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Eastside wrestling is the epitome of a winner
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I want to clear one thing up with you: I used to know absolutely nothing about high school wrestling. Zip. Zilch.

Seriously, five months ago the word eluded me. The only thing I knew about it was that my father used to wrestle in high school in Statesville, North Carolina.

Prior to becoming the sports editor for The Covington News, whenever I came across the word "wrestling" Hulk Hogan and that big, bushy blonde moustache would immediately come to mind.

My, what a difference those five months can make in a person's life.

Now, so many different things come to mind when I'm approached with the word.

I know what takedowns are, and how reversals are scored, and what an escape is on the mat. I know the differences between freestyle, Greco-Roman, exhibition and collegiate-style wrestling. I even know how wrestling came about and when it occurred.

(Wrestling can be traced back 15,000 years ago through cave drawings in France. And in ancient Greece, wrestling was very popular among legend and literature.)

Let me say I'm not a fan of exhibition wrestling. You know the type: the WWF on television with the men dressed in flamboyant tights and masks running around like wild hooligans. High school wrestling is an art, rather than an act. The thing I enjoy most about prep wrestling is that it's an inclusive team sport involving special techniques that require much practice and discipline to master.

Case in point: the Eastside varsity wrestling team.

If you haven't noticed, the Eagles are ranked first in Region 8-AAAA. They have an astounding overall record of 30-2, and are undefeated in area at 10-0. And today marks a very special day for this particular group, which I will mention later.

The Elmer's glue of the team is none other than head coach Michael Smith-Foot. His passion and desire to lead his troops on the mat is apparent by just speaking to him in person. I enjoy listening and learning from him, and I'm sure his team feels the same.

The Eagles became the 2007 Region 8-AAAA Team Area Champions on Saturday after defeating Jackson County 59-7. The title is a testament to their hard work they have performed this season, through injuries, egos and illness.

And today, Eastside will travel to Macon and compete in the 2007 GHSA Class AAAA Championships Team Duals against Cherokee. The Eagles beat the Warriors 44-24 on Nov. 25, their first official opponent of the season.

On a personal note, I would like to wish the entire Eastside wrestling team the very best of luck this weekend. The local fans have been very supportive of the team, and win, lose or draw the Eagles have made many in this area quite proud.