The sport can be unforgiving to the body but involves more than pushing an opponent.
“Wrestling is a physical and mental game,” said Wolfpack head coach Matthew Hamburg, now in his sixth season at North Paulding.
“There are three aspects to the sport; making weight, physically performing and having the intelligence to do it,” he said. “The chess [match] involved in placing your body doesn’t get enough credit because it’s a thinking man’s game.”
North Paulding competed in the Region 5-AAAAA meet this past weekend and continues to prepare for the Team Duals meet which will be in Macon from Jan. 9 to 11.
“We’re about to begin the middle part of our season,” Hamburg said. “We’re getting to where we need to be because the guys are now in shape enough to start building.”
Senior Hunter Hartman, who has been a standout performer for the Wolfpack in the heavyweight division, and freshman Josh Robertson within the 106-pound class have each amassed more than 20 wins this season. Middleweight wrestlers Max King, Zach Simone and Scott Hutchinson give North Paulding a deep roster in their respective classes as well.
Hamburg, an Ohio native who moved to Georgia in 1996 and has had coaching stints at Sprayberry and Harrison, sees the development of the sport in Paulding and statewide.
“The sport is growing all the time,” Hamburg said. “We have around 35 wrestlers on the junior varsity and varsity level here at the school. More kids in the state have gone on to wrestle at Division 1 schools in college and that’s been fun to watch.”