By Gary Lloyd
Marcus Elkins and Hewitt-Trussville wrestling coach Mark Snider talked about it last February.
Elkins had just finished second in Class 6A for the second consecutive year. He finished second in the 160-pound weight class in 2011 and the same place in 2012 in the 170-pound division. This year, the 182-pound weight class was his.
Elkins, a senior, talked with Snider last February about what he had to do to win a gold medal. His brothers, Jake (2006) and Matt (2008 and 2010), have state wrestling championships. It’s motivation. Elkins finished this season 59-0 and was named a co-most outstanding wrestler, an award his brothers also won.
“I think Marcus was extremely focused this year,” Snider said
. “He was on a mission. He’ll tell you that, too. He was so focused on it.”
Snider said Elkins worked all last offseason for his senior year, working out and competing in club wrestling.
“He was a different wrestler than he was the year before,” Snider said.
Snider credited Elkins, Kevin Elmore and Braxton Busby as seniors whose leadership was instrumental. One wrestler they rubbed off on was eighth-grader Heath Williamson. Williamson won the 106-pound weight class state championship and finished the season with a 47-1 record. He’s the first eighth-grader in Hewitt-Trussville history to win a state title.
Snider said he wasn’t surprised by Williamson winning gold. Williamson won the metro championship a year ago. Snider pulled him up from the middle school team before the season started, figuring he would place in the top six at the state wrestling tournament.
“He had nothing to prove in middle school wrestling anymore,” Snider said. “He’s one to keep an eye on. There’s no doubt about that.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.