So far this season, it’s been just that, as the Braves have been together for roughly two weeks now as a full unit since getting all the football players on board, leading to a 3-2 finish at the LaGrange Duals on Dec. 1 and seeing nine grapplers place at the CRWA Tournament in LaGrange on Dec. 7-8 after having only four guys place last year.
“Every wrestler on my team besides one is either a first-year or second-year wrestler. I only have one senior, and he’s the only kid with more than one year of experience,” Ransom said. “We have about 33 kids out on the team this year, and two years ago we had like six. So we’re still young, but we’ve got a bunch of athletes and a bunch of kids still learning. We’ve had some kids step up and fill some big spots for us.”
The Braves are led by Hank Barnes at 182 pounds, who is the gray beard of the bunch as the lone senior veteran on the squad, while Ransom also has high expectations for Tori Rogers (145), Ta Freeland (152), Cody Stephens (195) and Taron Person (285).
Ransom believes his team will be competitive in the region, where it will have to contend with a new powerhouse addition to Class AA in Bremen, which moved up to from single-A this year. And though it makes for a much more formidable foe in the area picture, the HC coach is looking forward to the challenges in front of his squad this season.
“Last year we didn’t even have all of our weight classes full and everybody was a first-year wrestler besides one and we finished third in region — only 10 points out of first. So with that said, we’re pretty much with the same teams as last year, but we’re adding Bremen and Bowdon,” Ransom said.
“I think this year, definitely, we can make a run for it. I would like to go out there and give Bremen a good run. I know they’re returning five state champs and they’ve got a really tough team, but I’m pretty confident with us going in and taking home some hardware from that region.”