In 1999, Head Coach Phil Jackson was hired to lead the Los Angeles Lakers back to the success they saw in the 1980’s; the Lakers won five championships (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988) in a ten year span.
The conversation on whether or not Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal created a dynasty within the Lakers’ organization is always up for debate.
In comparison, the Jefferson High School wrestling team has created a dynasty of its own, except theirs cannot be questioned. If you are looking for a fight (let alone win a match), you may want to look elsewhere. Jefferson just achieved its twelfth consecutive traditional state championship, along with another state title in duals, making it 11 in a row.
Jefferson isn’t just at the top in the state but they have proven to be one of the most talented teams in the Southeast. Former wrestlers such as Forrest Garner, Hunter Garner, and Kyle Baird (who were all four-time state champions) helped pave the way and set the tone for future athletes to come.
The Dragons lost Cain Finch and Forrest Przybysz but has Chase Piperato, Tyler Marinelli (state champion a year ago), Jack Dollar, Jake Sherman and Aaron Anderson.
Jefferson finished at the top at the Panther Invitational on Nov.30-Dec 1. The match was held at Jackson County Comprehensive High School; the Dragons have a lot of depth with plenty of wrestlers that can achieve top three finishes which can bedeadly for their opponents when the state championship rolls around.
At the Panther Invite, Mitchell McGhee, Josh Harris, Tanner Thurmond and Zach Rhymer led the way with first place finishes; yet other Dragons such as Piperato, Dollar andAnderson placed second.
Other noteworthy athletes that guided Jefferson were Kyle Kashuba, Jace McColskey, Deshawn Lester and Sherman. The Dragons are led by Head Coach Doug Thurmond who has a plethora of athletes that will seek another title to add to what’s become one of the most storied wrestling programs in the Southeast.