That's the way Bremen High School wrestling coach Tony Armas said of his team's streak of four straight traditional state titles or Jefferson's state-record 12 consecutive traditional titles, as the two will be in the same classification for the first time in five years.
The Blue Devils streak began in 2009, after several runner-up finishes, when Jefferson made the move to Class AA. Now Bremen will rejoin them with one of the team's — and possibly both team's — streak ending.
It's not just Jefferson in the new classification, even though Jefferson has dominated whatever class it has been in since 2001.
"Jefferson will be there. So will Lovett and GAC and Spencer and Dublin and Toombs [County]. I think Calhoun will be pretty good, too, probably later in the year because I think Calhoun is going to play 15 football games and will probably be a while before they get everybody together," Armas said. "We'll just see what we can do."
But it isn't Armas' philosophy to worry about everyone else. The Bremen coach just worries about what is happening in his wrestling room and what he can control.
"We can just worry about Bremen. We can't really worry about what everybody else is or what everybody else has. We've just got to worry about the Blue Devils and improve on the Blue Devils. If we do that, then we'll be as good as we can be. Just trying to work on ourselves. Obviously, there's some good AA teams out there. We've seen them before, just haven't wrestled them in the state tournament. That's all. There really shouldn't be any real surprises to us of somebody coming out we didn't hear about or know about," Armas said.
The Blue Devils return four individual state champions in Joe Bexley, Kannon Madden, Cory Morgan and Brock Cooper. That doesn't always mean instant success in Armas' eyes.
"It's nice, but it's only if complacency sets in that it can be a problem. I don't think that's an issue right now. We're just struggling to have enough bodies. We don't have many upper weight kids. We just don't have many big kids. It's been difficult, and I didn't do a very good job of getting kids to come out here like I have in the past. We can't worry about who's not here. We're going to worry about the ones that are here. They want to work to get better and improve and that's all that matters. We'll work on the ones who are here," Armas said.
For those champions, it just means one more year to prove they are still the best.
"I feel like this team has a ton of potential. A lot of the kids that were lighter weights last year lifted weights and got big and strong. We have two really good freshmen coming up. I see us doing pretty well this year. We just have to keep focused," said Madden, who will wrestle at 152 pounds this year after winning the 145-pound class last year. "We always want to do better. Just because we've won something doesn't make us stop. We're always trying to improve. Coach Armas keeps us motivated very well. He keeps you inspired in the weirdest way possible. He will always inspire you."
For heavyweight Bexley, a back-to-back individual state champion who finished runner-up his freshman year, it is a chance to prove the Blue Devils have what it takes in Class AA and to go out on top his senior year.
"I'm just always trying to be the best. I know what I have to do because I have that target on my back. I want to keep going and try to keep the team up. I just want to show that I can. It's just all about the hard work and being determined to show what I can do," Bexley said. "It means a lot to us. We know what winning feels like and we love it. Just have to keep training and working hard to do it again. It really means a lot to us."
For Morgan — who won state and will stay at 132 pounds — it's not only about the Bremen tradition, but also some family tradition.
"I take a lot of pride in it myself. My dad and both my older brothers wrestled for Bremen, and me being the only state champion, I take a lot of pride in it. I love wrestling. I do it year-round, so I come in here and work hard every day with the mindset to get better. The tradition here is amazing and we have a lot to work for and a lot to prove because we have some holes this year, but I'm excited," Morgan said.
The difference for Bremen in 2012-13 might be the number of guys in the wrestling room. Right now, the Blue Devils don't fill out each weight class and don't a lot depth in others.
"We're still figuring a few things out in terms of weight. We have some situations where we have some really good kids not in the lineup," Armas said. "We might be a little bit better traditional team than dual team, simply because we don't fill all the weights this year. We don't have a 220, we have some weights where we just have one guy and then we have other situations where we have really good kids that can't get in the lineup."
That wasn't too much of a problem in the first varsity date of the year, as the Blue Devils won the Dalton Carpet Classic on Dec. 1 and will send out split varsity squads this weekend.
"We've got 25 kids that really want to get things done. We've burned two JV dates — one at LaGrange and one last week at Alexander. We burned one varsity date. We went and wrestled up at Dalton last week and had a good time. We'll burn four varsity dates this weekend because we're going to send the 1s to Kingsport, Tennessee, and we're going to try to string together something and let them go wrestle at Mt. Zion," Armas said. "Just trying to get kids on the mat."