Callaway’s Kiss makes it to championship match

Published 3:30 pm Monday, February 12, 2018

MACON – It’s been a special ride for Callaway’s Justin Kiss.

The senior wrestler put the wraps on a phenomenal high-school career by finishing second at 113 pounds in the Class AA state finals on Saturday in Macon.

Kiss, who didn’t wrestle as a junior, is a three-time state placer, and he was one heart-breaking loss away from winning a state championship.

Kiss rallied from a 3-0 deficit to force overtime, but it was Fitzgerald’s Kevin Martin walked away with the 5-3 victory.

It was a painful loss, but Kiss is grateful is was able to be one of the last two wrestlers standing in his weight class.

“That was one of my biggest dreams was to be here,” Kiss said.

Making the moment even more special, one of the people in his corner was his brother Ryan Kiss, an assistant coach at Callaway.

Ryan Kiss was himself a state placer during his time as a Callaway wrestler.

“That means a lot,” Kiss said. “I have my family behind me, my school support, my coaches. Everybody supported me, even people I don’t know.”

Kiss pinned Parker Hobson of Banks County in his opening match, and he beat Armuchee’s Wesley Conley 4-2 in the semifinals to set up the showdown with Martin.

Callaway’s other finals participant was Matthew Wingate (170 pounds), and he lost both of his matches.