VALDOSTA, GA. (WTXL) — The championship banners on the wall of the Valdosta High School's wrestling gym serve as a constant motivator for anyone who dawns the Wildcats Black and Gold.
“I want to be on that wall. With the guys who have put the work in. I’ve been putting the work in so I want to get on that wall," says Tyler Lamon. "It’s time.”
Already a sectional champion in the 145, Tyler Lamon alongside fellow sectional champion Darrell Rochester and defending state champion Josh McCutchen are the core to a Wildcats team that John Robbins is proud to be the head coach of.
“This is a tough demanding sport and they've really bought in and understood what it does for them in other aspects of life," adds Robbins. "They are willing to work and put themselves behind others. And now they're seeing the benefits of that.”
McCutchen is a prime example of what coach Robbins alluded to. As he approaches the opportunity to defend his state title in the 195 pound weight class his focus is on controlling what he can control.
“The thing I focus on the most is trying to stay focused and understand there's always somebody chasing me and somebody always trying to come get the title that I have," McCutchen told ABC 27. "So I have to keep working hard and just stay focused on the goal.”
And All-American Darrell Rochester. Who’s competing for a state title in the 132 division knows that bringing home state titles is more than a personal accomplishment. It’s a way for Valdosta wrestling to earn some much deserved recognition.
“It’s emotionally heavy on us because we know we’re good, we know we can be number one," said Rochester. "But we’re the only people who know that. We gotta prove it.”
“They really help push each other. I think we have an opportunity to hang three or four more individual banners this year," Robbins added.