The Columbia High wrestling program took a nice step up last season and the Capitals look to keep the forward momentum going in 2010-11.
The Caps finished the season with an 18-9 dual match record, finished second in the region standings and produced a state champion in senior Trey Leonard.
“With the loss of Trey Leonard we’ll need more guys to step up in the room, but our team should be competitive this year,” said coach Joe Lovier, who is in his fifth season in command.
“He brought a lot of leadership and toughness to our room. We have three returning state qualifiers and they are working extremely hard to place at state this year and earn a picture on the wall in the wrestling room. The new people we have should help our team win some matches. We're in a tough region with Gilbert, Strom Thurmond, Keenan, and Eau Claire, but our goal is to win the region championship this year and make it pastthe first round of the playoffs.”
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The top returning starters include junior Nate Harper, a two-time region champion and state qualifier, sophomore Mikel Nelson and junior Randu Medina. Nelson and Medina were region champions and state qualifiers last year.
The rest of the returning cast includes senior Davonne Montgomery, junior William Childs, senior Jacob Anderson, sophomore John Hargrove, sophomore Shelton Canzater and junior DaVonte Graham.
Lovier has three potential impact newcomers in senior Anthony Thompson, freshman Xavier Branscum and freshman Kelvin Williams. Thompson, a transfer from Hampton, VA, has plenty of experience and could be a strong contender at the individual state tournament in February. Branscum is a transfer from the solid Fort Dorchester program. Williams is a homegrown program from the middle school team.