THOMSON, GA (WJBF) -
Thomson based Ohana Karate lost it's founder and instructor in July when John Pereda passed away from a heart attack. The school didn't have to look for a new teacher. Ohana turned to 14-year old Walker Tharpe, a second degree black belt, to help lead the young pupils.
Tharpe led Ohana to it's first tournament since Pereda passed over the weekend and watched from the beside the mat as his students competed. Win or lose, he just hoped Pereda would be proud.
"He would be smiling," Tharpe said. "I think he was preparing me to take over and lead."
He added, "I just tell the kids to never give up and never quit. Dream big, go for it and be the best you can be."
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