KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL)- In our digital series ‘High School Standouts,’ Digital Sports Reporter Michael Epps features local athletes with incredible talent, hoping to take that talent to the next level.
These are athletes that stand out both on and off the field.
This week’s High School Standouts are Alex and Andrew Overbay, twin brothers and senior wrestlers at Sullivan South High School.
“This is South, you know, we need to send it off with a bang,” Alex Overbay said.
What a strange way to say goodbye.
“We’re trying to get ready, pack our stuff up and really hit it hard over there,” Andrew Overbay said.
Each sport at Sullivan South is having its final season before them, Central and North consolidate next year to form West Ridge High School.
“We want to really finish out this program at South on a high note we want to go into West Ridge saying as coaches hey look we had the real deal here we need to have wrestling at West Ridge we know what we’re doing we can get people to the state,” Sullivan South wrestling coach Andrew Bailey said.
The Rebels’ wrestling program has been a strong one, sending multiple wrestlers to state including senior Alex Overbay.
“I love being a teammate here there’s been some ups and downs being a South wrestler not big teams but it’s always great the family we have our coaches we have my family my wrestling family,” Alex Overbay said.
It helps to build a family atmosphere when there really is family here. That’s where Alex’s twin brother Andrew Overbay comes in.
“Just working with him every day like at home we get into fights and we’ll rough-house and stuff but when we come in here we know we can throw down and get all our steam out we don’t have to do it at home we get it all out on the mat,” Andrew Overbay said.
“I begged him to join wrestling and now it’s become one of those things that me and him push each other better every day not only on the mat but we go home and we sit and talk about it like how we can push each other different ways on the mat,” Alex Overbay said.
These brothers took the rough-housing from the living room to the mat, something their family is thankful for.
“There were times at home me and him would get into it and especially our grandmother would scream at us,” Alex Overbay said.
“Especially with our grandparents when we were younger we would wrestle in the living room we broke doors and stuff wrestling and it’s just been a part of our life and since we got in high school we jumped right on that,” Andrew Overbay said.
Alex Overbay joined the wrestling team right away as a freshman, and made an appearance at state.
“I get a thrill before I even step on the mat I’m excited to get in here every day cause I’ve been here for four years and just for the things I’ve done with this sport so far it makes me happy to not only be a part of this team but also the wrestling community,” Alex Overbay said.
“He is an open book he doesn’t have bad habits that you have to break or anything so his future beyond is really hard to gauge I think it really comes down to the college coaches recognizing the diamond in the rough that you really have,” Bailey said.
But after a year, he wanted his brother back in his sights, and convinced him to join.
“Coming from wrestling as a kid our parents would yell at us like you’re gonna bust the walls down stuff like that I just never thought of it and then freshman year my peers in school let me to wrestling and then Andrew joined,” Alex Overbay said.
“He persuaded me to come in here and try it out I was hesitant at first I really was but I came in here and fell in love with it I love how physical it is,” Andrew Overbay said.
Andrew started thriving on the mat too, but his main focus has been towards the military. He’s been a member of the ROTC program all four years and tried to start the process of enlisting in the Marine Corps, but received some tough news.
“I’ve had some complications with my hearing and stuff I have to go back it’s just kind of a waiting game I don’t know if I can actually go in or not,” Andrew Overbay said.
He’s still working through this process and establishing his backup plans, with hopes of possibly wrestling in college.
“My life has just been so focused on ROTC and joining the military that when they told me that I’m temporarily disqualified it got me for a bit but I try to keep my spirits high and my brother definitely helped me out with that and wrestling,” Andrew Overbay said.
Alex and Andrew look out for each other here, like they always have.
“When I was going into sophomore year, I went to state my freshman year and he was like maybe I can do the same thing so he was in ROTC that was his main focus and I say hey just come try out it’ll get you really fit so he came out and now here we are,” Alex Overbay said.
“I was a small guy I came into high school about 100 pounds maybe 5’1″ now I’m pushing 145, 150, still kinda short and stocky but I’m as strong as an ox so that’s all I care about,” Andrew Overbay said.
Now they’re treasuring this experience of being brothers, and teammates, in a one-of-a-kind season.
“It means a lot I’m glad to be the last graduating class here our mother went to this school I know it means a lot to her for us to come here and be the last guys to graduate here,” Andrew Overbay said.
“We’ll remember that forever we’ll be sitting together in the nursing home being like hey remember back then when we were wrestling on the mat’ I think that’ll be one of those things we’ll talk about family reunions stuff like that it’ll always be one of those things we bring up,” Alex Overbay said.
Follow this series throughout the year as WJHL’s Michael Epps finds the High School Standout every week on WJHL.com.