For the first time in Husky history, Howard High School qualified for the Dual Wrestling Championships earlier this month.
It was a big step for the program that hopes to qualify multiple guys for the individual State Championships next month.
One guy has played an instrumental role on the mat and in the classroom. Emory Searles is our "Athlete of the Week."
Emory Searles is a senior and a guy who likes to smother the competition. "I'm at the weight class 170, and my record has doubled since last year," Searles said with a smile.
He's got 32 wins. More importantly, he's got the admiration of his coaching staff. Doug Pieterick says Searles is flexible and talented. "He is the perfect type of kid that everyone wants to work with," Pieterick said. "He's respectful and always asks what he has to do to get better, works with the team, he's a great captain."
His anatomy and physiology teacher is also a fan.
Julie Willis says she's seen Searles grow up. "Emory's always comes in and he's got a smile on his face, and he jokes he's happy, but he knows when to stop joking and do his classwork," Willis said.
His grades prove he takes things seriously. Searles carries an 85 average, and with those kinds of numbers, he plans to shoot for the stars. "I really want to wrestle in college and go with a Marine scholarship if I can and use that to get into engineering or astronomy," Searles projected. "There are a lot of new planets light years away and some have two suns."
He's a kid with a lot of layers. The wrestler wants to continue his career on the mat at the Citadel. But first things first. Searles got his sights set on conquering the road to the Individual State Competition." I have a real good chance of winning area and sectionals. I think I will place in the top three, and state, I should place there," he said.
Regardless, he's already made an imprint at a young age.
"That's the type of kid we need to have coming out of Bibb County schools. He is a role model," Pieterick said.
Searles interest in the Marines stems from his dad's service with the Navy.
The Bibb County Wrestling Championships happen this Saturday at Rutland High School beginning at 9 a.m.