Published Sunday, February 17, 2013
By DOUG GORMAN
MACON — Mission accomplished.
Tyler Askey, the 170-pound Northgate senior wrestler, stepped into the history books Saturday afternoon with his fourth GHSA state wrestling title.
For Askey, his 16-6 victory over Ware County’s David Shavers (63-1) makes him just the third wrestler in the state of Georgia to finish his four-year career with an undefeated 194-0 record.
Askey set up his showdown with Shavers with two pins and a major decision over Creekview’s Hunter Udall.
Apparently, it doesn’t matter where the Georgia High School wresting event sets up its state tournament venue.
Askey won his first three state titles at the Gwinnett Arena, before closing out his career with the win Saturday at the Macon Centreplex.
“I like both places, he said. “Gwinnett might have been a little louder, but this was a great environment too.”
Shavers was one of Askey’s toughest opponents this season. Entering the Class AAAAAA final, Shavers held an impressive record of 60-1.
The Ware County wrestler reached the state finals with two pins and a major decision over talented Stephenson senior Darion Perry. However when he stepped on the mat with Askey, it really wasn’t a challenge.
As Askey waited for his match to begin, he simply circled the mat and calmly chatted with the Northgate coaching staff. From there, it was all business as Askey controlled the match from start to finish,
Askey took down Shavers twice in the first period to grab an early 4-0 lead, and he was never really challenged.
With a series of takedowns in the second period, he increased the score to 12-4. All four points Shavers picked up were given to him by Askey on escapes.
Askey’s final high school match followed the script he has used for four years, giving up points to his opponent to set up his next move.
At the end of Saturday’s match inside a packed Centreplex, Askey was simply humbled by what he had just accomplished.
“I have been a little bit lucky and also a little bit fortunate to stay healthy for four years,” he said.
Askey admits didn’t even pay attention to who his opponent was in the final until right before they were introduced as part of the pre-match ceremonies.
“It’s not that I don’t care who I am going to face, I just try not to worry about it,” Askey said. "I just want to stay focused.”
His final varsity win also closed out a successful wrestling career of head coach Adrian Anderson who is stepping down with a resume of more than 300 wins.
“We never really planned on going out together,” Anderson said. “It just sort of happened that way, but I can’t be any more happier.”
At the end of the match, Anderson couldn’t help but get emotional.
“He is the best wrestler I have ever coached. I have never stopped being amazed how he just keeps getting better. He even improves each time. He improves week to week,” Anderson said. “He just has such a great work ethic.”
The veteran wrestling coach doesn’t really have a blueprint to why Askey was so good.
“It is just a great work ethic with him,” Anderson said, “He has great family and a lot of support. He comes from a great school and you won’t find somebody who wants it has much."
Askey has trained for years with Arturo Holmes at The Wrestling Center in Cobb County.
Once they roll out the mats, Anderson admits Askey has a real gift for just closing out matches.”
“He has incredible balance,” Anderson said “He works at all of those things, and of course there are some other intangibles that go along with it. The best thing about him, he keeps his priorities right.”
Wrestling fans haven’t seen the end of Askey’s wresting career.
He now takes it to the college level after signing a letter of intent with Virginia.
Askey chose the ACC school after a recruiting battle that included offers from Colgate in the Ivy League.
Anderson predicts the four-time, undefeated state champ could be an multi All-American once he steps on the University of Virginia campus.