Two wrestlers, representing the recent past and foreseeable future of the Heritage High School program, are being honored today as Catoosa County Co-Wrestlers of the Year.
Senior Alex Eacret was the definition of hard work and perseverance during his time with the Generals, rising from a rookie looking for victories to a three-time state qualifier and a two-time state placer.
A three-time Catoosa-Walker Dream Team selection, Eacret was an honorable mention pick as a 170-pound sophomore after qualifying for state for the first time in his career.
The following season, moving up to 195 pounds, he took third in the Area 6-AAAA tournament and followed by placing fourth at state sectionals before earning a podium spot with a sixth-place finish at state.
Then this past season, again wrestling at 195, he made it to the championship semifinals at the McCallie Invitational before finishing fifth and was 3-1 with a pair of pins at the 6-AAAA Duals. He would place fourth at the area traditional tournament and was fourth at sectionals before collecting another sixth-place state medal in a very tough weight class. All four wrestlers from Area 6 placed in the top six spots at state.
Eacret racked up 38 pins and a 49-12 record as a senior, ending his Heritage career with a 128-77 overall record.
“Alex is a great example of how hard work and following our wrestling program breeds success,” Heritage head coach Mike Craft explained. “As a freshman, he was thrown into a varsity spot after someone was injured. He only won one varsity match (that year), although he battled in every match. But he worked in the off-season, followed our program and went on to earn (two state medals). He’s been an important part of our team during his time at Heritage.”
Eacret shares this year’s award with freshman Drew Dietz, who emerged as a name to know on the local and state levels for the next three years.
Dietz, who wrestled at 120 earlier in the year before dropping to 113, went 2-1 with a pin for the Generals at the Area Duals before turning his attention to the traditional tournaments.
He would place third at area and second at sectionals before making the championship semifinals at state. He would end up with a sixth-place finish and a season mark of 51-19 to go with 37 pins.
“Earning a state medal as a freshman is very difficult,” Craft said. “Of all the great wrestlers we have had come through our program, Drew is only the third wrestler to earn a state medal as a freshman. He had a great season and he is the cornerstone of the future of the Heritage wrestling program.”
Craft said the co-award winners capped a solid season for the Navy-and-Red.
“I’m very proud of Alex and Drew for being selected as Catoosa County Co-Wrestlers of the Year,” he added. “We had a great dual season with a 30-14 record and one of our goals every year is a 30-win season. In important dual meets this season, you could almost always count on a win from Alex and Drew, along with (senior) Drake Parker (182). Drake (174-71 career record, two area titles) was a three-time state qualifier and had 39 pins this season.”