Johnson wrestles with chip on his shoulder

Fisher Johnson wrestles the match at the state tournament last season.
Blake Colston

Fisher Johnson isn’t short for motivation to use on the wrestling mat.

He feeds off of what others – even those close to him like his dad – think he can’t do.

Last season, Johnson used others’ doubts to help fuel him to a 35-12 record and his first-ever berth in the state tournament, where he finished third at 152 pounds.

“Some people thought I couldn’t place at state. My dad said I sucked, but I did it,” he said. “I worked my butt off for it and it was awesome.”

Few probably expect him to be able to top his third place finish in his senior season. To which he says, we’ll see about that.

“I think I’m one of the best competitors around,” he said.

Johnson backs down from no one and his wrestling style is as unorthodox as any in Piedmont’s wrestling room, according to head coach Erik Ford.

Johnson agrees.

“I wrestle like an awkward Bambi,” he said. “I just go out there and go hard and end up winning.”

Ford said his unusual style is one of Johnson’s biggest advantages.

“It’s not what you see in practice,” Ford said. “I can promise you that no one enjoys wrestling him because he’s really strong and he’s kind of relentless.”

Scoring takedowns is more of a certainty for Johnson than a hope, which is why he ranked near the top on Piedmont’s team in that category last season.

“He doesn’t have the greatest technique, but his attitude and the motor he has really helps him,” Ford said. “I like to say that he has a 10-cent shot and a two-dollar finish. He’s going to get a takedown and he’s not going to stop until it’s done.”

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