High school wrestlers across southwest Georgia hit the mats for the first time officially this week.
But it feels a little different for many area coaches only months after a tragedy hit the sport right here at home.
It's only been two months since Darton State wrestler Ben Richards died after conditioning in the south Georgia heat.
Obviously the temperatures have changed, but the fears are still there.
In Leesburg, the Lee County Trojans are preparing for their upcoming season and that means the necessary conditioning workouts that go along with it.
Trojans head coach Tom Matheny says you always stress safety and health during the workouts, but after the Darton tragedy, it's stressed even more.
"It certainly gives pause I think for every coach to do. It was a tragedy," says Matheny. "We definitely take pause here to make sure the kids understand the role of hydration and fortunately for us, we're not outside. We're indoors, so we can control the temperature."
Matheny says the Trojans also take part in offseason workouts beginning in March.
Copyright 2013 WALB. All rights reserved.
7831 N. Business Park Drive