High School Sports

Dreher's Johnson, Cook off to 3A state finals

Seniors Corey Johnson and Justin Cook will carry Dreher’s colors at the Class 3A state wrestling tournament this weekend at Lexington.

Johnson (38-4) made the grade by winning the 152-pound consolation title at the Lower State qualifying meet at Bluffton on Saturday. Cook (29-7) moved on by finishing fourth in the Lower State at 160.

“All in all, I think we accomplished some of the goals we set out with this season,” said first-year Dreher coach Jason Sandifer, a former Blue Devils grappler. “My biggest concern was the transition the kids had to a new coach, and I think things went pretty well.”

Though Johnson and Cook are long shots, they have the chance to become Dreher’s first state wrestling champion since 1998, or at least the first state finalists since 2004. Both have tough first-round matches on tap. Cook squares off against Chapin’s Ben Monroe, a two-time state fourth-place finisher. Johnson drews Upper State champion David Dawkins of mighty Eastside. Dawins bagged the 3A consolation championship at 189 last season.

The Blue Devils almost made a much larger state cast, but Joel Porter (125), Jason Barman (145), Lamar Johnson (171) and Chris Green (215) all fell in the colsolation semifinals.