MILLEDGEVILLE — While the high school wrestling season is over, local standout at Georgia Military Prep School, Marino McDonald continues to light up the mats as he was voted Athlete of the Week for his performance at the USA Wrestling Freshmen State Tournament on Saturday, March 9 in Suwanee.
McDonald competed well against freshmen in all six of the Georgia High School Association classifications.
“I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought I did pretty good,” he said. “I would have liked to go further, but I gave it my all and tried as hard as I could.”
Finishing with a 3-2 record, McDonald was eliminated in the fifth round on Saturday, placing him in the top 24 all-classification in the 120 pound weight division and top 12 in the single-A classification.
“I decided to do it because I’m only going to be a freshman once, so I just wanted to go up there and compete,” he said.
Not only did McDonald compete, but he beat some of the best wrestlers in the State, sometimes coming from behind to do so.
“In one of my matches, I was losing the whole match, but I hit a Wayne’s Roll at the very end to come back and win,” he said. “I did it with three seconds left.”
That never-give-up attitude is what fuels the freshman to strive for lofty goals as a wrestler, which includes potentially wrestling in college one day.
“I would love to wrestle after high school,” McDonald said. “If I get the opportunity to wrestle in college; if I get to that point, I’d be ecstatic.”
In an effort to help him improve, McDonald admits that wrestling against the best in the State helps him mature as a wrestler and learn.
“When you get in tougher matches, it helps you improve,” he said. “If you get easy matches every time, you’re never going to improve.”
Joining a small group of local athletes, McDonald was voted Athlete of the Week by the community based on his accomplishments over the weekend and how he represented Baldwin County as a whole.
“I’m very happy. I was really happy,” he said. “I didn’t even know that knew that many people. I love the people in Milledgeville.”
McDonald suggests that people in the community will not be let down, as he plans to continue competing, as well as representing GMC Prep and Baldwin County at a high level.
“People supporting me and cheering me on, that means a lot to me,” he said. “I’m not just somebody in the shadows. I’m proof that if you get behind me, I’ll give you results.”