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2019-20 ALL-COUNTY GIRLS WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: Sophia Eglian, North Forsyth
North Forsyth senior Sophia Eglian capped her trailblazing career with an appearance in the Class 7A state semifinals. - photo by Ben Hendren

Sophia Eglian left a legacy at North Forsyth.

Not only there, but across the county and throughout the state.

Eglian brought the first GHSA girls wrestling championship to Forsyth County as a junior when she captured the inaugural title. This year, Eglian reached the semifinal round of the 142-pound state championship before falling to eventual state champion Heidi Raines of Dade County.

At the tail end of a trailblazing high school career, Eglian is optimistic about the girls wrestling program at North Forsyth.

“I think it’s pretty strong,” Eglian said. “Not only do we have girls in high school, but we have a feeder team with some girls. I think it’s, like, maybe half a dozen to a dozen. We have a freshman and two juniors staying back, so I feel like it’s going to grow, hopefully.”

With her career coming to a close, what does she plan to do with her wrestling skills now?

“Try to keep my brothers in line,” she said with a laugh.

Eglian is the middle child between two brothers. In fact, her older brother was instrumental in getting Eglian on the mat. He used to take her to his practices, which is where Eglian met Hanna Zinn.

So, Eglian and Zinn became wrestling partners. Initially, the two represented a large chunk of the girls wrestling program at North Forsyth.

Since then, it’s continued to grow.

“The girls program has grown immensely not only in our county, but in the state,” Eglian said. “When I first started out it was only me and my friend Hanna Zinn wrestling in boys tournaments. Now, there is a girls state. It's crazy.

“Hopefully, in five years North Forsyth High School will have a full team of girls and there will be more district girls tournaments. We just hosted our first girls tournament this year, so we are heading in the right direction.”

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, girls wrestling at the high school level has grown from 5,000 to 16,562 from 2008-18.

The organization also said 16 states have separate wrestling tournaments for girls, with Nebraska hosting its first girls state championship last month.

While Eglian helped pave the way for girls wrestlers around the county, she realizes it’s up to those wrestlers to put in the time and dedication to write their own story.

“Being the first girls state champion in the state of Georgia is the most memorable moment. Seeing everybody in the stands cheer me on is still unforgettable,” Eglian said. 

“I think I've left my mark on the mat for younger girls. However, girls taking on the mat by themselves creates their own legacy to follow.”