Ron’Tavious Hughes, a 138-pounder from Fort Mill High School, won the gold medal in the Jan. 24 Carolina Invitational, a statewide tournament for JV and middle school wrestlers.
Hughes led a contingent of six wrestlers – five JV and one middle schooler – from Fort Mill High and three JV and one middle school wrestler from Nation Ford High in the annual 16-team event. He went 4-0, including two falls and a decision against wrestlers from Marion, Lugoff-Elgin and James Island before defeating NaFo’s Dylan Curtsinger with a late takedown in the finals. Curtsinger had defeated Hughes in two previous matches.
Nation Ford JV 113-pounder Joshua Paxtor placed third after making his way into the semifinals by decisioning opponents from Socastee and Seneca by scores of 2-0 and 9-6, respectively, before losing to an opponent from Travelers Rest. Paxtor rebounded in the consolation semifinals with a 6-0 decision before taking the consolation final against a Northwestern wrestler.
Also from NaFo, Brody Parks came in fifth at 182 and in the middle school division, Wesley Johnson placed third at 146.
Fort Mill wrestler Jarod Pierce was the runner up at 120 while teammates Ian Weber (132 pounds), Tyler Griffin (172 pounds), and Caden Haverson (195 pounds), as well as middle schooler Jack Kelley (210 pounds) all went 2-2 in the tournament. Tyler Griffin, another middle school wrestler, finished 1-2.