Wrestler of the Year: Climmons lives up to growing expectations
by Carlton D. White
March 17, 2013 12:46 AM | 3120 views | 2 2 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brooks Climmons
<Br>Staff photo by Emily Barnes
Brooks Climmons
Staff photo by Emily Barnes
MARIETTA — Pope’s Brooks Climmons was living with enormous expectations.

Ranked No. 1 in the nation at 182 pounds for the majority of the season, according to Amateur Wrestling News, Climmons’ season had to finish with nothing less than a state championship.

Because of his lofty status, Climmons was in no position to lose to an unranked wrestler, and he had to dominate nearly everyone he faced that wasn’t up to the level befitting his status as the nation’s No. 1-ranked wrestler.

That kind of pressure can get to a high school senior, but it didn’t get to Climmons, who focused on what he knew about himself.

“I don’t follow rankings,” he said. “That’s just another person’s opinion about me or about any of the other guys ranked. I just know how good I need to be on the mat.”

Ultimately, Climmons was very good, and not even a strained medial collateral ligament in his right knee could keep him down.

Climmons finished the season 34-0 and won the Class AAAAA state championship at 182 pounds with a 24-9 technical fall over Creekview’s Joseph Sorrentino. All four of his state tournament wins ended via technical fall.

Furthermore, three of his four Class AAAAA sectional victories were by pins, and the fourth was a technical fall. Two of his Region 7AAAAA championship wins were pins as well.

When it came down to doing what was necessary on the mats, Climmons delivered and because of his outstanding season, he is the 2012-13 Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Wrestler of the Year.

“I was pleasantly surprised to find out I was named the wrestler of the year,” Climmons said. “I didn’t think I’d get it because I missed some time with the injury and we had so many good wrestlers this year, and a lot of state champions.

“I’m really honored because a lot of great wrestlers from Cobb County have won this award in the past, so I’m in very good company.”

The early part of Climmons’ season included victories over several nationally ranked wrestlers at a high school duals tournament in Minnesota. That’s where Climmons got noticed and eventually earned his No. 1 ranking.

“He beat some really good kids up there,” Pope coach Jim Haskin said. “He beat some good wrestlers in Georgia, too, and his history as a Fargo all-American and state champion as a sophomore was all taken into account, giving him that ranking.

“Brooks is just at a different level. He’s a Division I college wrestler. He’s that good. He’s unbelievable on his feet, and you can’t keep him down. He’s efficient in all three positions. He’s an excellent athlete and an excellent wrestler.”

The knee injury, which occurred around Christmas, put Climmons on the shelf for a while, but he returned on Jan. 26 — just in time for his run to the state championship.

“I’m really not surprised by the way I finished my season,” Climmons said. “My rehab and training went well. I came back and practiced with my teammates and wrestled well against them, so I knew I could do it. Wrestling those guys was like wrestling a state champion in practice every day, which turned out to be true since they did win state championships. I just had to get back in shape, and I was fine.”

Haskin agreed that fitness was really the only thing Climmons had to overcome.

“It took him a little bit to get back in shape,” the coach said. “He had to work a little harder in practice, but he got back and didn’t miss a beat when he did.”

From that point on, it was more of the same from Climmons, who has signed to wrestle for the Air Force Academy. He credits quickness as one of his strengths since wrestlers at the heavier weights don’t often have the same speed. He also prides himself on his relentless and aggressive attitude towards his opponents.

“To really look at what he has done in high school and on a national level — he’s really one of the best to come out of Georgia in a long time,” Haskin said.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
West Cobb
March 24, 2013
Too bad his behavior off the mat isn't as good as on the mat.
west cobber
March 18, 2013
Odd talk going around that Brooks transferred out of Pope to another Cobb County school for the final 2 months of his senior year. A bit strange, if true. I can't imagine him graduating and receiving a diploma that does not have "Pope High School" printed on it.

Does not matter much- the fact that he's a great kid and a great athlete who has been wildly successful remains.
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