High school wrestlers from across the state are fighting their way to the podium. The three-day state tournament is back at the Macon Centreplex. Even if you're not the biggest wrestling fan, Yvonne Thomas shows how much of an impact the sport is having on Central Georgia.
From the screaming fans to the power plays, wrestlers from across the state are going for it. “I want to see some of them... I want to see all of them on the podium,” said Garrett Martin, coach at Veterans High School. “I love the mental toughness of it because you have to mentally prepare yourself to do the things you do in this sport,” said junior Colt Schneler.
For many athletes, having the Georgia High School Association Tournament back in Macon is a 'slick' move. “We've had tournaments where we go to North Carolina, Florida, so it's definitely an easier drive. a lot less to think about,” said Schneler. “I like it being here. This is actually my hometown,” said sophomore Julian Farbur. “For me, this is like our home field. It makes us feel good. It's easy to drive to,” said Martin.
And hosting the matches in Macon is also a win for the economy. During this three-day tournament, the Macon Convention and Visitor Bureau expects that visitors will spend more than $1.9 million in the city. That's adding to about $918,000 that city businesses earned when the team championship was here in January.
Apart from the central location and the economic boost, the players say they just enjoy the game time atmosphere. “There's no brotherhood like a wrestling team. It's an individual sport, but there's no brotherhood like it,” said Schneler.
Basketball fans, get ready. High school basketball is coming back to Macon next month. The Georgia High School Association announced the tournament will be held at the Macon Centreplex starting on March 7th.