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The Model High School Wrestling Team is making the grade.

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The Blue Devil Wrestlers had an outstanding season finishing in the top 6 of duals and traditional state tournaments, while recording another 20+ win season. This included a State Championship for Noah Allmon and State Runner-up for Riley Davis. Now the team has accomplished its biggest achievement after being named the Georgia Wrestling Coaches Association (GWCA) Class AA All-Academic State Team for the 2022-2023 season.

The GWCA works to promote wrestling and help coaches reach success. Each year, they honor individual wrestlers with a 3.75+ GPA and recognize one All-Academic high school team from each classification. Coaches submit grades for a wrestler from each of the 14 weight classes. Once all scores were tallied, Model High had an overall unweighted GPA of 3.77. Individual All-State members include Noah Allmon, Brady Burgess, Riley Davis, Everett Johnson, Desirae Johnson, Rosaleigh Johnson, Bryson McJunkin, Nick Moore, and Grayson Phillips. 

The team's success is a result of their coaches' ability to set a high standard for wrestlers, both on and off the mat. By implementing a system of rewards and consequences, wrestlers are encouraged to stay on track academically. Coaches also keep close contact with their athletes to ensure they do their best and meet expectations.

Head Coach Ben Woodall said, “We have many conversations throughout the year centered around three words: effort, attitude, and aggressiveness. I would like to think that some of these conversations carry over into the classroom, and student-athletes approach their school work with the proper "effort" and "attitude."

During wrestling season, it's not unusual to see wrestlers carrying a 45-pound barbell plate around school throughout the day when their grades fall below passing. This measure encourages wrestlers to focus on their studies, take academic performance seriously, and reinforces the importance of education. "If we see that students' grades are not where they should be, we take “aggressive” measures to address the areas that require improvement,” Woodall said.

The team's impressive academic performance is a testament to the wrestlers' and coaches' hard work and a great example of how dedication to one's studies can lead to success.