T L Hanna
AAAA Upper State Wrestling Window
Wrestling season is almost here… here are some quick facts, polls, and analysis to get everyone geared up and ready for the upcoming wrestling season.
Note: top four teams from each region will make the playoffs…the winner of region three will have a bye/forfeit in the first round of state duals because region four only has three schools.
Look for Mauldin and T.L. Hanna to pick up some slack and battle out for second position in this region. Westside placed had two seniors place fourth in the state last year, I would expect them to see competition from Easley and Greenwood in the bottom half of the region this year.
Obviously the big news in region 1 this year is another coaching turnover at Hillcrest, who has dominated the region since 1993. Keith Brewer is now the interim head coach for the Rams. Mauldin was within two matches of defeating Hillcrest last year for the first time since 1992, and with another coaching change, look for Hillcrest to have their first region loss in over ten years. Region 1 has voted to wrestle each team twice, so the winner of this region will more than likely have one loss.
Note: Region I will wrestle 10 duals on 10 dates, no tri matches are scheduled.
Lookout for these Individuals
Brad Miller (2002 103 SQ-Mauldin, JR)
Rocky Bolden (2002 119 SQ-Hanna, JR)
Stephen Fulmer (2002 119 SQ-Hillcrest, JR)
Kevin Smith (2002 140 SQ-Mauldin, SR)
Tim McGaha (2002 152 SQ-Mauldin, SR)
Chris Washington (2001 152 1st-Hillcrest, SR)
Look for defending champion Byrnes to cakewalk through this region. Although many talented wrestlers were lost to graduation, I believe Byrnes is ready to reload and compete. Laurens has the best shot at runner-up in this region, followed closely by Gaffney. After a disappointing region tournament last year, look for Gaffney to take advantage of not being in the same region as Fort Mill, Rock Hill, and Northwestern and slip into the playoffs. Dorman and Spartanburg are both traditional football schools, however they are not traditional wrestling schools. Dorman hired Dutch Fork’s assistant coach, look for new and impressive things from the Cavaliers.
Lookout for these Individuals
Brandon Goen (2002 103 3rd-Byrnes, JR)
Michael Franks (2002 125 SQ-Laurens, SR)
Cole Wilson (2000 103 SQ, 2002 125 3rd-Byrnes, SR)
Brandon Franks (2002 130 SQ-Laurens, JR)
J.J. Davis (2002 130 4th-Byrnes, SO)
Alonzo Azumendi (2002 152 SQ-Byrnes, SR)
Warren Pressley (2002 152 SQ-Spartanburg, SR)
Michael Campbell (2001 145 SQ-Gaffney, SR)
Defending champion Irmo, now in lower state, second place Lexington, now in region IV. This switches Spring Valley, Ridge View, and Lancaster from the lower state to this region, along with the three Rock Hill area schools. Coach Chris Brock has put together a staff and has the building blocks together for a dominating program in the near future…can that be this year? With hopes of adding Robby Bell as an assistant coach in January, this program has the family ties of brother and Fort Mill assistant Tommy Bell to woo this coaching prospect away from many big name schools.
Twelve returning starters are the key for the Spring Valley Vikings. Although SV only has two returning state qualifiers, they’re dual strength last year, twelve returning starters, and consistent head coaching has to put them as the favorites in region III. Rock Hill will have many challenges ahead of them. Fort Mill and Spring Valley both defeated Rock Hill last year. With four returning state qualifiers, look for Wash’s Bearcats to make some noise as an underdog in the top tier of the region, and state. Ridge View has an individual here and there; a solid team is not yet in the works to compete in the toughest wrestling region in the state. Northwestern has slipped of late, and Lancaster should fill out the last spot in the region.
Chris Jackson (2002 103 4th-Rock Hill, JR)
Tristan Horan (2002 103 SQ-Fort Mill, JR)
Brad Robinson (2002 103 SQ-Spring Valley, SR)
Roderick Wright (2001 103 SQ, 2002 112 3rd-Rock Hill, JR)
Jake Fordham (2001 112 SQ, 2002 112 SQ-Fort Mill, SR)
Antonio Knox (2001 112 SQ, 2002 119 4th-Northwestern, SR)
Dee Templeton (2001 103 SQ-Fort Mill, JR)
Jason Starnes (2002 145 SQ-Rock Hill, SR)
Randy Nazionale (2001 145 2nd, 2002 152 3rd-Ridge View, SR)
Will Kuhn (2002 160 1st-Spring Valley, SR)
Craig Albers (2002 160 3rd- Fort Mill, JR)
Josh Sabath (2002 171 SQ-Fort Mill, SR)
Michael Grase (2002 189 SQ-Rock Hill, JR)
Vince Santolla (2002 215 SQ-Fort Mill, JR)
Looks like Lexington will be the heavy favorite. Upstart White-Knoll, just moving up from AAA should have approximately two returning state qualifiers and no returning state placers. Rumor also has it that White Knoll is still in search of a wrestling coach…could a down Orangeburg-Wilkinson team finish second in the region???
T.J. Cofield (2002 112 SQ-Lexington, JR)
Michael Phelps (2001 125 SQ, 2002 135 SQ-Lexington, JR)
Ryan Reedy (2000 119 SQ, 2001 135 SQ, 2002 140 3rd-Lexington, SR)
Caleb Wilkes (2001 SQ-Lexington, SR)
A special thanks to Mr. Carpenter for maintaining scwrestling.com!!!