George Holstead failed in his quest to win a second state championship, but Marshall Williams kept Dutch Fork in the headlines at the Class 4A state wrestling tournament last weekend at Lexington.
Williams capped a 52-2 junior season by defeating South Pointe’s Ramon Trusedale 6-4 in the heayweight title about at the end of the two-day session. Williams pinned his way to the finals – nailing Blythewood’s Joey Starnes in the first round and Demetrius Sherman of Summerville in the semifinals.
In the process, Williams accounted for DF’s 29th state championship match win, and because the Silver Foxes first heavyweight champion. The Williams success also kept alive the program’s remarkable run of championship success. Dutch Fork has failed to produce at least one state champion only three times in the 17-year history of the program.
Holstead, who was a champion last season at 130, failed in his quest for a 135-pound title in his senior season. Holstead was pinned by Fort Dorchester’s Michael Young with two seconds to go in the title bout after losing to the Patriots junior standout in the Lower State championship match the week before. Holstead tied the score at 4-4 with an escape early in the third period, but Young took command with a takedown with 38 seconds to go and put Holstead on his back.
It was a tough way to go out for Holstead, who finished with a 40-4 record this season and a glittering 121-9 career record.
Overall, Dutch Fork had an outstanding tournament performance. All five Silver Foxes entries place, and the team finished in fourth place in the final standings with 67 points.
Seniors T.J. Cayruth (215) and Corey Koon (189) came away with consolation titles, and John Brannigan’s 2-2 showing was good for fourth place at 125.
Cayruth bounced back from a semifinal loss to eventual champion Adrian Stewart with wins over Stan Easterling of Gaffney and White Knoll’s Brandon Proveaux to earn a bronze medal for a third-place finish. Koon had the tougher road, winning three straight matches in the consolation bracket after losing to Laurens’ Hunter Smith in the first round. Koon nipped Clover’s Sam Curtis 3-2 in the consolation finale. Cayruth finished with a 48-7 season record and a 146-22 career mark. Koon closed with similarly solid season (48-5) and career (115-34) records.
Brannigan closed his junior season with a 44-10 mark.
“We had a strong senior class and a good, solid year,” said DF coach Ken Wilson. “We have a good junior class, and if they continue to work hard we should have another good season next year.”
Matt Dherchers (29-8 at 119) and Parker Leslie (33-9 at 152) are the other departing seniors.
The rest of the veterans expected to return include freshman Travis Kiser (12-12 at 103), sophomore A.J. Finley (30-21 at 112), junior Mark Stanton (20-6 at 119), junior Sam Grosse (10-8 at 119), junior Tanner Wannish (20-13 at 130), freshman Austin Koon (16-9 at 140), junior J.D. Studenmeyer (21-7 at 145), junior Zack Bregovi (16-11 at 145) and junior Adam Strothers (22-17 at 171).