Jonathan D. Duty
CHESTER — After failing to repeat as a two-time Class AAA state wrestling champion, Belton-Honea Path coach Chris Strickland hoped his Bears would manage to focus on postseason one-on-one tournaments. .
He was right.
Even though the South Carolina High School League does not “officially” recognize tag team champions in individual tournaments, BHP edged rival West-Oak (the two-time Class AAA champion), 206-199 “unofficially” Saturday at the tournament. Upper State at Chester High School.
The four state rankings will compete for the individual titles Friday and Saturday at the Anderson Civic Center. Wrestlers who placed in the top four of their respective weight classes at their respective Upper State tournaments qualified for the state tournament.
“If I could use one word, I would use resilient,” Strickland said. “They had every opportunity in the world to put their heads down after losing a heartbreaking game against West-Oak. They just didn’t. They came back ready to work the next day. It speaks to their work ethic and the kinds of kids they are; they did not give up within them. They’ve had a great week of training and I’m hopeful I can get the same from them as I prepare for next week.
The Bears have qualified nine wrestlers for the state wrestling tournament: Cooper Strickland (113), Jayden Morris (120), Jojo Morris (132), Eli Strickland (145), Cason Young (160), Grant Lawter (170) , Logan Lollis (182), Patrick Stone (195) and Zach Lawter (220).
Powdersville finished in sixth place with 91 points. The Patriots qualified four wrestlers for the state tournament: Noah Gregory (126), Landon Bishop (132), Dylan Brooks (138) and Nick Wattenbarger (152).
Other local Class AAA wrestlers who qualified for the state meet: June Welch (Woodruff, 106), Genaro DeLaGarza (Woodruff, 113), Brady Mitchell (Wren, 113), Sylas Woodard (Chapman, 120), Saber Woodard (Chapman, 145), Lucas Moore (Wren, 152), Andy Brock (Pendleton, 170), Josh Sams (Berea, 195), Brad Schamer (Woodruff, 220), Bryson Head (Blue Ridge, 220), Qwentin Welborn (Daniel, 285) and Cam Young (Woodruff, 285).
Hillcrest Wrestling Leads Class AAAAA Qualifiers
In the class AAAAA Upper State tournament, Hillcrest led the way with 212 points and eight wrestlers qualified for the state tournament. The Rams narrowly missed out on their fourth straight double championship. Their state qualifiers: Tyler Grindstaff (106), Colton Holmes (126), Trent Smith (132), Thomas Snipes (145), Hunter Jagodzinski (152), Ethan Ellinger (160), Jackson Harms (170) and Jacoreyn Byrd (285 ).
Dorman finished in fourth place with 159 points. The Cavaliers qualified five wrestlers for the state tournament: Curtis Hawkins (113), Owen Hendricks (152), Matthew Miller (182) and Christopher Moreno (195) and Alex Greene (285).
Byrnes finished in fifth place with 132.5 points. The Rebels qualified five wrestlers for the state tournament: Hampton Higdon (106), Noah Simpson (138), Asher Fink (152), David Hunsberger (160) and Caleb Melton (220).
Other local AAAAA class wrestlers who qualified for the state meet: Aaron Wilburn (Gaffney, 106), Nathan Fendley (TL Hanna, 113), Ayden Whisler (Boiling Springs, 113), Jack Doran (JL Mann, 120 ), Hagen Moon (TL Hanna, 126), Christopher Bridges (TL Hanna, 145), Kindley Dill (Wade Hampton, 160), Peyton Fisher (Mauldin, 182), Banks Mullen (Spartanburg, 182), Jack Price (Woodmont, 182), Daunte Bond (Gaffney, 195), Deacon Hege (Wade Hampton, 220) and Elijah Steckler (Riverside, 285).
Eastside qualifies nine wrestlers for the Class AAAA Championship
In the class AAAA Upper State tournament, Eastside led the way with 227.5 points. The Eagles, coming off their seventh straight state championship and 17th overall, qualified nine wrestlers for the state meet: Chris Thompson (106), Tyler Tice (113), George Maholtz (126), Colt Schrader (132), Lane Schrader (145), Jack Wyland (152), Baron Leonard (170), Roy Price (182) and Daniel Esparza (220).
Greer finished in fourth place with 110.5 points. The Yellow Jackets have qualified five wrestlers for national competition: Bradley Alexander (113), Chandler Sewell (120), Ja’len Shippy (132), David Misner (145) and Alex Gomez (160).
Greenville finished in seventh place with 83.5 points and also qualified five wrestlers for the state tournament: Brayden Belton (106), Jonathan Sligh (113), Grason Belton (126), Miquel Kilgore (132) and Marion Benson (170).
Other local Class AAAA wrestlers qualified for the state meet: Scott Spoden (Easley, 126), Dylan Coker (Travelers Rest, 132), Braylon Fuller (Westside, 138), Angela Spadaro (Pickens, 182), AJ Williams ( Westside, 220) and Jacob Tankersley (Travelers’ Rest, 220).
In the Class A/AA Upper State tournament, Tag Team Champion Ninety Six edged out last year’s Tag Team Champion Crescent 147-146. The Tigers qualified six wrestlers for the state tournament: Brady Adams (113), Aquan Taylor (126), Kade Williams (152), Kamrun Gentle (170), Elijah Richey (182) and Isaiah Ellis (195).
High Point Academy finished in third place with 127 points. The Grizzles have qualified seven wrestlers for the state tournament: Luke Johannes (106), Jay Brower (113), Lukas Crosby (138), Brendan Ross (160), Said Gasimov (182), Nick Ramirez (195) and Jeremiah Jackson (220). ).
Liberty finished in fourth place with 111.5 points. The Red Devils have qualified five wrestlers for the state tournament: Blake Chandler (120), Trent Burdette (132), Isaac Reece (138), Landon Teague (145) and Trinity Oglesby (285).
Other local Class A/AA wrestlers who qualified for the state meet: Ricky Henderson (Chesnee, 113), Charlie Humphries (Dixie, 120), Luke Hollifield (Chesnee, 120), Davis Smalley (Dixie, 126) , Aedan Mendoza (Chesnee, 126), Andrew Stoltzfus (Dixie, 132), Matt Wilson (St. Joseph’s, 138), Colton Link (Landrum, 138), Josh Miller (Dixie, 145), Kamden Sorgee (Landrum, 145) , Alex Eastland (160, Christ Church), Josh Moss (Landrum, 170) and Austin Phillips (Landrum, 182).