FORT MILL — Moving back up to 4A hasn’t deterred the Fort Mill High wrestling team one bit.
With a pre-season ranking of third in the state behind Hillcrest and Lexington, Fort Mill has nine of its 14 starters from last year returning with wrestlers like senior Nick Leitten, junior Tyler Turner, junior BJ Hurst and senior Zach Dulcie leading the way.
“We got some talent returning,” said head coach Chris Brock.
However, Brock calls his team “young” with newcomers like freshmen John Brotemarkle, a former national champion, and Jack Debbout.
“We could end up with only two or three seniors in the lineup,” he said. “We have some big talent in our sophomore group. I feel like we are contenders. We got kids that can put a lot of numbers on the board for us,” Brock said.
For the first time in years, Fort Mill, which starts the season Nov. 27 at Lake Norman, N.C., isn’t returning any state champions.
Brock will start the season just three wins shy of 250 for his career. Brock said he didn’t realize he was closing in on the milestone, but has said he would take a state title over them all.
“We have won plenty,” he said. “We just haven’t won the right one yet. We have been fortunate to have a lot of success, but we are still shooting for that state title.”
Brock said the key to this season is keeping everybody healthy for a run in February. And moving back up to 4A, Fort Mill will have to face teams like Rock Hill on a more regular basis.
“It’s a monster region,” he said. “It will be interesting to see how it pans out.”
Fort Mill’s first home meet will be Nov. 29 against Nation Ford in this year’s Main Event.
The event is a major fundraiser for Fort Mill wrestling as prizes will be given away to fans and wrestlers from the youth to the varsity level will be showcased that night.