Published Thursday, February 14, 2013
By DOUG GORMAN
It’s not a secret anymore.
Northgate wrestler Tyler Askey dominates his opponents on the wrestling mat. It’s something he has done since his freshman year and that’s the reason he’s a three-time state champion and owner of an amazing 190-0 record in his high school career.
Askey will attempt to make history starting today with a potential fourth consecutive title when he takes the mat in the Class AAAAA 170-pound division at the state wresting tournament inside the Macon Coliseum.
The finals will be shown online at GHSA.tv with a $3.95 daily pass. CSS will rebroadcast a highlight show on Sunday from 3-5 p.m and again on Monday from 7-9 p.m.
Northgate 106-pound teammate Michael Geres at 37-10 earned his first trip to the state tournament with a fifth-place finish at the state sectionals.
Geres is hoping he can take a page from Askey’s state tournament experience.
He begins his first trip to the state tournament with a match against Effingham County’s Isiah Royal.
“I am just really excited,” Geres said. “I just want to go out there and wrestle. It would be great if I could go out there and place right now.”
Askey, who will wrestle at the collegiate level for the University of Virginia, enters the his final high school state meet seed No. 1 in his weight class after capturing the state sectionals last week with a win over Stephenson’s Darion Perry.
The undefeated Viking needs just three more wins this weekend to become only the third wrestler from Georgia to finish a four-year varsity career undefeated.
His domination, which began with a 140-pound championship in Class AAAA as a freshman and then continued at 152 pounds as a sophomore, has forced others to look elsewhere. Starr’s Mill standout Luke Runyan — whom Askey defeated in last year’s 170-pound final — is among the favorites to win at 195.
“When it comes to state, it’s not easy to win as the favorite,” said East Coweta head coach Josh Herring. “Tyler Askey is the exception to that rule.”
Through it all, Askey who is trying to win his second straight title at 170 pounds, isn’t dwelling on his place in Georgia High School wrestling history.
“I am not trying to think about it too much,” he said. “I just look at it like I have four more matches.”
Askey’s road to a second consecutive championship at 170 pounds begins around 5:30 p.m. today when he takes on Glenn Academy’s Kenneth Sledge (35-15).
The Northgate senior never pays attention to the bracket.
“I have taken a different approach to the prematch warm up," he said. “I only warm up three or four minutes before my match just enough to get loose because I don’t like to think about the match.”
Adrian Anderson, who is stepping aside after the state tournament following 300-plus career victories as the Vikings’ only head coach, says the state may never see a wrestler as talented as Askey.
“He makes it look easy, but he has worked so hard,” Anderson said. “He has really earned it. He has never dodged anybody. He always went looking for the best.”
This year’s state wrestling meet is returning to Macon after spending several years at the Gwinnett Arena.
Regardless of where it is held, Anderson says it is always special.
“The whole atmosphere is electric,” Anderson said. “The semi[final] rounds are really great. The place is really rocking. It is really special. If people have never been, they should go at least once.”