FORT MILL — Much like last year, the Region 3-AAAA wrestling tournament was dominated by stronger teams within the conference.
The individual tournament, held Saturday at Fort Mill, qualified wrestlers for the Upper State tournament Feb. 21-22 at Laurens High School. The top five wrestlers from each weight class qualified for the Upper State tournament.
Rock Hill led all teams with 14 wrestlers qualifying for the tournament, followed by 11 from South Pointe and 10 from Fort Mill.
“We had some great wrestling today,” said Bearcats coach Cain Beard. “I am pretty pleased with where we are and hope we do well in the Upper States.”
The Bearcats had nine wrestlers reach the finals of the tournament, with five of them winning Region titles.
The winning for Rock Hill started with Logan Sexton at 113-pounds, as he beat South Pointe’s Marvin Galette 13-7 to take the title. There was a drought for the Bearcats in the lower weights besides Sexton’s title until the middle weights came up with Kris Hughes winning at 152-pounds over South Pointe’s Michael Grubb by pin fall.
His win was followed by fellow Bearcat Cody Childers beating Northwestern’s Hunter Allen 19-6 for the 160-pound title. Rock Hill finished off the tournament with titles at 220-pounds and heavyweight (285).
The Bearcats’ Cameron Bell beat Clover’s Zach Conrad 2-1 in the closing seconds of the third period with a takedown for the win at 220 pounds and then Travis Strait beat York’s Ethan Whitesides 3-2 for the heavyweight region title.
South Pointe qualified 11 wrestlers, but only had two win region titles with Mike Miller winning at 132 pounds 3-2 over Fort Mill’s Nick Gray and Ricky Blackman beating Rock Hill’s Ben Demarest 8-1 at 170 pounds.
Miller was named Region 3 Wrestler of the Year after the tournament and Stallions coach Eddie Cook was named Region 3 Coach of the Year. The Stallions brought a full team of 14 wrestlers into the tournament.
“I thought we would be able to squeeze all of them in except maybe one,” Cook said. “We are still pretty young. All 11 I feel pretty good about.”
Fort Mill had 10 of the 11 wrestlers it fielded in the tournament qualify for the Upper State tournament and crowned five Region champs as well to match Rock Hill.
“We had some big wins in the semi-finals,” said Jackets’ coach Chris Brock. “We are pretty excited. Now is a good time to start improving as individuals and as a team.”
The Jackets’ AJ Leitten beat South Pointe’s Roderick Whitlock winning by pin fall in the second period at 106-pounds. Then Fort Mill’s Eddie Byrams beat Nick Steinberg by forfeit at 120-pounds.
Fort Mill’s Jake Strong beat the Bearcats’ Noah Mead 12-5 at 126-pounds during a heavily contested back-and-forth match between the two wrestlers and the Jackets’ Jack Debbout bulldozed Clover’s Harrison Priode pinning him in the first period to win the 145-pound title.
Fort Mill’s BJ Hurst finished out the Region title runs by the Jackets with a first period pin fall over Northwestern’s Eli Judd at 195-pounds.
The only other two Region title winners, that didn’t belong to Rock Hill, Fort Mill or South Pointe was York’s Cole Rumfelt at 132-pounds and Lancaster’s Quinshun Evans at 182-pounds.
Rumfelt beat Nation Ford’s Michael Allen 10-4 and Evans beat Rock Hill’s Stephen Chesney 12-5.
York, Nation Ford and Northwestern qualified eight wrestlers for the Upper State tournament. Clover qualified seven and Lancaster qualified four.
2014 Region III-AAAA Tournament Placers
Key: Clover (C), Fort Mill (FM), Lancaster (L), Nation Ford (NF), Northwestern (NW), Rock Hill (RH), South Pointe (SP), York (Y).
106: 1. AJ Leitten (FM), 2. Roderick Whitlock (SP), 3. Michael Avore (Y), 4. Coleman Hoffman (RH), 5. Austin Oldenburg (C).
113: 1. Logan Sexton (RH), 2. Marvin Galette (SP), 3. John Brotemarkle (FM), 4. Karson McCarter (C), 5. Michael Chumswang (NW).
120: 1. Eddie Byrams (FM), 2. Nick Steinberg (RH), 3. Nathan Stradford (SP), 4. Collin Godbout (NF), 5. Matt Brazzell (L).
126: 1. Jake Strong (FM), 2. Noah Mead (RH), 3. Tarik Beaulieu (SP), 4. Scotty Walker (L), 5. Ben Cripe (NF).
132: 1. Mike Miller (SP), 2. Nick Gray (FM), 3. Jharee Kerns (C), 4. Tyler Wilkins (RH), 5. Sergio Armendariz (NW).
138: 1. Cole Rumfelt (Y), 2. Michael Allen (NF), 3. Antravious Page (SP), 4. Babe Rigby (RH), 5. Nigel Bostick (FM).
145: 1. Jack Debbout (FM), 2. Harrison Priode (C), 3. Christian Moore (RH), 4. Houston Vandiver (NF), 5. Brandon Moiser (L).
152: 1. Kris Hughes (RH), 2. Michael Grubb (SP), 3. Jamison Humburg (NW), 4. Robert Land (NF), 5. Evan Stankovits (FM).
160: 1. Cody Childers (RH), 2. Hunter Allen (NW), 3. Joe Bryant (C), 4. Sean Davis (NF), 5. James Good (Y).
170: 1. Ricky Blackmon (SP), 2. Ben Demarest (RH), 3. Brett Sullivan (NW), 4. Sam Ferguson (Y), 5. Justin Ettell (NF).
182: 1. Quinshun Evans (L), 2. Stephen Chesney (RH), 3. Kobe Tate (NW), 4. Thomas Wilkerson (Y), 5. Major Strait (NF).
195: 1. BJ Hurst (FM), 2. Eli Judd (NW), 3. Emilo Navarez (RH), 4. Evan Danehower (Y), 5. Jeremiah Sadler (SP).
220: 1. Cameron Bell (RH), 2. Zach Conrad (C), 3.Chance Kelly (Y), 4. Naychon Gregory (NW), 5. Corey Morgan (SP).
285 (Hwt.): 1. Travis Strait (RH), 2. Ethan Whitesides (Y), 3. Nick Adams (SP), 4. Matt Neill (FM), 5. Jack McGivern (C).