Sophomore Stuart Hope became the 21st champion in Chapin wrestling history last weekend, prevailing at 103 pounds at the Class 3A state tournament at Lexington.
Hope dominated Riverside’s Austin Such in the title bout, winning 9-2 with four takedowns along the way. Such’s only points came on two escapes. Hope’s success gave Chapin an overall 30-33 record in championship matches through the years. Only Summerville (87), Rock Hill (86), Swansea (70), Lugoff-Elgin (45), Greer (35) and James Island (34) have more title bout wins on the books.
Hope, who closed with a 40-6 season record, has a great chance to become Chapin’s 9th multiple state champion. The list includes three-time winners Jason Hazzard (1995-97) and Jeremy Mosley (1998-2000) and two-time champs Mike Shelble (1980-81), Joe Shelble (1980-81), Joe Hodges (1982-83), James Derrick (1993-94), David Garvey (1994-95) and Anthony DelPriore (1997-98).
Otherwise, sophomore Nate Polly was the runner-up at 125 and senior Ben Monroe emerged with the consolation championship at 152, but seniors Barrett Owens and Emerson Shaw failed to place.
Polly, who placed fourth at 112 in Class 4A last season when he was at Lexington, lost 6-0 to Lugoff-Elgin’s Justin McClester in the 125 title bout to finish with a 37-11 record. Monroe came out a winner in a consolation final for the first time after failed attempts in 2008 and 2007. He nipped Airport’s Josh Stevenson 6-5 in the third-place final to close his career with a fine 36-5 senior season record.
Owens and Shaw had disappointing performances in their last prep outings. Shaw, a two-time state runner-up and a four-time state qualifier, went 0-2 to set his senior season record at 29-7. Owens lost to Swansea’s Benjamin Willard, who won a state title in 2008 at 103, in the first round and was eliminated by Travis Gore of North Myrtle Beach. Shaw’s quest to at last earn a state place finish came up just a bit short. He was eliminated in the consolation semifinals, 2-1, by Lugoff-Elgin’s Stephen Bonaparte. Shaw finished with a 37-5 senior mark.