Junior wrestlers, friends and family crowded into the 4-H building last night to celebrate their awards banquet. Junior wrestlers not only gobbled up salad, pizza, cheese balls and nachos, they also walked away with some impressive awards, plus a chance to make coach Tracey Agney make good on a promise.

After the awards, Agney fulfilled a vow to let one of the players shave his head if they made it to state, Jeff Gill, seventh place winner in state, happily took to the task rendering Agney’s head into a checkerboard. “This has been the most fun year I have had,” said Agney.

In the eight and under division, Lucas Duckett, twice State Champion, took home the MVP and Most Wins award with a record of 46-5. The Leadership Award went to Adam Hudson who wrestled for a 29-7. The Sportsmanship Award went to Lee Nees for his contributions on and off the mat. Jared Finley received the Most Improved award and Garrett Brachbill came away a record of 18-7 and the Most Dedicated award.

In the eleven and up bracket, Jeff Gill took top honors with most wins at 39-12. Gill went on to finish up seventh in the state, losing only to the #1 and #2 wrestlers. Gill also walked away with MVP and the Leadership honor, which was voted on by his teammates. Alex Jones won the Sportsmanship Award and Jared Fisher, a second year wrestler, was voted Most Improved. Brandon Cloe took team honors as Most Dedicated. All 18 wrestlers in both brackets received certificates for having competed in Junior Wrestling. All honors, with the exception of most wins, were team-voted.

Age Eleven and up coach Tracey Agney said, “This was another year of ‘firsts.’ Lucas Duckett took state champ again and in Winter Nationals, before the season started, Jeff Gill , Jared Fisher and Lucas all placed. We found out we could get to state, and one actually placed. The northers teams are always the ones we have to watch out for but this year a lot of the souther teams did really well. Sons of Thunder from the south did really good. But Jeff Gill placed seventh in State and got to go on the podium. that is a major achievement.”

Agney went on to say, “Even though our numbers were down this year, we had quality wrestlers. The numbers were down all over the state. I am not sure what happened. Maybe it is because wrestling season is so long. By far, it is one of the most demanding sports, not only on the wrestlers, but on the parents, getting them to and from practice, wrestling on Sundays when they would rather be at church or at home. I can’t say enough about the support of the parents in this year’s wrestling effort.”

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