Between Fort Mill and Nation Ford High, the two schools are sending seven wrestlers to the 5A state tournament this weekend at the Anderson Civic Center.
Fort Mill had six wrestlers qualify during the Upper State tournament at Laurens High. Nation Ford is sending one. Heading to Anderson for Fort Mill will be Jake Hart, Brody Claassen, Ethan Johnson, Jacob Sturgeon, Josh Cizmadia and Zach Hornbrook. The lone qualifier for Nation Ford is Dylan Tindall.
Hart, who recently committed to wrestle next year at Virginia Tech University, tore through the competition for Fort Mill in the 152-pound weight class to go undefeated in the tournament and capture the Upper State championship. Hart won his Upper State title with a pin fall in the third period over Woodmont’s Thomas Schock.
The Jackets brought 12 wrestlers to the tournament. Fort Mill head coach Chris Brock said he is confident in who he will be taking to Anderson with him.
“The six guys we are taking can all place and some of them can win,” he said. “I hope to have a good week of practice to get ready.”
Brock said he was expecting to have between five and eight wresters qualify for the state meet.
Besides Hart, Fort Mill had a third place finisher at 106 pounds as Ethan Johnson beat Dorman’s Wes Echols 4-0. The Jackets also had four wrestlers finish fourth in the tournament with Sturgeon (120), Hornbrook (126), Claassen (138) and Cizmadia (145) all grabbing the last qualifying spot in those weight classes.
Nation Ford brought 10 wrestlers to the tournament, only having one qualify in Tindall, who finished third at 126 after he pinned Hornbrook in the consolation finals.
Falcons head coach Dan Snell said he knew it would be a tough tournament for his team, and said that he had several wrestlers get further than they ever had, which was something to build on. Nation Ford took six wrestlers deep into the consolation brackets who missed out on qualifying for the state tournament by just one match.
“I am happy with how we did,” he said. “I am pleased with how things are going. I have nine returning juniors that will be seniors next year.”
The 5A state tournament starts Friday afternoon and will culminate Saturday evening, as the 4A, 3A, and 2A tournaments are also all held simultaneously at the Anderson venue.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM