February 2, 2007
Americus -- To say Southland wrestler Brett Collier has had some success on the mat would be an understatement.
The senior is a three-time region champ, the defending state champ, and undefeated the past two years.
Collier and the Raiders wrestle this weekend in the GISA state championships, and Collier is expecting to keep his winning streak intact.
The last time Brett Collier lost a wrestling match was in the state championship his sophomore year.
"It's something I'm pretty proud of," says Collier. "It's something I've worked hard for. The team's helped me get there, and I just hope to keep it going through state."
Colliers unbeaten streak becomes even more impressive when you consider he's been wrestling as an undersized heavyweight the last two years.
Collier says, "Most people are shocked to see how much weight I'm giving up to the big guys, but once you watch me wrestle, it's really not that bad because I'm quicker than most of the bigger guys, and I can hold my own with strength."
Southland coach Mike Smith says, "He weighs about 211 pounds, and he's going up against kids that are up to 285 pounds, but his strength and his work habits have carried him through."
The senior became the teams heavyweight after losing a coin-flip with a teammate last season, but now enjoys the role.
Smith says Collier is one of the top wrestlers he's ever coached.
"He does what you tell him, and he does a lot of things you don't have to tell him," says Smith.
Collier is expecting a rematch from the region championship with Valwood's Jonathan Rutkowski for the state title, and Collier says that's to his advantage.
"Every time we've wrestled so far this year, I've beat him, and I think he's getting discouraged, because it's gotten easier and easier every time," say Collier.
Smith adds, "I expect him to win. I expect him to come out a state champion, not even breathing hard."
Collier has 131 wins so far in his career at Southland, and has won 68 in-a-row.
The GISA wrestling state championships are in Perry at the Agri-Center.