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Flatts shine on Georgia wrestling

Mountain View wrestler Adam Flatt, left, finished second at the ASICS cadet Greco Roman national championship in Fargo, N.D., on July 15. His father Anthony, right, is the chairman for Team Georgia wrestling and received the President's Award from USA Wrestling for his volunteer service. (Staff photo: Brandon Brigman)

Mountain View wrestler Adam Flatt, left, finished second at the ASICS cadet Greco Roman national championship in Fargo, N.D., on July 15. His father Anthony, right, is the chairman for Team Georgia wrestling and received the President's Award from USA Wrestling for his volunteer service. (Staff photo: Brandon Brigman)

The Flatt household has had a lot to celebrate last month. Anthony Flatt received the President’s Award from USA Wrestling for his volunteer service.

A week later his son, Adam, a rising junior at Mountain View, finished runner-up in the prestigious ASICS cadet Greco-Roman national championship.

“It’s very exciting,” Anthony said. “This is largely in part due to Team Georgia and not just the Flatt household. It’s a testament to the hard work being done every day.”

Anthony was one of two recipients of the President’s Award, which recognizes exemplary state chairpersons, along with Wisconsin’s Dave Black.

Anthony will travel with his wife Cheryl to the 2013 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Sept. 16-22 as part of the U.S, delegation.

“It’s exciting,” Anthony said. “I know a lot of them that are going, so it will fun.”

The World Championships will showcase the top wrestlers in the world, including reigning 2011 World Champion and 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Jordan Burroughs. “As chairmen in Georgia and Wisconsin, both Anthony and Dave have done a great job providing opportunities for wrestlers and coaches,” USA Wrestling president Jim Ravannack said. “Both states have experienced increased membership and success on the national level, so it was easy to select both of them for this award.”

Anthony has been the chairman USA Wrestling’s Folkstyle Committee and Team Georgia since 2007. During his tenure, membership has grown more than 46 percent and is now the seventh largest state in teams of USA Wrestling memberships.

“Mr. Flatt has a vision for the greater good of Georgia wrestling as a whole from top to bottom,” Mountain View wrestling coach Jim Gassman said. “He has worked with the Team Georgia board to increase youth participation, aid high school programs with providing tournament fundraisers, as well as providing five new Georgia college wrestling teams with tremendous financial support during his time as chairman.”

Anthony, who was selected as State Chairperson of the Year for USA Wrestling in 2010, has been instrumental in key USA Wrestling events in Georgia. The Georgia Grind has become one of the premier folkstyle events in the Southeast and the Southeast Region has grown into the second-largest freestyle and Greco-Roman regional in the nation.

“This is an awesome privilege and honor,” Anthony said. “I am humbled by the opportunity to be part of the U.S. delegation at the Worlds. What is most exciting for me is Georgia has young men and women now training and competing for USA Wrestling internationally. I can see a day not too long from now that we have a Georgia wrestler representing USA Wrestling and our country at the World Championships.”

Adam is seeking to become Mountain View’s first state champion. After a second-place finish at the ASICS national championship in Fargo, N.D., that may become a reality soon.

“Adam had a tremendous summer on the mat and represented Georgia and Mountain View exceptionally well,” Gassman said. “He has a tremendous work ethic, a huge heart, and is one of the most mentally tough wrestlers I’ve been able to coach. Adam’s high school career will continue to improve due to his dedication and commitment to the sport.”

Adam went 7-2 in the Greco-Roman wrestling tournament, which included five pins to put him in the finals. He lost to Minnesota’s Mitchell McKee, who is nationally ranked and a defending national champion, 8-0 in the 113-pound finals.

“He had some huge wins over some nationally ranked kids,” Anthony said. “Hopefully, he can come back and try to repeat.”

Adam’s success was just a piece of the record-setting year for Team Georgia at the tournament. They had a record 16 All-Americans, including eight in the finals to break the old record of 11 All-Americans. Kennesaw Mountain’s Justan Rivera and Commerce’s Chance McClure were national champions. Buford’s Rudy Guillen was the only other Gwinnett County wrestler to place, finishing seventh in the Greco-Roman tournament. The group, which featured 11 coaches including Parkview’s Josh Porter, was also recognized with the Best Team Spirit award at the tournament.

“It’s a great thing we’re doing,” Anthony said. “We’re seeing all the handwork from parents, wrestlers, coaches and volunteers are putting in. Many kids that placed have been in Team Georgia for a long time.”

In the Greco-Roman tournament, Team Georgia placed seventh in the cadet division and the 10th in the junior. In the freestyle tournament, they were 19th in cadet and 17th in junior. It was the first time Team Georgia placed in the top 20 in both tournaments. “The one thing I keep driving is keep moving forward,” Anthony said. “We have the wrestlers and the capabilities. This is what we can do.”