High School Sports

DF's Williams closes fine career on perfect note

Dutch Fork’s Marshall Williams closed out a perfect senior season and an outstanding wrestling career by winning his second straight 285-pound state championship at the Class 4A tournament last weekend in Rock Hill.

Williams was never seriously challenged in the final phase of his quest for senior glory – pinning Garrett Passatore of Fort Mill in the first period in the first round, defeating Wren’s John Michael Prichett 9-3 in the semifinals and mastering Michael Sellers of reigning state champion Fort Dorchester 10-3 in the title bout.

In the end, Williams finished with a 48-0 record in his final prep campaign after going 52-2 in his first full varsity season in 2008-09. The Silver Foxes strongman was a state junior varsity champion at 189 in his sophomore year.

Williams’ latest triumph netted Dutch Fork its 30th state gold medal. Only eight other schools have earned more individual gold than DF, even though the program did not debut until the 1992-93 season. Since 1993, only five programs have had more state title bout wins – Eastside (47), Summerville (45), Lugoff-Elgin (41), Rock Hill (35) and Chesterfield (31).

Moreover, Williams became the eighth man in program history to retire with multiple state championships. The group features three-time winners Josh Brindle (1996-98), Kyle Kimrey (2001, 2003-04) and Cornelius Selke (2004-06). The two-timers are Steve Valponi (1998-99), Careef Robinson (2001-02), T.J. Selke (2002-03), Nick Leone (2002-03) and now Robinson, who is the only Silver Fox to ever win in the heavyweight division.

Teammates Colin Studemeyer and John Brannigan also competed at state. Studemeyer, a junior who who was plagued by injuries last season, closed a 40-9 season with a 2-2, fourth-place performance at 130. Brannigan, a three-time state qualifier, closed at 35-6 but did not place at 135. Brannigan was eliminated in a 7-5 loss to White Knoll’s Jamal Lackey in the consolation semifinals.