Southland wrestler Minor caps state-title year with POY honors (INCLUDES: Herald All-Area Wrestling Team)

Photo by Scott Chancey

Photo by Scott Chancey

It's all about football for Bo Minor.

That's what Minor says, but it's difficult to believe that a kid who excels in wrestling the way Minor has the past four years can walk away from the sport after such a brilliant career.

"I'm planning on playing only football in college,'' said Minor, who played nose guard for Southland Academy and then became one of the most dominate wrestlers in the state.

Minor, who was the GISA state runner up a year ago, came back and had a perfect senior season at Southland, where he not only went 22-0 and won the state heavyweight title, but pinned every opponent. Minor pinned 21 opponents in the first period, and won the state title with a pin with 34 seconds left in the match to end his perfect season.

That's why he was a clear choice for The Herald's 2010 Player of the Year in wrestling.

"He is a quiet giant,'' said Southland wrestling coach Mike Smith, who is also the assistant head football coach. "He doesn't like to talk about himself or brag about his accomplishments. But he had a great season. The biggest difference in this year compared to last year, is that he had a lot more confidence.''

Minor just felt he would win every match. It was that simple.

"I went into the season expecting it,'' Minor said. "Last year, I was second at state and the guy who beat me graduated so I pretty much knew I would be the top dog. I didn't have a match all year where I had to go past the first period until the state title match.''

That's Minor's disposition: calm and easy-going.

"To tell you the truth, the reason I wrestle is to help me stay in shape for football,'' said Minor, who started wrestling in fifth grade. He was on the high school varsity team as a ninth grader and finished fifth at state that season. He finished third at state as a sophomore, and was the runner-up at state last year with a 25-3 record, also making The Herald's All-Area wrestling team.

"In eighth grade, I was just bigger than everybody else,'' said Minor, who is now 6-foot-2 and about 270 pounds. "Then in ninth grade another wrestler on the team really helped me get better.''

That wrestler was two-time state champ Brett Collier, who took Minor under his wing and not only taught him how to wrestle -- but how to wrestle at the heavyweight level.

"He really pushed me and we practiced hard all the time and he took his time to show me moves,'' Minor said. "He worked me hard in practice and wouldn't take it easy on me.''

Still, after all his accomplishments, Minor said he has left the mat for good.

"I'm planning on walking on at Valdosta State and playing football in college,'' he said. "It feels really good to win a state title in wrestling, but I would have rather won a state football title.''

Smith feels if Valdosta State gives Minor a chance that he will surprise them.

"I thought he was the best defensive tackle in the state in GISA,'' Smith said. "I've coached kids who played Division I, and he could play Division I. He's only 17, and he's still growing. He could be at 290 by (the fall). If they give him the opportunity at Valdosta State, he'll start for them.''

Minor feels the same way. He just looks at life straight on with a no-nonsense approach, just like he looked at this year's wrestling season.

"I had a good year in wrestling.'' Minor said. "It was kind of expected of me, but I guess you could say I rose to the occasion.''

All-Area team

Britt Beshear, Lee County,

Junior, 119

WHY HE'S HERE: Beshear won the Region 1-AAAA title and tied the team record with 27 pins. He finished the season with a 36-18 record.

Connor Cloud, Lee County

Junior, 171

WHY HE'S HERE: Cloud won the Region 1-AAAA title and placed sixth at the state meet in Atlanta. Cloud finished the season with a 51-14 record with a 27 pins.

David Coe, Monroe,

Senior, Heavyweight

WHY HE'S HERE: Coe was the smallest heavyweight at the state meet, but even at 245 pounds, held his own. Coe won the Region 1-AAA title and finished sixth at the state meet. He ended his season with a 24-4 record.

Reginald Coley, Dougherty

Junior, 152

WHY HE'S HERE: Coley won the Region 1-AAA title and advanced to the second round at state before ending his season with a 28-3 record.

Colby Faircloth

Westover, Senior, 135

WHY HE'S HERE: Faircloth is a two-time All-Area wrestler who led Westover all season. He won the Region 1-AAA tile and then finished sixth at the state meet. He finished the season with a 38-5 record, and won 72 matches over his final two seasons at Westover.

Ben Graham, Lee County

Sophomore, 145

WHY HE'S HERE: Graham was another one of Lee County's young wrestlers who had a memorable season. He won the Region 1-AAAA title and advanced to state as a sophomore. He finished the season with a 25-11 record.

Mac Lanier, Deerfield-Windsor

Junior, 135

WHY HE'S HERE: His coach called him the heart and soul of the team, and Lanier led a young DWS squad all season. He finished fourth at the GISA state meet and had a 17-4 record.

Danny McCray, Lee County

Senior, 152

WHY HE'S HERE:McCray won the Region 1-AAAA title to advance to the state meet, and finished the season with a 42-7 record with 27 pins.

Reginald Sherman, Westover

Junior, 125

WHY HE'S HERE: Sherman won 31 matches (31-8) and captured the Region 1-AAA title.

Ryan Singley, Southland

Junior, 119

WHY HE'S HERE: He's only a junior, but Singley came close to a GISA state title, losing just one match at state to finish third. He had a 25-3 record.

Ethan Smith, Southland

Senior, 160

WHY HE'S HERE: Smith has been one of the top private school wrestlers in Southwest Georgia since he was in eighth grade, and made his fifth trip to the GISA state tournament, where he capped off a brilliant career with a third place finish. Smith went 30-2 this season, including a 20-1 record at 160 pounds.

Dylan Snapp, Westover

Senior, 130

WHY HE'S HERE: Snapp won the Region

1-AAA title to advance to state, and finished with a 32-9 record.

Zach Thompson,

Lee County, Junior, 112

WHY HE'S HERE: Thompson was the highest state finisher in the biggest classification, taking fifth in the Class AAAA state meet. He won the Region 1-AAAA title and ended the season with

a 48-8 record with 23 pins.

LeMarcus Tillman, Westover

Sophomore, 112

WHY HE'S HERE: Tillman may be young, but he has a bright future, especially after winning the Region 1-AAA title as a sophomore. He advanced to state and finished the season with a 21-10 record.

Eugene Watkins

Dougherty, Junior, 189

WHY HE'S HERE: Watkins won the Region 1-AAA title and then finished ninth at the state meet. He finished the season with a 26-5 record.

Javoz Williams

Westover, Junior, 160

WHY HE'S HERE: Williams was one of five Westover wrestlers to win region titles. He won the title, advanced to his first state meet, and finished with a 20-11 record.