Helena wrestlers down county foes on senior night

By DAWN HARRISON | Special to the Reporter

HELENA –It was a bittersweet night for four sets of parents at Helena High School on Tuesday, Jan. 28, as the Huskies’ wrestling team hosted senior night.

As each wrestler took the mat, their academic and athletic achievements were announced and a coach stepped up to talk about the young men they have become, including that the group collectively has a combined GPA of 4.1.

Michael Moran is a seven-year wrestler with a GPA 4.2 and will be attending UAB on a full academic scholarship to study computer science. He gave some advice to the underclassmen by telling them to “outwork your opponents.”

“He is one of my biggest success stories,” said one of Moran’s coaches Shad Rissler. “He went from kind of being not that great of a wrestler to 100 percent all in. The last two years he really, really committed to wrestling, and he went to the state finals last year and hopefully he will win the state title this year. I am super proud of him and can’t wait to see what he does.”

Davis Cummings is another of the four seniors and has been five-year wrestler for the Huskies and state qualifier with a GPA 4.2.

Daryl Butler, who is a strength and conditioning coach at Helena, commented that he watched him come into the weight room at about 120 pounds, before putting in work.

“It was a real pleasure to watch him train and bust his butt as hard as he could and watch him reach his physical best,” he said of the now 170-pound Cummings.

Chris Miller has also been a five-year wrestler for Helena, while boosting a 4.2 GPA like Moran and Cummings. He is a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. He will attend University of South Alabama to study PT.

“There is a lot of ups and downs with wrestling, but stick with it and continue to have fun,” he said to his younger teammates.

Nathan Dunaway is the last of the four seniors and has one of the best resume’s on the mat. A one-time state champion, three-time state finalist and a four-time state placer, he also has a 3.8 GPA and is a member of the Science and English Honor Society. He plans to attend the University of South Alabama

Dunnaway left a message of comedic relief when talking about his advice for other wrestlers, simply saying, “Don’t get pinned.”

“He was one of the first guys that came through my program,” Rissler said. “I’ve seen him become a man become and a great person. I couldn’t be more proud to be part of his journey.”

After the four wrestlers were honored, the tri-match began and Helena went on to win both of their matches with ease.

Noticeably missing were few of the big name wrestlers for both Chelsea and Thompson, who are both preparing for sectionals, which led to dominant performances by an already talented Helena team.

The Huskies wrapped up the first match very quickly with a 62-12 win over Chelsea. After Thompson and Chelsea battled to a two-point Thompson win by a final of 36-34, Helena got set to face the Warriors.

With their dominant effort to kick off the night, the Huskies were able to carry that momentum into the final match of the night by scoring 62 more points in a 62-15 win to cap off the senior night festivities.