Five local wrestlers are heading into this week’s individual 4A state championship tournament as Upper State champions.
Fort Mill, Rock Hill, Nation Ford, York and Clover all had wrestlers win Upper State championships. Overall, 20 wrestlers from York County will be represented in Anderson next weekend at the 4A state championships. The 2A-4A state championships will be held at the Anderson Civic Center on Friday and Saturday.
Rock Hill will lead the way after qualifying seven from the two-day Upper State tournament at Laurens High School. The Bearcats brought their entire team to the tournament.
“We had a rough start,” said coach Cain Beard. “But we battled back through. All of the kids we are taking are capable of winning it. We got some young ones in it.”
Despite qualifying seven wrestlers, only Logan Sexton came away as an Upper State champion after pinning No. 1 seed Jordan Thompson of T.L. Hanna.
Both Fort Mill and York qualified four wrestlers, both teams brought nine wrestlers into the tournament and both had an Upper State champion.
Fort Mill had placed four wrestlers in the finals, but AJ Leitten was the only one to come out victorious with an 11-0 win over Dorman’s Nic Caspio at 126 pounds.
“We had hoped to get more than that,” said Jackets coach Chris Brock, referring to the number of state qualifiers. “We felt like six would be a good day for us.”
York sent two wrestlers to the Upper State finals with Cole Rumfelt coming away as a winner, beating Hillcrest’s Andrew Rush 6-2 at 138 pounds. York coach Todd Hershberger said he is happy with who qualified.
“I am very pleased with the way our guys worked,” he said. “We overcame some battles we lost earlier in the year.”
Clover qualified three wrestlers for the state tournament and had heavyweight Zach Conrad with an Upper State title with a 3-2 decision over Riverside’s Stephen Garber.
Both Nation Ford and Northwestern qualified one wrestler.
The lone wrestler to qualify for Nation Ford was Dalen Byerley, who won 6-1 over Fort Mill’s Jake Strong in the Upper State finals at 132 pounds.
Qualifying for the Trojans for the state tournament was Hunter Allen, who lost in his weight class finals at 170 pounds to Dorman’s Dalton Simpson.