Prep Wrestling: Two Thomasville grapplers reach century wins mark
Careers with 100 wins or more have become the norm for Thomasville High School wrestlers since Richard Herman took over the program a few years back.
The list is adding two more members with others anticipated to follow as the season progresses. Ahsan Butt reached the milestone at the Ragsdale Tigerland Invitational Nov. 30, while Hiygee Martin is expected to hit the century mark this weekend in a tournament at Trinity High School.
Entering the Tigerland tournament, Butt was unaware he was about to reach 100 wins. He had figured it to be somewhere in the 80s, so it came as a pleasant surprise to him. It was made even better considering it came in the finals of the 126-pound weight class. He won the match by a 4-3 decision, scoring just enough points on two takedowns.
“I did not even know it was going to be my 100th win,” admitted Butt. “It was in the finals and I knew it was going to be a tough match. The team won the tournament, too, so I was excited about that.”
As a freshman, Butt did not make the varsity team at Ledford, but began his drive to success his sophomore season. When head coach Bobby House left the LHS program to be an assistant at THS, Butt followed his mentor who molded him into the wrestler he is today.
“Coach House has always been there for me and my older brother Shabazz,” said Butt. “My brother wrestled with him for seven years and I have been with him since my freshman year.”
A state qualifier at 126 last year, Butt hopes to make it back again and have a better showing. He is a perfect 20-0 thus far.
“I was nervous first match and lost,” he said. “Most of the points he scored was because of me. After that I won my next two and lost the last match. I am looking for that top spot this year and hopefully I will get it.”
Herman has been very impressed with the leadership of his senior.
“He has been one of the best leaders we have had,” said Herman. “Not only does he work hard at practice, but he leads a group of guys that come here in the mornings. He is just a great kid and he has come a long way.”
Martin has a little more experience than Butt. He began to wrestle in seventh grade at Lexington Middle School. In eighth grade he transferred to Thomasville Middle and has been a great addition to the Bulldog program ever since.
He set the school freshman record for wins at 34, but had it broken by teammate Evan Makupson last season when he put up 49 wins. A junior now, Martin is on the cusp of joining the 100-win club.
“I have had to work hard,” said Martin. “I've had to push myself ever since I started in middle school.”
Martin was also a qualifier for the state tournament in the 106 weight class. He has since moved up to 113, and with a current record of 17-2 for the season, he is on track to qualify again.
“It was intense and different,” said Martin speaking of the state tournament. “Now I just have to work harder.”
His work ethic is what impresses his coach most.
“Hiygee is a team player that never misses practice,” said Herman. “He does everything you ask him to do and is a hard worker.”
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.