JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- In our new 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 Standout is a trio of seniors: Tyler Seeley, Jared Harter, and Joseph Frye on the Science Hill boys wrestling team.
Science Hill has one of the best wrestling programs in East Tennessee.
“If we’re healthy and we have the right 14 kids on the mat we can wrestle with anybody,” boys wrestling head coach Jimmy Miller said.
They don’t practice in the most glamorous location, though.
“Wrestling isn’t glamorous, we’re just blue collar kids we’re gonna go to work, why, because that’s the only way to be successful, if you’re not working you’re going backwards,” Miller said.
The Hilltoppers practice in a garage attached to a classroom, in the Career and Technical Education building.
“This was the welding classroom and it would go into the shop, anxiously awaiting a better space our kids realize it’s small but their focus is do what you need to do and that’s wrestle and win titles, let that talk for us,” Miller said.
I guess when you see all the trophies and plaques hanging on the walls, it doesn’t matter where they practice.
“We put a lot of stuff on the wall because I want our kids to understand there were people before you that set the tone for you whether that be a kid last year or 15 years ago,” Miller said.
That’s the trick here; it doesn’t matter what facilities they have if they go out there and use them with confidence.
“We have 100% confidence they’re gonna go out, if they stay healthy can find their way on the podium again, they determine how high up the steps they go,” Miller said.
“I think that we’re confident mainly because the work that we put in, in the room and we’re prepared compared to some other teams that don’t work as hard and aren’t as prepared whenever it comes down to it,” senior wrestler Tyler Seeley said.
Seniors Tyler Seeley, Jared Harter, and Joseph Frye personify this confidence, and have won some medals out of it.
“Last year us three seniors we all got 2nd at regions and 5th at states, we’re all like following each other’s footsteps hoping we can all win it this year and take it to the next level,” Frye said.
“We’ve been around for a while now, we’ve been around since we were little so we’ve just been around the sport, kinda know what to expect and the expectations here on this team,” Harter said.
These three guys lead yet another group of Science Hill wrestlers with a legitimate shot to win some titles.
“If you have a Science Hill singlet on, everyone knows what we’re about, we’ve been dominant for the past 10 years in this region, it feels pretty good,” Harter said.
“Me and the other seniors are used to what exactly we need to do before February which is state and we know what we need to do and where we need to be at so we need to work to that,” Seeley said.
It’s not arrogance with these guys, it’s motivation to keep the success going.
“I feel like it’s more of an expectation type thing every year back to back we have a new team every year and so we have to know the freshman don’t quite know but that the seniors make their mark on the team and we can follow in their footsteps,” Frye said.
The regularity of it has built a reputation that comes with Science Hill wrestling.
“We know there are teams out there that are better than us but we want to be pushed as hard as we can so we can go to the next level because we want to win that title at the end of the year this year,” Frye said.
“We want to turn heads when we come into the room but that only comes from what’s going on in there we gotta work hard good things happen to good people but great things happen to people that work for it,” Miller said.
Follow this series throughout the year as WJHL’s Michael Epps finds the High School Standout every week on WJHL.com.