This weekend was a big weekend for college wrestling in the Palmetto State. Both of our college programs were in action having good showings at some of the first competitions of the year.
Anderson College participated in the 22nd Annual Pembroke Open in North Carolina. The Trojans had a good showing from some young members of their team as well as key veterans from the squad. At 141 Gerry Braun and Steve Valoponi (Dutch Fork) both made the finals and were named CO-CHAMPS. Steve was a 2x SC state champ and won his quarter and semi-finals by a score of 8-0. Also claiming the title this weekend was freshmen sensation Careef Robertson. Careef needed double overtime to hold on for the win at 174. This is Careef's second college wrestling tournament and second title in as many tries. Rounding out performances for the Trojans this weekend were former state runner-up and Hillcrest high product Christian Aponte. Aponte was 2-2 in his first college action at 149 along with teammate Brent Poynter from Eastside high school 1-2 at 165lbs, and Clyde Pollock former SC state champ from Dutch Fork was 0-2.
One of the biggest surprises of the weekend was Adam Bessinger, 2001 SC state champ from Battery Creek, pinning Clyde Pollock and 4 others to win the Pin Award (most pins in least amount of time). Adam is now wrestling at the Apprentice School in Newport News, VA.
Big news from the weekend was The Citadel having a great showing at the West Virginia Open this past weekend in Morgantown, WVa. The bulldogs saw standout performances from former 3x state champion and NHSCA runner-up Ryan McClester from Lugoff Elgin high school who lost in the finals to a nationally ranked opponent from West Virginia University 8-6. The bulldogs also had great performances from New Jersey and Michigan natives Sean Markey and Dan Thompson. Markey finished 2nd at 133lbs losing to nationally ranked Marat Tomaev of Penn State 14-9. Sean also beat former 3x PA state champ Matt Cisualli from Easton high school earlier in the tournament. Freshmen Dan Thompson finished 3rd in the tournament at 149 wrestling a great tournament in his college debut. Look for bright things this year from all three of these wrestlers. Also from our own state Troy Bartges, former state champ from Stratford High, also had a great tournament finishing with 4 wins and losing in the quarter finals in double overtime. Troy is making big strides to finish out his last college year on top. Great job South Carolina natives and keep up the good work. I hope to keep you all posted and informed on what is going on with South Carolina College Wrestling every week.
This weekend The Citadel will be in Annapolis, Maryland at the Navy Classic.