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Hey wrestling fans I have been off a few weeks now with my college

corner but I'm back with some great news on our current South Carolina

wrestling stars. Most notably The Citadel wrestling team has been very active

over the Christmas break wrestling in a Quad Match with Army, American

University, and Franklin & Marshall, the Beast of the East college tourney in

Newark, Delaware, 2 wrestlers were invited and competed in the 40 annual

Midlands, and most recently they had a dual match with Campbell University

last night in Charleston SC.


       The Bulldogs were led over break by Ryan McClester at 125lbs winning

all three of his matches in the Army Quad (2 by pins), a third place finish

in the Beast of the East, being invited and attending the Midlands, however

losing two hard fought matches. The first in 2OT and the second by a

point to two nationally ranked wreslters from Penn State and Hofsta. Last

night in the dual with Campbell, Ryan lost another tough match in 2OT. Ryan

has been a bright spot on the team this year and the coaching staff simply

sees Ryan getting better and better.


       Also over the break Vince Bartges, Troy Bartges, and John Bohren all

competed in duals and tournaments over the break. At the Beast of the East

Vince placed 5th with a 3-1 win over his own teammate Dan Thompson. Most

recently John and Vince won their matches against Campbell University with a

pin and technical fall at 184 and 149 respectively. Both have had solid

seasons and are looking for bright things to come when Southern Conference

action picks up in a few weeks.


       Other action taking place in South Carolina this week was Anderson

College defeating Pensecola Christian 36-12. The Trojans were led by wins

from Steve Valponi and Careef Robertson both from Dutch Fork High School. Two

other former South Carolina State Champions were Brent Poynter and Clyde

Pollock who scared the competition away with their massive muscular build.

Actually they just recieved forfeits in the match to help the Trojans to a

huge win in their first dual meet of the year. The Trojans will go to VA.

this weekend for the Virginia Duals. Good luck to them and they will need it

because this is a traditionally tough tournament. Great the see our South

Carolina teams going out and getting good competition.


       Other former South Carolina stars on the college scene have also fared

well this Christmas break. Nationally ranked Travis Drake from Appalachian

State has been busy competing in the 40th annual Midlands. Travis however was

tripped up in his two opening matches and went 0-2 on the day. But it is a

great honor to even be invited to this event because it is one of the most

storied wrestling tournaments in our country. January 5th we saw Travis'

Appalachian State win the Millersville "Shorty  Hitchcock Memorial"

Tournament. It is named after the legendary Millersville Coach who passed

away last year. Travis Drake won the individual title at 133. At 125 Terrance

Thompson finished in 5th place and also competed in the Sunshine Open down in

Florida over break. I spoke with T.T. over break and he said he was doing

well, he won some matches at the Sunshine Open however he fell short of



       Another South Carolina Star on the College Scene this Christmas break

was Myron Drayton from Berkley High School now competing at Delaware State

College. Myron placed 5th at the Beast of the East tournament with a win for

5th place over The Citadel's Mike Martinez 4-3.



Its got to be Sean Markey of The Citadel at 133 lbs. Sean is now currently

ranked 18th and 19th in two seperate polls and has beaten several top ranked

wrestlers in the nation. He has been in 4 championships finals at 4

tournaments he has competed in while only winning one title. Sean was invited

to and particpated well at the 40th Annual Midlands where he was 3-2 with 2

pins and a major dec over the number 10 ranked wrestler. Sean also has

avenged a defeat he suffered last year in the Southern Conference finals to

none other than Travis Drake from Appalachian State and a South Carolina

Native. Sean is having a tremendous year and well look for even more

accomplishments and championships to follow. Keep up the good work Sean.






Press releases from the Citadel:





CHARLESTON, S.C. ---- The Citadel picked apart Campbell University with wins at the seven of the ten weight classes.  The night was highlighted by falls at the 133, 149, 184 and 197-pound weight classes. 




The most stirring match of the night came in the 125-pound weight class between The Citadel’s Ryan McClester and Campbell’s star Andy Bricker.  Bricker was able to ride out McClester to win a sudden death victory (2-2).




At 133-pounds, nationally ranked (18) Sean Markey stuck Luke Francis in a time of 2:10.




Bricker’s brother Adam defeated Bulldog Mike Martinez in the 141-pound weight class scoring a major decision 14-5.




149-pounder Vince Bartges worked over Elliot Berger scoring a technical fall (17-1) late in the third period. 




The Citadel’s 157-pound Travis Piccard notched a major decision (14-4) versus Victor Arena.




At 165-pounds Campbell’s Adam Rees slid by Bulldog James Rose 8-6.




Citadel captain Keith Clifton scored four team points for the Bulldogs by defeating Jonathen Carlisle 13-2. 




Bulldogs John Bohren and Jordan Everett added six team points each by pinning Brian Hocum (4:12) and Josh McConnell (5:40).




Heavyweight Billy Linane added three team points to give the Bulldogs a 34-10 advantage by slipping past Dennis Campbell 6-5. 


“We won a lot of matches that we thought we could win,” stated head coach Rob Hjerling.  “It’s nice to know we can come in and dominate when we need to.  The 125-pound match was important and we are disappointed we didn’t pull it off, but we have to move on.”




The Citadel will move on as they prepare for the North Carolina State Duals January 11 in Raleigh, NC.  The teams competing are Binghamton, Duke and NC State.  The next home affair will be January 14 in McAlister Field House versus Carson Newman.



Making his mark


Citadel sophomore earns national ranking



Of The Post and Courier Staff


Sean Markey's parents plopped him on a wrestling mat when he was just five years old.


Sometimes, it seems to Markey, he's been on a mat ever since.


"I don't know how it would be not to wrestle," said Markey, a sophomore at The Citadel and the first Bulldog wrestler to be nationally ranked in years.


Markey, ranked No. 18 in the nation at 133 pounds, has announced himself as a candidate for All-America honors this season with victories over two nationally ranked wrestlers in recent weeks. He'll put his 21-5 record (with a dominating 11 pins) on the line today when the Bulldogs host Campbell at McAlister Field House.


Markey's early entry into wrestling was no surprise, given that he is from Randolph, N.J., in the heart of wrestling country.


"Most Division I All-Americans come from the states of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania," said Citadel coach Rob Hjerling.


In New Jersey, Markey said, parents put their kids on the mats the way parents here sign up their kids for tee-ball.


"It's like football is in Texas or Florida," Markey said. "Wrestling is our sport. It's on the front page of the newspaper. It's just a lot different in New Jersey."


Markey, son of a New Jersey fireman, followed an older brother into wrestling and devoted himself full-time to the punishing sport when he was about 12 years old, dropping baseball and football. At Randolph High School, he had a 115-9 career record and was 37-1 as a senior, finishing as the state runner-up at 130 pounds.


"You finish state runner-up in New Jersey," Hjerling said, "that's saying something."


Markey had a solid freshman year at The Citadel, with a 25-14 record and a second-place finish in the Southern Conference championships, helping The Citadel to its most wins since 1991 and to third place in the SoCon. But three losses to Appalachian State's Travis Drake kept Markey from qualifying for the NCAA tournament.


"That guy put me through a lot of frustration last year," Markey said.


That frustration fueled an off-season workout regimen that has paid dividends this season. Markey avenged those losses to Drake with a victory over the two-time SoCon champion, then ranked 13th in the nation, at the UNC Open.


Last week at the Midlands Championships in Chicago, Markey took a 10-2 victory over No. 9-ranked Urijah Faber of Cal-Davis. Markey went 3-2 at the Midlands tournament, with one loss to No. 7 Josh Moore of Penn State.


Those results have Markey and Hjerling eyeing the NCAA championships in March, where Markey could earn All-America status with a top-eight finish.


"I definitely think he has a shot," said Hjerling, in his fourth year at The Citadel. "With his style, he's capable of beating some of the best wrestlers in the country, as he has shown this season. If he gets on a roll and meets the right kind of wrestlers in March, he could do it.


"For now, our focus is to make him a better wrestler, so he can beat wrestlers who don't have a problem with his style ... We always talk about reaching your full potential. And for Sean to reach his, he's looking to be an All-American or a national champion. Being ranked 19th, that's not where he wants to be."


For Markey, that means more years of keeping his own weight down while lifting weights and putting in grueling hours in The Citadel's wrestling room on the second floor of Vandiver Hall.


"People don't know what it's like," he said. "You go through a three-hour workout where you and your wrestling partner are trying to break each other."


Those three hours are worth the seven-minute payoff come match time.


"It's just one-on-one," Markey said. "It's not like football, where there are 11 guys. It's one-on-one, and after seven minutes, you get your hand raised. It's one of the only sports where you can actually see the results of how much time you spend and how hard you work.


"Being ranked, that's an honor," he said. "It represents the hard work I've been putting in my whole life. But I'm working to go higher."