Editorial: Pigeon Forge Tigers' win at state ends string of frustration

Feb. 03, 2014 @ 11:39 PM

For years, the Pigeon Forge Tigers wrestling team has been the picture of consistency. 

They've spent nearly a decade among the best teams in East Tennessee, and for three straight seasons they've finished second at the state dual championships in Franklin, Tenn.

But that success, without the big payoff of a title, can build pressure. 

Saturday night, Coach Greg Foreman and his orange-clad warriors knocked that monkey off their collective back with an impressive win over defending state champion Greeneville in the state finale — ending all talk that the Tigers were perpetual runners-up.

Foreman praised his kids, a hard-working, blue-collar group, that put in hours and hours of work to achieve their goal of finally getting over the hump.

But Foreman himself deserves some praise.

He took over the team in 2002 after its first varsity season. In the years since he's built the squad into a state powerhouse that's landed a stable of wrestlers on all-state teams and with colleges around the region. He's subjected his family to the life of coach in effort to build the program and mold wrestlers. And he's done a great job, as have those that have helped the Tigers along the way — including assistant coach Robert Satterfield and dedicated middle school coach Brian Whaley, who helps build the team's strong foundation.

It's been a great collective effort to reach a new level. The Tigers' persistence in training and wrestling — they travel annually to take on other great teams in out-of-state tournaments — has given them a leg up on much of their competition, and now they're enjoying the fruits of that labor.

For the next year, they can say it proud: They're the best A-AA wrestling team in Tennessee.