Sumter enjoyed a successful wrestling season a year ago, and the veteran Gamecocks are looking to make bigger strides this time around. The Gamecocks went 29-7 in dual matches, won the Region 6-4A championship, advanced to the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs and finish 13th at the season-ending traditional state tournament.
“We look to build on the awesome year we had last season, which involved top ten finishes in seven of the 10 tournaments we competed in, and finished in the top 4 on four of those occasions,” said coach Matthew Love.
“ feel we have a solid group of wrestlers returning, most of which have started since their freshman year. We have some good young guys filtering up in the system who are going to give us some stability for years to come. We have a chance to be better than last year if we work hard to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves. We have an extremely tough schedule, but hopefully we can stay healthy and continue to improve each week.”
The veteran core of the team features sophomore Peter Hackett (29-16 at 103), junior Korey Paige (23 wins at 112), junior Josh Anderson (56 career wins), junior Matt Devine (36-13 last year, 63 career wins), senior Ross Watson (17-8 last year), junior Hayden Raabe (31-17 last year), junior T.J, Clovin (16 wins at 160-171), senior Eric Porte (27-15 last season, 50 career wins), junior Trevor Jahnke (28-10 last season) and junior David Baldwin.
The top newcomers figure to be freshman Jacob Lecours (103/112), sophomore Payton Chappel (130) and sophomore Josh O’Connor (215).