By DARRIN SMITH
Two years ago, Chattooga’s Griffin Jarrett told The News his goal was to become the only Indian to ever win four state championships. At the time he made the statement, he had just won his first as a freshman. Last week, Jarrett completed the third leg of fulfilling his goal as he found himself standing on the podium for the third straight year being named state champion. What most would have thought an impossible dream, Jarrett has worked hard to make a reality.
“It felt amazing to win state for the third straight year,” Griffin Jarrett told The News. “Each state title has felt better than the last one. Just knowing all the hard work throughout the year and offseason has paid off, feels really great.”
The record tying feat (Brandon Siffles also three-time champ) has not come easy or without sacrifice. When others have only wished-for greatness, Griffin Jarrett, has done what it takes to accomplish the unbelievable. Hours in the gym, countless offseason drills and workouts, constant one-track mindedness, endless thought and study of wrestling, and maintaining his wrestling weight for the most part year-round are just a few of the things Jarrett has done almost religiously as he strives to make history. If he never won another match as an Indian, he has already made his mark on the program and forever carved his name in the school’s history books. But not winning another match isn’t in the seasoned wrestler’s vocabulary. He still has unfinished business and isn’t about to take his eyes off the prize.
“My goals moving forward, other than winning my fourth state title, is to stay in the top 10 in my class in academics and looking at different colleges I might want to attend,” Griffin, the son of Jeff and Elizabeth and brother of Gavin Jarrett said. “I would love to wrestle in college if the opportunity arises but if not, I still plan on attending a four-year college.”
With all the success on the mats and in the classroom, the junior knows he hasn’t done it all on his own saying, “Throughout the year I have received inspiration from my coaches. Coach Beasley and Coach Green not only have taught me wrestling but also life lessons outside of wrestling. I have also looked to my teammates who have inspired me to work harder each day as we pushed each other to be the best we can be.”
When asked what he did after winning state he said, “I drank a milkshake and ate a huge dinner, something that I couldn’t do throughout the season because I was maintaining weight. Now it’s time for what comes next which is preparing for next year. Training and lifting weights to become stronger and preparing for my senior year of high school.”
“Griffin is very driven and focused,” Coach Brian Beasley said about his three-time champ. “As soon as his finals match was over, he was already thinking about next season. Griffin beats to a different drum. What he brings to the mat he also carries to the classroom. He has high expectations for himself. He is a joy to coach and will be hard to handle next February.”
Through it all, Jarrett has remained humble, committed, and quick to give advice as well as saying thanks. “One piece of advice I would give to young kids just starting out wrestling is to never get down on yourself. It takes a lot of time to perfect the sport of wrestling and even after 10 years of wrestling, I’m still perfecting it myself,” Jarrett said to up and coming youth wrestlers. “I also want to thank everyone in the community for encouraging me and my teammates. I would like to thank my family for always being there for me. Also, I want to thank God for giving me the strength to compete and endure throughout the season.”
By DARRIN SMITH