Archived Story

Back on the mat

Published 9:14am Thursday, November 29, 2012

A year removed from a top-10 finish at the Class 6A state meet, the Benjamin Russell Wildcats have their sights set on a run at the Class 5A state title in 2012.
Benjamin Russell returns numerous wrestles to their lineup last season that have the experience an talent to make a splash in Class 5A this season including seniors Gavin Fuller, Javion Banks, Cody Padgett, Montrel Gamble, Logan Clark, Latrevor Milner, Devante Stamps and Blake Chappell.
“We’ve got a lot of experience coming back and we have our goals set high for this year,” said BRHS head coach Andrew Campbell.
“We fell short of our goal last year in Class 6A and we have a shot to reach our goal this year in Class 5A.”
Although they were depleted from a personnel standpoint in their first match of the year last week against Oak Mountain, the Wildcats took an early season loss and will try and get back on the winning slate this afternoon in a tri-meet with Athens High School and Buckhorn High School at Athens High School.
“For me personally, this is a big meet because it is where I’m from and it is against two good wrestling programs,” said Campbell, who is a native of Athens and an Athens High School grad.
“We want to go up against some of the top competitors in Class 5A all throughout the year so we’ve scheduled a tough schedule and some really good tournaments.”
Along with the guys that are already returning, Benjamin Russell will also need a boost from some younger wrestlers including Caleb Bailey, Sam Browne, Alushua Smoot, Deon Maxwell and Daniel Bland.
“We’ve got to get to full strength and get healthy across all of our weight classes,” Campbell said.
“It isn’t about what we do right now, and we know that.
“Where we want to be is at our best around February and for the state tournament so that we can win a state title in Class 5A this year.
“Our motto this year is ‘I can, we will’ and we know that if we come in ready to work and get just one-percent better everyday that we are going to be able to reach our goals this season.”
Benjamin Russell is set for a 5 p.m. start today at Athens High School.