There’s no time off for champions. At least, that’s the way Jefferson High School wrestling team looks at it.
With the task of repeating as state champs growing more trying every year, the team is constantly pushing itself in the summer.
“All good things must come to an end,” coach Doug Thurmond said of the streak. “It’s just that we don’t want them to end anytime soon.”
To that end, the Dragons have been plenty busy this summer as they eye an unprecedented 11th consecutive traditional state wrestling title and a 10th-straight duals crown this winter.
The team participated in a tournament at Archer High School over the weekend and will head to the Gwinnett Arena this weekend for the Militia Duals next weekend.
Jefferson — one of Georgia’s very best — will face some of the best teams in the southeast in the Militia Duals. That includes squads from Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
“We’re getting a lot of guys mat time,” Thurmond said. “So that’s a good thing for us.”
Then it’s off to the Appalachian State (Boone, N.C.) in July for summer camp.
In between the tournaments and camps, the Dragons continue their in-squad schedule, which includes weightlifting Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Over 20 wrestlers have been attending each session.
“It’s fun. We’ve got a bunch of kids showing up,” Thurmond said.
Jefferson, which had seven individual champions and one runner-up last year, must replace five starters from the 2009-2010 lineup as the Dragons look to keep their string of state trophies alive.
Thurmond believes the hours put in now will pay off come wintertime.
“It’s just the mentality that we’re never going to slow down,” Thurmond said. “If anything, we’re going to keep the gas pedal kind of pushed down. You can’t ever relax.”