SportsStudent Athlete of the Week


Esprit Decor Student-Athlete of the Week: Great Bridge wrestling

Great Bridge wrestling
Posted at 12:47 AM, Mar 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-07 20:20:22-05

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - When Old Dominion announced it was discontinuing its wrestling team in the Spring of 2020, for then Monarchs head coach Steve Martin, it meant the end of a 17-year tenure with the program.

Although, ODU's loss was Great Bridge's gain - and a homecoming for Martin, who led the Wildcats to 12 state tiles in 13 years prior to his time at Old Dominion.

Despite all the time away, it had no effect on the results Martin gets for the Wildcats wrestling program, which dominated state championships, taking home the Class 4 crown with more than one hundred points between them and the second place finisher.

"Our head coach Steve Martin, where’s he’s at with us and getting people to help drill with us, it’s been a long progress for us to get to where we are," Great Bridge wrestler Eric Doran said. "We've all been practicing really hard."

Hard work that resulted in a handful of Great Bridge wrestlers competing in Class 4 finals. While the team win was a huge accomplishment, the individual wins by each wrestler were a childhood dream come true.

"I’ve been really wanting to become a state champ since, I don’t know, second grade. To really just think that I’ve done it, it’s kind of mind boggling," Doran said. "So when I stepped up on the podium, I don’t really know. It’s just mind blowing, you know. I just don’t know how to put it into words. It’s just crazy.”

For Class 4, 132 lbs weight class champ Doran, specifically, the road to a championship was a long one as he juggling not only being a student-athlete, but also fighting back from injury.

"The amount of work I’ve put in, it’s insane. I just came off an injury and I’ve been practicing my butt off to be here today," Doran said. "As a sport, this is probably the toughest thing you could ever do.”