Five Midlands wrestlers emerged as individual champions on Saturday at the Zaxby’s Blue Devil Invitational at Dreher.
Octavious Davis of Lower Richland, Evan Carrigan of Westwood, Dylan Crossland of Swansea, Louis Wilson of Columbia and Seth Ham of Cardinal Newman went undefeated in their respective weight classes to claim gold medals.
Davis, who is ranked No. 1 at 106 pounds by scmat.com, went 4-0 at the tournament, defeating Dutch Fork’s Aaron Burton in the title bout.
Carrigan (3A No. 4 at 120 pounds) put on an impressive show with three pins and one technical fall, including a pin of William Spann in the championship final.
Crossland scored a pin and three decisions on the way to the 126 title. He defeated Sean Horgan of Hillcrest in the finale. The Tigers senior is ranked No. 3 by scmat.com and is a two-time state qualifier who placed fourth at 126 a year ago.
Wilson scoffed four wins by decision to bag the 160 prize. The decisive win came against Dreher’s Jason Carter in a showdown between two top-ranked men. Wilson, No. 1 in 2A, was a state runner-up at 152 pounds a year ago. Carter came into the tournament ranked No. 1 in 3A.
Seth Ham, a sophomore, had a dominant performance at 182 – posting four pins, including a fall against Beaufort’s Eric Blakey in the title match.
Burton, Carter, Dutch Fork’s Kelly Kircher (138), Chapin’s Jack O’Neil (195), Airport’s Kaishawn King (220) and Camden’s Robert Warnock (285) all went 3-1 and finished in second place at the respective weights.
Here is a review of all Midlands entries in the 29-team field:
Chapin: The Eagles led the 17-team Midlands contingent with a 124 points, good for fourth place. Chapin had no individual champions but four Eagles placed. In addition to O’Neil, Nick Shealy went 4-1 and placed third at 145 and Sam Holaday and Austin Jefforords finished fourth. Holaday went 3-2 at 160 pounds, while Jefforords was 4-2 at 285. Paul Collingwood (3-2 at 113), Taylor Cabe (3-2 at 126), Nick Martini 2-2 at 152), Steffan Washington (2-2 at 170) and Trent Hodges (2-2 at 182) all made significant contributions to the team score. Martini and Washington made it to the semifinals before hitting the wall.
Dutch Fork: The Silver Foxes scored 116.5 points and finished in sixth place. The headliners were Burton and Kircher, but Josh Davis, Justin Mitchell and James Estelle all contributed four wins to the cause. Davis and Mitchell both went 4-1 to claim consolation honors at 138 and 152, respectively. Estelle did not place but went 4-2 even though he lost in the first round.
Westwood: Carrigan was the star for the second-year Redhawks, but Emmanuel Scott (3-2 at 285), Marlin Grant (2-2 at 106), Kelvin Williams (2-2 at 113), Richard Hall (2-2 at 160), Desean Harrington (2-2 at 170) and Karrington Hicks (2-2 at 182) all contributed to the team’s seventh-place finish and 115.5 points. Grant and Williams both reach the semifinal round before faltering.
Swansea: The Tigers placed eighth in the team standings with 106 points with Crossland, Darius Major, Devin Johnson and Skylar Smoak leading the way. Major and Johnson secured consolation titles with a 4-1 runs at 132 and 285, respectively. Smoak was 3-2 and just missed making the tor four cut at 145.
Columbia: The Capitals had five wrestlers place – the best showing of any Midlands entry – but the lack of depth resulted in 100 team points and a ninth-place finish. Wilson was the only Columbia man in the finals. Kimone Shaw went 5-1 and placed third at 170 pounds. Sam Bennett (5-2 at 152), Kalil Collins (4-2 at 106) and Justin Fraser (3-2, at 195) all placed fourth.
Lower Richland: The Diamond Hornets cracked the top 10 with 89.5 points. Davis, the top-ranked 3A man at 103, led the way, while Keric Griffin went 3-2 and finish fourth at 220. Robert Shiver (3-2 at 195) and Lawrence Tucker (2-2 at 182) were the other key contributors.
Cardinal Newman: The SCISA Cardinals finished 11th with 89 points. Nate Petit, who went 3-2 and finished fourth at 145 points, was the lone CN place winner, though Mitch Pennington (126) and Bernie Herbkersman (152) finished with identical 3-2 tournament records.
Dreher: The host Blue Devils placed 14th with 80.5 points. Carter and Kenyatta Bush were the only Dreher entries to place. Bush went 4-1 and finished third at 120. Shyheim Grant wasd the best of the rest with a 3-2 showing at 170.
Brookland-Cayce: The Bearcats finished 17th with 73 points. Patterson’s silver medal effort was the highlight. Cory Jump turned in a 4-1 performance at 220 points that was good for a consolation title. Dannie Williams did not place, but went 3-2 at 182.
Hammond: The defending SCSIA champion Shyhawks shared 18th place with 66.5 points. Junior Gantt Castles, a four-time SCISA champion, was the only Hammond man to place. His 4-2 effort at 126 was good for fourth place.
Airport: The Eagles finished 21st with 61 team points. King was the individual star. Austin Waters advanced to the semifinals at 106 and finished 2-2 and out of the money.
Camden: The Bulldogs posted 56.5 points and finished 23rd. Warnock was the leader, but Dymear Atkinson (106), Xavier White (195) and Timothy King all finished with 3-2 records.
Blythewood: Derek Lane and Chris Vaughn had solid showings for the Bengals, who finished 24th with 44 points.
Gilbert: Madison Leitner, the No. 2 ranked 3A man at 120 pounds, accounted for the bulk of the Indians’ 42 team points with a 4-2, fourth place effort.
Heathwood Hall: Red Pansegrau’s 3-2 showing at 145 was the highlight for the SCISA Highlanders, who finished with 29 team points.
A.C. Flora: Christian Washington had the best performance for the Falcons, who compiled 28 team points. Washington advanced to the semifinals at 195 pounds and closed with a 2-2 record.
Ridge View: Willie Webb (2-2 at 138) was the only Blazer entry to avoid a losing tournament record. The team managed 23 points.