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.