Sumter, Airport and Spring Valley all had strong showings at the Silver Foxes Invitational wrestling tournament at Dutch Fork last weekend.
Sumter, ranked No. 14 in the latest Class 4A poll released by scmat.com, nipped seven-ranked Dutch Fork for second place in the final team standings behind champion Beaufort. The Gamecocks closed with 152.5 points to 152 for host Dutch Fork.
“I thought our guys did a great job of finishing their matches this past weekend,” said Sumter coach Matt Love.
“Any time you can come away from a tournament with seven placers and four champions you have to feel good. We’ve had a rough start so far in team competition, and I’m hoping this is the spark we will need to help get us where we know we can be. We still have some younger guys who have to learn what it means to wrestle the full six minutes, but I feel once they understand that we can be very competitive.”
Matt Devine (135), Hayden Raabe (145), Trevor Jahnke (215) and Josh O’Connor (285) all went 5-0 at the tournament and picked up gold medals for their trouble. David Baldwin was 4-1 and finished second at 152 pounds. Peter Hackett (112) and T.J. Colvin (171) both won five of their six bouts to secure consolation titles.
Airport, ranked 10th in Class 3A, and Spring Valley fell in behind the top three teams. The Eagles finished in four place with 137 points, while surprising Spring Valley was fifth with 108.5 points.
Airport did very well, considering senior standouts Matt Olmer and Chris Phillips were not in the lineup.
Brandon Turner paced the Eagles with a 5-0, first-place performance at 112. Adam Welch (125), Jamie Sires (130), Justin Kelly (285), Forrest Padget (119) and Austin Burchfield (285) all finished with just one loss during the two-day affair. Welcon, Sires and Kelly all finished 4-1 and earned runner-up honors. Padget was 4-1 and earned a consolation title. Burchfield went 3-1 and also finished in third place. Jimmy Barker (135), Ross Quigley (152) and Tyler Goette (160) all went 2-2 and had fourth-place finishes.
Spring Valley’s improved early-season showing continued. The highlight this week was a championship run by Kyle Stiffler at 103 points. Stiffler is off to a 12-3 start individually.
Antonio Williams (145) and Nate Weaver (215) both lost 1-point decisions in the championship finals. It was the second silver medal for Weaver this season. Williams and Weaver also sport 12-3 individual records to date. First-year senior Chris Johnson, who is 8-5 to date, was the Vikings’ other runner-up at 140.
Ariel Roblero (112), Denzel Hart (119) and Justin Hennix (171) all helped the cause with fourth-place efforts. Roblero stands at 10-4 so far with Hart and Hennix at 9-4.