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Prep Student Spotlight: Jan. 23

Austyn Woods





There may be no I in team, but if a team consists of only one player, does that old saying holds true?

The Portal swim team consists of one swimmer, in fact there are more coaches than there are swimmers. Austyn Woods has been the only member of the Portal swim team since her freshman year. It hasn’t slowed her down any though, and in fact her hard work will soon pay off with a scholarship to Georgia Southern. 

“All of us here in the Portal community are so proud of Austyn,” said Portal coach Travis Motes. “She is a great student, as well as a great athlete. She has been an outstanding role model for the young female athletes here at Portal.”

Woods has qualified for the state meet the past three years, and recently qualified once again. Her times are pretty competie state wide with a 56.88 in the 100 freestyle, and 24.90 in the 50 freestyle.

“I feel like the season is off to a great start, and I am hitting great times in the pool,” Woods said. “I feel like I am on a more consistent training schedule. I have tried to add more dry land drills, as well as drills in the pool to build my strength and endurance.”

I have been blessed with some amazing coaches at the high school and club teams,” Woods said. “They have pushed me to achieve my goals in and out of the pool.”

Woods will compete in the state meet February 7th and 8th at Georgia Tech. The meet is for Class-A schools all the way through Class 5-A schools.

Sullivan Ryan




Bulloch Academy

The Bulloch Academy wrestling team will be looking for their sixth straight state title next month. One of the reasons for the Gators continued success is that they reload rather than rebuild.

A successful feeder program starts on the elementary level, and continues through middle school. This year the Gators have a couple of first year varsity wrestlers that head coach Eric Dodson feels have a great chance to win state titles.

One of those is freshman Sullivan Ryan. Ryan is undefeated in GISA matches this year, and recently won a pair of individual first place medals in the 106 pound weight class.

“Sullivan started off the season a little slow, but has really turned things up lately,” Dodson said. “He knows wrestling, but he came out a little timid in his first year on the varsity level. Over the past few weeks I have seen a mean streak come out of him, and he has found himself in a position of being one of the top wrestlers in the state.”

“It took a little bit of time to get used to the pace and skill of wrestling on the varsity,” Ryan said. “I won the state in middle school last year at 98 lounds, but things are definitely more intense at 106 pounds on the varsity level.”

“I feel like I have caught on to how things work, and I’m feeling good about where I am,” Ryan said. “I feel like I can compete with anyone, and I’m looking forward to the state meet next month.”