FORT MILL --
Seventeen local wrestlers are preparing this week for the two-day Upper State individual tournament held at Laurens High School Friday and Saturday.
Fort Mill will be sending 11 wrestlers and Nation Ford will be sending six to Laurens for a 5 p.m. Friday start to the tournament. The top four wrestlers from each weight class will try to earn a berth in the individual State Championship tournament Feb. 22-23 at Anderson Civic Center.
The Jackets will be sending several highly ranked wrestlers to the tournament, including the state’s No. 1-ranked 145-pounder: undefeated Nick Leitten.
Fort Mill will also be sending highly ranked wrestlers Eddie Byrams (third) at 113 pounds, Tyler Turner (fourth) at 120 pounds, BJ Hurst (fourth) at 195 pounds and Zach Dulcie (sixth) at heavyweight.
Fort Mill also is sending several wrestlers who could catch unwary opponents off guard: John Brotemarkle at 106 pounds, Jake Strong at 126 pounds and Nigel Bostick at 138 pounds. Jackets wrestlers looking to rebound after struggling at the Region III-AAAA tourney include Malik Long at 152 pounds, Brandon Mayer at 160 pounds and Kaleb Cisco at 182 pounds.
“We got 11 guys going and I feel good about that number,” said Fort Mill head coach Chris Brock.
“We have some guys that are seeded pretty high and have performed well all year long. We should have a good weekend. I am pulling for all my guys, but I really want my seniors to do well and try and win a state championship.”
Although they are sending about half of the wrestlers Fort Mill is sending to the tournament, Nation Ford is still represented by highly ranked wrestlers in Michael Allen (fifth) at 132 pounds and Josh Driscoll (fourth) at 220.
Also making the trip for the Falcons are Colin Godbout at 126 pounds, Houston Vandiver at 145 pounds, Nick Raniszewski at 152 pounds and Brady Hensley at 170.