Wrestler of the Year: Ryan Hurd
Ryan Hurd wrapped up his high school career the way most kids only dream. When it was all said and done, Hurd won the individual state title in the 160-pound bracket in Class 3A for Jefferson, going 50-1 in the process.
2018-19 By the Numbers
- 50-1 RECORD
- 3A STATE CHAMPION
- TEAM DUALS STATE CHAMPIONS; TRADITIONALS 3RD PLACE
Hurd leaves behind a legacy that so many before him have done at Jefferson. The Dragons have one of the most elite wrestling programs in state history, and a 50-1 senior year that culminated in a title represents just the latest in a long line of legendary grapplers at JHS.
- Ryan Hurd – 69 pts (7 first-place votes)
- Nolan Wheeler – 54 pts (6)
- Sam Irwin – 43 pts (2)
- Tucker Flint – 31.5 pts (2)
- Matt Jenkins – 20 pts (2)
- Terrence Walker – 10.5 pts
Voting included our 19-person panel made up of sports reporters, writers, video producers, former coaches, players, GHSA officials, and sports experts. The voting is Heisman-style, with the following points system:
1st place votes: 5 pts; 2nd: 3 pts; 3rd: 2 pts; 4th: 1 pts; 5th-6th: 0.5 pts
History of Wrestler of the Year
- 2018-19 – Ryan Hurd – Jefferson SR
- 2017-18 – Chase Forrester – Commerce SR
- 2016-17 – Zach Matthews – Lumpkin Co SR
- 2015-16 – Zach Matthews – Lumpkin Co JR
- 2014-15 – Chris McCrackin – Banks Co JR
- 2013-14 – Chance McClure – Commerce SR
- 2012-13 – Chance McClure – Commerce JR
- 2011-12 – Coleman Cunningham – Habersham SR
- 2010-11 – Caleb Morris – White Co JR
- 2009-10 – Caleb Morris – White Co SO
Hurd becomes the third straight senior to win the award, and the first from Jefferson. Hurd’s win means next year will be a fourth consecutive different winner. Five seniors have won this award in the past ten years.
Looking Ahead – the Next Favorite(s)
Well, Hurd and three other finalists (Flint, Jenkins, Walker) all graduate, so the two finalists that return next year have to be considered favorites. That includes two-time State Champion, junior Nolan Wheeler from Lumpkin, as well as teammate Sam Irwin. Then again, Commerce and Jefferson can easily have the next winner currently on the roster.