Chapin’s Stuart Hope closed out an outstanding career by winning his third straight state championship last weekend in Anderson. The Eagles senior retires as one of 78 wrestlers in the 43-season history of the sport in South Carolina to earn at least three gold medals.
This time, Hope did it at 119 after ruling at 112 and 103 pounds. He qualified, but did not place as a freshman in 2008.
Hope began his relentless march with a first-period pin of Robert Cunningham of York, followed by a 13-3 decision over Jalen Chapman of Greer in the semifinals and a 5-0 win over BHP’s Kyle Lowe in the title bout. That closed the book on a glorious, 50-2 senior season.
Hope helped Chapin finish second in the team standings behind Eastside. The Eagles finished with 85 points and had six wrestlers come away with place finishes.
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Scott Swindell joined Hope in the winner’s circle with a 12-2 win over Fort Mill’s Jonathan Miskelly in the 152-pound championship match. Swindell, a junior who placed fourth at 152 a year ago, finished with a 44-7 record.
Thanks to Hope and Swindell, Chapin now has 34 state title match wins on the books – good for a tie for seventh place with James Island on the all-time list.
The big surprise was the failure by Nate Polly to secure a second state championship. The senior standout suffered a 4-2 semifinal loss to Eastside’s James Jones, but rebounded to claim consolation honors by going 2-0 in the consolation bracket. Polly, a four-time state place finished, finished with a 51-4 season record. Along the way, Polly finished first, second, third and fourth at various weights.
Devin Lawrence was Chapin’s other championship finalist. He fell 9-4 to West-Oak’s Phillip Kern in the 171 finale, setting his season mark at 34-10.
Chase Owens (3-1, third place at 135) and Scott Stevens (2-2, fourth place at 160) were the Eagles other place finishers.
Chris Green was the only Dreher qualifier to place. The Blue Devil senior went 2-2 to finished fourth at 215 pounds, capping a 44-9 campaign.