Senior Ryan Cole finished his high school wrestling career as the 5A State Champion in the 132-pound weight class.
“I felt a wave of emotions hit me after I won. The realization that I had won and accomplished my goal made me overjoyed,” said Cole.
While Cole finished the day with the championship, he said there was some question in the back of his mind given the stakes of the competition.
“There was that ‘what if’ in the back of my mind but overall I felt confident. The match stayed very close and I thought it could come to me losing,” Cole said.
For his senior year, Cole finished with a 62-2 record, including 34 pins and 11 techs. Over his entire high school wrestling career, Cole finished with a record of 204-24. “He is a very deserving young man; winning this state championship could not have happened to a better young man or family,” said head coach Lorenzo Floyd.
Wrestling is more than just a sport for Cole, it’s a family tradition. Cole’s brother was a state champion for Paulding County High in 2006. “It just added to our family’s recognition and shows how we all wrestle together and taught each other how to wrestle. It means that I lived up to my brothers and achieved what I’ve worked so hard for,” said Cole.
Along with his family, Cole said this championship showed that he didn’t let his teammates and friends down.