For the second straight year, a Fort Mill wrestler has earned All-American status.
Freshman Jonathan Miskelly was one of three Fort Mill wrestlers to compete at the NHSCA High School National Wrestling Championships in Virginia Beach, Va., recently. Miskelly, sophomore Max Simons and junior Thomas Mockridge all went to the event with Miskelly placing high enough to be name All-American.
"It was pretty neat to have him standing on that podium," Fort Mill head wrestling coach Chris Brock said.
The event attracted more than 3,000 wrestlers from across the U.S. competing in 14 weight classes at several different grade levels. The event is divided up among grade status with Miskelly wrestling in the freshman grade level at 145 pounds. Simons wrestled in the sophomore grade level at 171 pounds and Mockridge wrestled in the junior grade level at 145 pounds.
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Mockridge went 0-2 in the tournament while Simons, who made All-American status last year as a freshman for Fort Mill, missed making it this time by one match despite going 3-2.
Miskelly went 2-3 and finished eighth in the 145-pound weight class.
Both Simons and Miskelly have been wrestling since they were in elementary school and were part of the recreation program Brock created. Brock said he hopes this is the start of something bigger for Fort Mill wrestling, not just on a state level, but nationally.
"Jonathan and Max last year are what you call products of the system," Brock said. "It's ironic to see all of that starting to pay off."
Miskelly opened the tournament by beating New Jersey's Taylor Venanzi 10-7. He admitted having some butterflies going into the match.
After the win, the butterflies escaped.
"It pumped me up for the rest of the matches," Miskelly said.
From there, he took on another New Jersey wrestler in Ryan Lynch,getting pinned in the second period.
Miskelly then went to the consolation bracket where he had to win to get back in the running. He beat Pennsylvania wrestler John Lambert 8-3, but fell in his next match to California's Bradley Johnson 5-3.
That loss put Miskelly at 2-2 in the tournament and locked him into a position for All-American.
By then, Miskelly wasn't worrying about his status. He was focused on wrestling. He didn't realize he would be wrestling for seventh place and was already an All-American until Brock told him so.
"It was pretty cool," Miskelly said. "I was just happy I make it."
Miskelly wrestled tough in the seventh place match against New Jersey's Jordon Hankins but lost 6-5, to finish eighth and capture the last All-American spot.