By Christopher E. Rapley
Question for the readers: What comes to your mind when you think of sports at Dougherty High School? The first two in my mind are football and basketball. Then maybe you will remember that they also have baseball, softball, swimming, and tennis, teams and so on.
But the one sport that we rarely hear about is wrestling. No not WWE or TNA, but high school wrestling. At Dougherty High, head coach Kareem Sanders and assistant coach Jamal Reynolds work very hard with limited resources and wrestlers to build a competitive wrestling program. Both coaches agree that even with only 10 athletes who participate in the wrestling program, those 10 give it their all every practice, match and most important, the classroom.
This is mostly a very young team with no seniors. The team consists of co-captain Kavasaee Trappier (125 pounds), who’s a junior and a third year wrestler with a 3.0 GPA. His record is 13-4 with six pins. Co-captain Christopher Rapley (152) is a sophomore and is a third-year wrestler, and also is a member of the non-profit Southeastern Wrestling Club that is instructed by coaches from the Darton College and Lee County High wrestling teams. Christopher’s record is 17-1 with 12 pins, and he has a 3.6 GPA.
Randy Wright (103), a freshman, is an outstanding first-year wrestler whose record is 11-3 with five pins. Lee Butler (145) is another tough freshman that has a record of 9-6 with nine pins. Lee is a second-year wrestler. Josh Fuller (160) is a second-year wrestler who is one of hardest workers on the team along with Zamemian TenEyck (285), who has stepped in for Brian Bailey (285), a third year wrestler who has been battling injuries all season.
Also on the team are first-year competitors Deon Randolph (171), a freshman; Edward Johnson (135), a freshman; and Nathanuel Ware (285), a sophomore. The three of them are working very hard to be ready for next year.
Both coaches feel that with a little support from the community and media, and with the continued hard work from the wrestlers, that this team will provide some special moments in Georgia high school wrestling this year and in years to come. The wrestling team has two more matches before the GHSA state wrestling tournament, after they wrestled the tough and very talented teams of Lee County and Tift County high schools. In those matches, Christopher Rapley won both of his matches while Randy Wright, Josh Fuller, and Zamemian TenEyck won a match each.
The Dougherty High School wrestlers’ upcoming matches are at Monroe High for the Albany city championship on Wednesday, Feb. 2 at 5 p.m., and at Cairo High School for the Region 1-AAA Championship on Friday, Feb. 4 at 3:30 p.m.
Editor’s note: The author is the father of Dougherty wrestler Christopher Rapley.