Beaufort County sending 29 high school wrestlers to finals after Lower State championships

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Beaufort County sending 29 high school wrestlers to finals after Lower State championships

By MIKE McCOMBS
mmccombs@islandpacket.com
Published Sunday, February 17, 2013   |  1131 Words  |  

Twenty-nine wrestlers from Beaufort County qualified in their respective Lower State meets for next weekend's State Individual Wrestling Championship in Anderson, led by Beaufort High's nine qualifiers.

"The wrestling in Beaufort County, both team-wise and individually, is something special," Beaufort High coach Bill Damude said.

In addition to the nine Eagles, Bluffton qualified three from the Class 4-A Lower State meet at Lugoff-Elgin High.

Hilton Head Island High tied for the Class 3-A lead with six qualifiers from the meet at St. James High.

And in Class 2-A/1-A, Battery Creek sends five to Anderson, while Whale Branch will be sending six from the meet at Edisto High.

Damude expected to advance somewhere between five and eight wrestlers, but the Eagles were near perfect, qualifying nine of their 10 wrestlers, including Lower State champions Trey Arant (160) and Clint Wright (195).

"We had a great tournament," Damude said. "Our boys wrestled with a lot of intensity. Nine is the most we've ever had. We had seven last year."

Damude was pleased with William Spann at 113 pounds, as well as Kentrell Seabrook (220) and Michael Holmes (152).

"Spann was one of the kids that was kind of on the bubble for us," Damude said. "We knew he'd have to upset a couple of people and he did. Qualifying as a freshman is a big deal for him.

"(Seabrook) had been wrestling JV up until this year, and I'm real happy Holmes qualified for state his senior year."

Damude thinks the Eagles could bring home a couple of state titles.

"We could have a couple of state champion, but four or five places would be great."

BLUFFTON

The Bobcats had three second-place finishers, but could have easily had three Lower State champions.

Levi Joly (113) didn't wrestle the championship match because of illness. Austin Farmer lost a tough 9-7 overtime decision to Lexington's Brandon Sheppard.

"He was up with about 30 seconds left, got tied up, went to overtime and lost on a tough call," Bluffton coach John Hollman said.

And Mike Meyerink (152) lost 7-3 to Summerville's Chad Wood.

"With our Lowers State as tough as it is, we only had six guys wrestle this weekend and three made the finals," Hollman said. "That's pretty impressive, especially in 4-A. The guys wrestled very well."

"I'm a little disappointed we didn't get Talon Seitz qualified," Hollmon said. "... But all of our returning state qualifiers are returning to state. It's the third time for Levi and Michael. And Austin has made four trips in four years. Hopefully the elusive state championship will go his way this year."

HILTON HEAD ISLAND

The Seahawks' six qualifiers were led by Label Lewis, the Lower State champion at 132 pounds. Lewis beat Myrtle Beach's Nick Silvestri in the final.

"I'm pleased," Hilton Head Island coach Mike Newton said. "We came in thinking that five would have been a realistic number. Any less than that would have been a disappointment. Six was nice. And of the nine that we brought, the ones that didn't make it were really close. We wrestled well."

The Seahawks' six qualifiers tied Hanahan and Socastee for the most from Lower State.

BATTERY CREEK

DeAndre Johnson (160) and Isaiah Sloan (195) brought home Lower State titles for Battery Creek.

Coach Jim Shuman said the Dolphins had a couple more that he though might have advanced, including Jimmy Sanchez (126), who was limited after suffering a head gash in practice earlier in the week. He finished a win short of qualifying for state.

"We had a lot of guys that went deep into the championship and consolation rounds," Shuman said. All in all, it was a good day for us. We have a young team, a couple of seniors and a lot of freshmen and sophomores. It was a great day. I'm looking forward to next week with these five guys."

WHALE BRANCH

"We had an amazing day," said Warriors coach Travis Wynn.

Whale Branch's six qualifiers, led by Lower State champion Max Ford (285), are the most in the school's three-year history.

Last year's two qualifiers, Ford and Mark Rivers (170), repeated this season.

"Honestly, we thought three or four might make it if they wrestled their hearts out," Wynn said. "Six was kind of a long shot. Max has a very good shot at making it to the finals."

Wynn, a former state champion in 2008 under coach Bill Damude at Beaufort High, is in his first season with the Whale Branch program.

"We only brought nine kids. We didn't have a full team all season and we went to dual meets with eight to 10 kids," said Wynn, who pointed out only one other school at 2-A/1-A qualified more -- Bamberg-Ehrhardt, and they won the state championship.

"Hopefully this will let (the students) know there's a wrestling team and they're pretty good," Wynn said. "It feels good to be a Whale Branch Warrior. The community is happy, and (the team has) exceeded expectations."

STATE QUALIFIERS

Area wrestlers who qualified Saturday for the S.C. Individual Finals (Feb. 22-23, Anderson) with their weight class and Lower State finish:

Class 4-A at Lugoff-Elgin High School

Beaufort High

106: Jake Sharp, second

113: William Spann, fourth

145: Forrest Kimbrell, third

152: Michael Holmes, fourth

160: Trey Arant, champion

182: Codrian Smalls, second

195: Clint Wright, champion

220: Kentrell Seabrookm, fourth

285: Tyler Wilson, second

Bluffton

113: Levi Joly, second

138: Austin Farmer, second

152: Mike Meyerink, second

Class 3-A, at St. James High School

Hilton Head Island

106: Matt Levy, third

113: Tyler Fick, fourth

126: Brock Massey, third

132: Label Lewis, champion

152: Trevon Rawls, fourth

195: JC Graham, second

Class 2-A/1-A, at Edisto High School

Battery Creek

106: Joseph Cuevas, second

138: Brian Labean, third

160: DeAndre Johnson, champion

195: Isaiah Sloan, champion

285: Jonathan Wright, third

Whale Branch

113: Chris Conn, fourth

126: Gavon Gardner, third

170: Mark Rivers, fourth

182: Juan Allen, fourth

195: Trey Nelson, third

285: Max Ford, champion