FORT MILL --
Already suffering from a depleted line-up, the Fort Mill wrestling team might have gotten another bite from the injury bug – one the Jackets can’t afford.
Having already wrestled in four meets before the weekend, the Jackets went to the Dorman Duals to defend the title they won down there last year. However, Fort Mill had to settle for a tie for third with York after the teams mutually decided not to wrestle in the third place meet.
Despite a patchwork lineup, Fort Mill went 3-1 at the event and improved to 10-2 on the season. Throughout the tournament, Fort Mill had to forfeit two and sometimes even three weight classes depending on who they could move around in the line-up while suing JV wrestlers to fill in some spots.
One of the more serious injuries was to sophomore Malik Long, who may miss significant time with what appeared to be a high right ankle sprain.
“We got injuries raining from the sky on us,” Jackets head coach Chris Brock said. “Every time we step on a mat we are breaking something or hurting something.”
Entering the 10-team dual tournament, Fort Mill was still waiting on sophomore Jake Strong to come back from a knee injury; Senior heavyweight Zach Dulcie sprained the MCL in his left knee and could be out for the next couple of weeks.
In their first meet, the Jackets lost to West Henderson (N.C.) 42-35, but bounced back against Union County to win 48-27.
Fort Mill then wrestled Byrnes and won 50-22 and finished the event off by beating Laurens 44-36.
The Laurens match was the one in which Long was injured after winning his three other matches earlier in the day. Long had to take the loss as an injury forfeit at a time when Fort Mill was leading just 38-30. Already planning to forfeit at 182 pounds, Fort Mill needed to win at 170 pounds and senior Will Hooker came through, pinning his Laurens opponent in the first period.
Freshman John Brotemarkle (106), junior Eddie Byrams (113/120), junior Tyler Turner (126) and senior Nick Leitten (152) all won four matches at the Duals, as Leitten remained undefeated winning two matches by forfeit and the other two matches by tech falls after not allowing his opponents to score a single point on him.
Jackets defeat Warriors
Earlier in the week, Fort Mill beat the Indian Land Warriors 61-12 and Spartanburg 67-12 in a three-way dual.
Winning for Fort Mill against Indian Land was Turner, Leitten, Long, Hooker, Dulcie, Jack Debbout, Nigel Bostick, Kaleb Cisco and BJ Hurst. Against Spartanburg, winning was Turner, Bostick, Leitten, Long, Hooker, Hurst, Dulcie, Brotemarkle, Byrams, Brock Kerr, Nick Gray and Dan Angel.
The Jackets also beat Gaffney 54-26 and Crest 49-27 in another three-way dual. Winning for Fort Mill against Gaffney was Turner, Debbout, Angel, Bostick, Leitten, Hooker, Cisco, Hurst and Byrams. Against Crest, winning was Byrams, Turner, Debbout, Angel, Bostick, Leitten, Long, Hooker and Hurst.
Fort Mill is scheduled to take on Chester before the Christmas break and travel down to Suwanee, Ga., Saturday for the Kyle Maynard Duals to face some of the top teams in the nation.