Effingham County High School

School board honors 3-time champ Royal


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March 9, 2016

By Patrick Donahue


Effingham County High School senior Isiah Royal received another tribute for his accomplishments last Wednesday. The Board of Education honored Royal for his third straight state wrestling championship, presenting him with a plaque recognizing his achievement. Royal won the Class AAAAA 126-pound championship Feb. 13 at the Infinite Energy Arena, beating Will Formato of Allatoona 2-1 in the finals. Royal lost 2-1 to Formato in the state sectionals final the week before the state finals. “I love to brag on this young man, because he’s not going to brag on himself, said ECHS principal Yancy Ford. “We’re really proud of Isiah. He’s the type of students we enjoy walking the halls. He leads by example. He works extremely hard in the classroom. He is a role model for other students. As successful as Royal has been in wrestling, he also said the sport has helped him in other ways. “It’s helped me mature and be more disciplined, not only on the mat but with school work as well, he said. Ford also took note of the demands wrestling places on its competitors, particularly away from the gym. “When you’re a wrestler, you have to stay within weight limits, Ford said. “It is a really long season and you have to be disciplined. When everybody else is eating Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, you have to eat salads. ECHS athletic director Tim Hood said wrestling coach Nico Guggino worked hard with Royal to make sure his grades were in order. When Royal had struggles in classes, Guggino had his star pupil come to his room every morning to go over his homework and his progress. “He’s set himself up between the work he’s put and the work Coach Guggino has put in with him, Hood said, “and we couldn’t be more proud of him.



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