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WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: North's Carroll caps career with historic season
North Forsyth senior Conner Carroll is the 2018 All-FCN Wrestler of the Year after going 40-0 and winning the 160-pound state title in Class 7A. - photo by Bradley Wiseman

It’s possible that Conner Carroll won’t wrestle competitively again, so the North Forsyth senior has taken stock of what he’ll miss about the sport. He’ll miss the close bond he formed with his Raiders teammates and coaches through all the practices and tournaments. He’ll miss the thrill of those tournaments, and even the accompanying nervousness.

He won’t miss cutting weight. On the way back from the state traditional tournament in Macon, free from the constraints of making weight, the Raiders’ bus stopped at Taco Bell. The next day, the team laid waste to the buffet at Cici’s. About a month after the state tourney, Carroll weighed about 10 pounds more than what he wrestled at.

If this is really it for Carroll, he’ll have almost solely fond memories of his senior season, when he went 40-0 overall and won a state title at 160 pounds to earn All-FCN Wrestler of the Year honors.

North Forsuth's Conner Carroll grapples with West Forsyth's Creston Lorenzo at 160 pounds in the Area 5-7A traditional tournament Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. - photo by Lily McGregor Photography

“It felt a little sad, I guess,” Carroll said of the thought that he could be wrestling his last match. “But at the same time, I really just wanted to have the most fun that I could with it and try to open up.”

That (possibly) last match came against Camden County’s Michael Gibson. It was a 6-0 win, one in which both wrestlers started out cautiously and ended the first period at 0-0, but Carroll got a takedown at the start of the second period, a near fall towards the end, and a reversal at the start of the third period to gain control for the rest of the match.

One of the few regrets Carroll has from the season is didn’t do all of that earlier in the match.

“There were definitely some nerves in the first period,” Carroll said.

If Carroll winds up going to the University of Georgia, where he’s been accepted, he’d likely stay involved with wrestling in some capacity. He’d still follow the sport at the college level, and, like plenty former Raiders, he’d come and check out how things are going at his alma mater. He might even hit the mats during a practice.

He might not be done, though – Carroll is still waiting to hear back from the Air Force Academy, where he would be a pilot or go into engineering. If he were to make it to Colorado Springs, he’d likely join the wrestling team there.

But if he were to leave things as they are, he’d be okay with that, and he’d be doing it on one of the greatest individual seasons in the history of a program filled with them.