close
close

Quentin Batalillon

General News 2024

SEHS wrestling rings in the bling

By Donald Heath

Special to the Effingham Herald

GUYTON – It’s never too late to teach and demand undivided attention.

South Effingham wrestling coach Christopher Bringer stepped onto the stage at school Wednesday evening, June 12, and immediately asked his wrestlers to remove their cell phones from their tables.

The next few hours would become more important than anything a phone could dial.

DaMyon McFarlin

DaMyon McFarlin was one of the Black Shirt captains, a symbol of leadership that went above and beyond. (Photos by Birk Herrath/Effingham Herald.)

The Mustangs were in line with their Sunday best and received their state championship rings in a ceremony that acknowledged a season of accomplishments and offered a poignant glimpse into the future.

Can SEHS ensure that success continues to flow like rapids?

“I’m all about winning three, four, five (state championships) because winning is too much fun,” Bringer said.

South won a team title two seasons ago and doubled down to capture a second title with a 37-0 record this season.

Individually, Ashton Anderson repeated as champion in the 285-pound weight class and Eli Wood wore the crown at 138.

Six Mustangs wrestled for individual titles. Progress also earned South enough team points for a traditional state championship.

“Thank you guys for putting South Effingham on the map,” said school principal Dr. Torian White. “You guys have been shouting our name all over the state.”

Seniors Wood and DaMyon McFarlin – Black Shirt captains, symbolizing leadership that goes above and beyond – and Anderson spoke about trusting the process.

Gannon White, who will attend Norwich University to wrestle in the fall, referenced Chinese military philosopher Sun Tzu’s statement, “Every battle is won before it is fought” and the military’s seven core values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal. courage – which the Mustangs embraced from Coach Bringer, an Army veteran.

“The key is to train like you’ve never won and wrestle like you’ve never lost,” White explained, perhaps to the 19 incoming freshmen entrusted with the team’s future.

As part of the ceremony, Bringer had the incoming freshmen sign “pledges.”

Brayden “Bear” Bringer and Zach Utnehmer were named Black Shirt captains for the upcoming season, along with Brandon “Moose” Bringer.

It was a 2023-2024 school year to remember for SEHS wrestlers. They were honored at the state capital. They were named “Team of the Year” at the recent Coastal Empire High School Sport Awards banquet.

Wrestling team and coaches

Bringer was the region’s Wrestling Coach of the Year and he was quick to add that he couldn’t have done it without his assistants Chris Hobbs and Ben Kneus. Or his wife, Analyn.

Wood never wrestled before joining South’s program as a freshman. Four years later he was state champion. Four years later, he was proud to be part of a fraternity. Four years later he was a better person.

“Don’t give up, even when you cross the finish line,” Wood said. “Keep running towards your next goal.”

Coaches, wrestlers and team managers lined up to receive their rings from athletic director Justin Merritt and Dr. White.

Bringer had some advice to keep the line moving quickly. It was another learning moment.

“Shake with your right hand, grab with your left,” he said.