By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Flowery Branch sophomore Seth Larson taking success in stride after going back to back with wrestling state titles
Seth Larson
Flowery Branch sophomore Seth Larson wins the 160-pound state wrestling title for Class 4A on Feb. 11, 2022 in Macon. Photo by Amber Cloy For The Times

Since eighth grade, Flowery Branch’s Seth Larson has aimed to be part of a very elite group. 

After winning the 160 pound state championship for Class 4A on Feb. 11, he’s half way there. 

With two state titles under his belt at the GHSA state meet, the sophomore is still in line to potentially join a relative short list of names of four-time state champions in wrestling (46), dating all the way back to 1961, according to the GHSA website.

“Oh, I’d love to be up there,” said Larson, who was the 145-pound state champ in 2021. 

Just a few days after winning state for the second time, Larson is already back at work. 

In fact, there is no off season for the mild-mannered and soft-spoken 16-year-old who carries a 4.2 GPA, Falcons coach John Waters said. 

The two-time state champion said that his cheerful demeanor isn’t a hindrance when he hits the mat for a match. 

“I can flip a switch when it’s time to wrestle,” Larson said. 

During wrestling season, Larson does two hours practice with his teammates at Flowery Branch, then gets in his car and makes the short trip to Buford to train for the same amount of time with the athletes of elevated talent with Teknique Wrestling. His club coach is Peter Yates, a three-time Georgia state champion and two-time NCAA All-American at Virginia Tech. 

The only time of the year that Larson isn’t completely focused on just wrestling is summer and fall when he’s playing football for the Falcons. 

Larson is a speedy wide receiver and fearless kick returner who has the potential of scoring any time he gets the ball in his hands. 

However, everyone knows that wrestling comes first, for Larson. 

Even during the 2021 football season, he was blessed with the chance to compete in the ‘Super 32’ Showcase in Florida. 

He missed one football game, but gained invaluable experience going against other elite national talent. 

“I love wrestling against the best competition,” Larson said. “I’d rather lose to the best out there than win easy matches. I can grow a lot from those experiences.”

The crowning achievement of Larson’s young career was earning the Freshman National Championship last year in Virginia Beach, Va. 

Right now, he's grinding in training as he looks to defend his title at the NHSCA Nationals March 25-27 in Virginia. 

Larson’s competition covers some of the nation’s best, so when he gets to the high school season he feels adequately prepared to win state championships. 

This season, Larson posted a 38-3 mark for the Falcons. His high school career record is 66-3. 

During the 2022 wrestling season, Larson was pleased to finish fifth at the Christmas Knockout tournament, going against some of the nation’s most gifted wrestlers. 

“Seth’s an incredibly hard worker,” Waters said. “He’s one of the best wrestlers in the nation.”

Waters knew that Larson was going to be a force in wrestling when the young athlete moved to Flowery Branch in elementary school from Chicago. 

In either fourth or fifth grade, Larson was allowed by Waters to wrestle one of his state qualifiers from the varsity squad. 

Larson was more than up for the opportunity. 

And not only did he hold his own, Larson won the match. 

“Seth’s never been shy to wrestle against bigger competition,” Waters said. 

Larson got his work ethic from his parents who provided the opportunities for him to reach his potential athletically, Waters said. 

And he’s got a big brother, Connor, who never took it easy on Seth when they were going at it in sports. 

Connor, who now plays baseball at Wofford College, was his constant playing companion. 

By the time Seth reached 13, he said he could get the best of his brother, who is three years older. 

The high school season might not be the best competition that Larson faces, but it means more than anything to represent his school well. 

“I’m trying to represent Flowery Branch the best I can every time I wrestle,” Larson said. 

Friends to Follow social media