual title in the 126-pound division.

Higginbotham notched wins of 8-4 (Nick Salter, Cambridge); 17-5 (Ben Horton, Flowery Branch) and 12-1 (David Fisher, Clarke) en route to a finals showdown with Pope’s Tyler Haskin. The Greyhounds’ stud came out on the wrong side of a 10-2 major decision as Higginbotham walked away with the top prize.

It’s like Ferrari said … the kid shines brightest in the big moments.

To break down Higginbotham’s mat game is to measure a unique talent who’s well on his way to mastering his craft.

“He gets lots of pins … but in the big matches, he’s won just about every way you can,” said Ferrari. “He’s very good on his feet … very smooth, never gets out of position.”

Mistakes are a rarity, indeed.

“Griffin knows how to not give up points,” the coach noted.

“[Opponents] may know what he’s going to do, but they can’t stop him.”

His latest crown gives Higginbotham a second state championship — and caps off a season that saw him earn 55 wins against just three losses.

The newly minted hardware now in his trophy case, Higginbotham can hang up his prep singlet having firmly cemented his place in school and Peach State athletics history.

So, what makes him so good?

“The amount of time and training he’s put in,” said Ferrari. “He travels and wrestles all over the country in the offseason … he just knows what it takes.”

And, not for nothing … Higginbotham’s heroics helped drive Union Grove to an eighth place finish in Class AAAAA.
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