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Garner grapples with elite status
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Like just about every Jefferson wrestler, Hunter Garner started young.

"It was the fifth grade, so I was about 11," Garner said.

And, like just about every Jefferson wrestler in the program’s illustrious history, Garner was successful – though he set the bar high even for a program that is more than used to success.

During his time with the Dragons, Garner won four individual state titles and also helped his team to four traditional and four duals state crowns.

There is no question that Garner, along with his brother Forrest, dominated the prep wrestling scene during his time at Jefferson, earning his way into the Northeast Georgia Sports Hall of Fame’s Elite 10 – honoring the top 10 area prep athletes from 2000-09.

Garner claimed state titles at 140 pounds (2000 and 2001), at 152 pounds (2002) and 160 pounds (2003). He was also named Georgia Wrestler of the Year after his senior campaign.

Garner went on to wrestle at Anderson University, competing in the 165-pound weight class.

The Northeast Georgia Sports Hall of Fame is located in the Northeast Georgia History Center on the campus of Brenau University.

The History Center will recognize athletic excellence at a luncheon at 11:30 a.m., Aug. 29, at the Georgia Mountains Center in downtown Gainesville. Guest speaker Damon Evans, Athletic Director for the University of Georgia, will help honor 15 Northeast Georgia Athletes and one highly successful team. There will be five retired athletes inducted into the Northeast Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and an additional "Elite 10" athletes, some of Northeast Georgia’s best athletes of the last 10 years.

Table sponsorships are available for $350, and table sponsors may choose to have their table host one of the athletes to be recognized on a first-come, first-served basis. A limited number of individual tickets are available for $25. Call the History Center at 770-297-5900 to make your reservations.

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