The Effingham County Board of Education recognized state champion wrestlers at its meeting on Thursday.
Superintendent Randy Shearouse said he was pleased to recognize the students from Effingham County High and South Effingham high schools.
“We’re so very proud of you guys and the hard work it takes,” Shearouse said. “I think back to when I was high school principal, and thinking about how much hard work and how much time it takes to be a good wrestler. You guys put forth a lot of effort.
“Until this past February it’s been more than 40 years since an Effingham County high school or high school student won a state championship in any sport,” he said. “All that changed at the 2009 state wrestling tournament when the ECHS wrestling team claimed the Class AAAA wrestling title.”
Three wrestlers — Josh Barnhill and Kevin Ulmer from Effingham County and Robbie Collum from South Effingham — also won individual state titles. ECHS finished with 99.5 points, more than 18 points ahead of the second place team.
“This was the first state championship for ECHS since 1968 when the girls’ basketball team for what was then called Central High School won the Class AA title,” he said.
“It was also the first time a high school south of Macon won a state traditional wrestling championship in either Class AAAAA or AAAA.”