Bernard “V.A.” Harmon: A champion’s champion

  • Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Photo Provided Timberland Coach Terry Keller and Assistant Coach Ryan Rhoades were in Bernard Harmon’s corner throughout the state tournament.

Photos

In the coming years when people talk about Timberland Wolves’ sports, a name that will come to mind and rank up there as a true great: Bernard “V.A.” Harmon.

Harmon recently won the Class A/AA 170-pound state championship for the second time, successfully defending his first title won in 2013. In so doing he made Timberland wrestling history as the school’s first state champion.

On March 1, Harmon made school history, not only as the school’s first two-time state champion, but also as the first Timberland athlete to be a part of three state championships. Harmon was also a member of Timberland’s 2011 Class AA Div. I state championship team.

To cap off his historic scholastic career, Harmon wrestled in the North/South All-Star wrestling meet this past weekend, downing Charlie Conner of Byrnes in a thriller, 8-6 in overtime.

The 4A-1A North All-Stars edged the 3A-2A South All-Stars 50-43.

This year Harmon finished with a 37-1 season and breezed through the state tournament competition with a major decision, a pin and a near-major 12-3 win to win his second consecutive state title.

Harmon felt good going into the two-day tournament. “V.A.” was a man on a mission.

“I felt as though I had a great tournament and that I was dominant for the entire tournament because I came there to handle business and prove a point,” he said.

Harmon opened the tournament with a 16-4 win over Grayson McCall from Ninety-Six, what he called his most difficult match of the tournament.

“After getting the first one out of the way, the other two fell into place.”

The first trip to the state tournament blew by Harmon in a flash. This time around the two time state champion took the time to enjoy the experience.

“I was happy, excited, and honored to be there among other good wrestlers,” he said. “I have respect for them as they do for me ... and making new friends and having fun is important in any sport ... and also the desire to win.”

THS Football Coach and Athletic Director Art Craig called Harmon an athlete of the ages: “I don’t think in my 12 years at Timberland there is a better role model than Bernard. He does it the right way 24/7. What you see with V.A. is what you get; there are no hidden agendas with him. To watch him mature and grow as a person has made me proud and I have been lucky to been apart of this process.”

Harmon is the type of athlete that leads, and teaches, by example.

“I think he has taught me more than I taught him,” Craig said. “He has the ability to treat all people with respect no matter who they are. He is what athletics are supposed to be about.”

Harmon knows he is wrapping up a special time in his life and whatever happens from today forward, he will always look back on and appreciate his high school accomplishments.

“It has been a wonderful experience and I wanted to make an impact on Timberland before I left and I feel as though I have accomplished that and more and even though I have accomplished so much I will always strive for more.”

Craig said Harmon is the type of young man that will serve as an excellent role model to those who follow behind him.

“With all his accolades in athletics he is even a better person.”

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