Galligan inks wrestling deal with Campbell

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 7, 2004

PROCTORVILLE - The late Thomas Wolfe was wrong. You can go home again, and it is better than when you left.

Wolfe wrote a famous critical essay saying once you leave home, you can never return. Either Casey Galligan hasn't read it or he doesn't believe it.

Galligan was born in North Carolina and grew up in the state until recent years when his family moved to the Tri-State area following his father's transfer.

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After two strong seasons as a wrestler for the Fairland Dragons, Galligan will have the opportunity to return to his roots after signing with the Campbell University Fighting Camels. Ironically, Wolfe, too, was a North Carolina native.

"I'm excited," Galligan said. "I was raised in North Carolina and I really wanted to go back. I applied and they accepted me, I met the coach a couple of times, and I really liked it."

Galligan may like Campbell, but he must really love wrestling because he began his career when the Fairland program was in an incubator stage.

Fairland didn't have wrestling and had to endure two years of club wrestling within the school. Once the numbers were established, the program was permitted to start a varsity schedule.

Galligan, who wrestled in the 160-pound division, said the Dragons were at a disadvantage.

"Most of the kids started in youth programs. I worked a camp with young kids and I envied them. I had to work extra hard to catch up," Galligan said.

Although Galligan had a good junior season, his senior year was impressive. He had a 32-10 record and qualified for the district tournament.

"I didn't know what to expect. I was just focused on winning a match my first year. I just got better by getting beat on by other guys on the team," Galligan said.

"I learned a lot my junior year and I hoped I would improve and be able to compete at (the college) level. I was determined to wrestle at the college level."

Galligan talked with several schools in North Carolina, but he said Campbell's coach "pursued me more."

Now that the Dragons

former captain is realizing his dream of wrestling at the college level, he knows there is even harder work ahead.

"It takes everything. It's going to be a lot of work," Galligan said. "I have to hit the weight room for sure. Campbell sent me a workout package and it's a lot more than I did in high school.

Fairland coach William Chambers said Galligan has the work ethic to succeed at the next level.

"In a year or so, he'll excel. He just needs to hit the weights and get a little stronger. Once he gets a littler stronger, he'll do just great," Chambers said.

Casey is the son of Brian and Helen Galligan of Proctorville.