FORT MILL — Wrestlers fall hard at national tournaments
Wrestlers from Fort Mill High fell hard at two national tournaments over spring break.
At the Flo Nationals in Indiana, Penn., reigning 145-pounds state champion Nick Leitten fell to a wrestler from Michigan in the first round by pin fall for his first loss in over a year.
Leitten, one of 64 wrestlers in the 138-pound weight class, was pinned by Khannor Kaercher in the second period.
He bounced back, however, and was able to win two more matches, with decisions of 11-4 over New Jersey’s DJ Mele and 18-2 over North Carolina’s Brian Inouye before being knocked out of the tournament after falling to New York’s Vincent DePrez 7-2 in the fifth round of the consolation bracket.
Leitten was the Jackets’ only wrestler in the tournament; Jake Strong, Tyler Turner and Nigel Bostick represented Fort Mill in the National High School Wrestling championships in Virginia Beach, Va.
Bostick took the spot of AJ Leitten, who had originally was going to participate in the middle school tournament bracket, but pulled out at the last minute.
Bostick went 2-2 in the tournament. He lost in the first round to Tennessee’s Austin Richard 8-3 in the 138-pound junior division. He then beat Virginia’s Lucas Mobley 3-1 in the consolation bracket opening round and beat fellow South Carolinian Daniel Smith 5-3, before being knocked out of the tournament by Louisiana’s James Claitor 4-0 in the third round of the consolation bracket.
Fort Mill assistant coaches Adam Marullo and Ed Doran was with the team in Virginia Beach, as head coach Chris Brock had prior commitments.
“Nigel wrestled well,” Marullo said. “He is getting a lot better. We are real proud of him.”
If Bostick’s wrestling was the high point for Fort Mill, the low point had to come when state qualifier Jake Strong had to pull out of the tournament because of a nagging knee injury. Strong lost his opening match to New Jersey’s Sam Cali 11-1 at 120 pounds in the sophomore division and then had to cancel his next match by injury default, knocking him out of the tournament.
“He had a real tough draw,” Marullo said. “And then when he was drilling getting ready for his next match his knee popped out. It’s a shame.”
Strong missed part of the 2012-2013 season because of the same right knee injury, which he was already scheduled to have surgery on after the tournament.
Junior Tyler Turner went 1-2 in the 126-pound junior division, bumping up a weight class in the tournament.
Turner ran into a buzz saw in the first round in Colorado’s PT Garcia, who pinned him rather quickly in the first period.
“This guy was a real hammer and made it to the semifinals,” Marullo said.
Turner would rebound in the consolation’s opening round beating North Carolina’s Breyer Owen 11-0. Ironically, he would meet South Pointe High’s Mike Miller, who had bumped down from 132 to 126, in the next round where he would fall 1-0 to get knocked out of the tournament.
Nation Ford’s Collin Godbout went 0-2 in the tournament losing his opening match to Florida’s James Flint by pin fall in the first period and falling 4-0 to North Carolina’s Andrew Crutchfield in the 120-pound junior division.