Once again, a Fort Mill High wrestler was able to capture a Southern Slam title

December 9, 2013 

Fort Mill’s Eddie Byrams wrestles under the spotlight in the finals at the Southern Slam Invitational at Eastside High School.

MAC BANKS — Special to the Fort Mill Times

— For Fort Mill, the Southern Slam streak continued and this time it was Eddie Byrams who did the honors.

For the past five years, at least one Fort Mill High wrestler has won his weight class at the historical Invitational tournament held over two days at Eastside High School.

Byrams took the honors this year with a 3-2 decison over Eastside’s own Charlton Clark in the 120-pound finals. Byrams went up 3-0 after two periods and was able to hold on for the win after Clark scored a takedown in the third period.

Fort Mill brought only enough wrestlers to compete in 11 weight classes because the team is still missing bodies to fill the 170 and 182-pound slots and were without 113-pound John Brotemarkle after he suffered a cut inside his mouth earlier in the week that required stiches.

Fort Mill coach Chris Brock said he was glad his team did well, but he knows it isn’t where it needs to be from a competative standpoint.

“We were hoping to get four to the finals,” Brock said.

“We were missing three guys and placed five and took two to the finals. We are still a little technically flat. On an individual basis, we have five or six guys that can contend for a state title. Team wise, we have issues.”

The other Fort Mill finalist was 195-pound BJ Hurst, who fell to Archer (Ga.) High’s Elliott Lee 7-2 in the finals.

Fort Mill finished tied for seventh in the tournament with South Pointe. The Stallions had two winners and Rock Hill finished third in the tournament, despite not having any wrestlers make the finals. Archer won the event going away winning by 194 points over second place Summerville.

Other Jackets wrestlers who placed in the tournament wweres 106-pound AJ Leitten, who finished third by beating Rock Hill’s Devon Faile 9-8; At 126 pounds, Jake Strong finished fifth after beating Eastside’s David Walker 9-2; and Tyler Turner finished fifth as well at 132 pounds by defeating Conner Gibson of Thompson (Ga.) 3-2.

Nation Ford finished 22nd in the 33-team tournament and had two wrestlers place.

Seniors Michael Allen finished fifth in the 138-pound weight class by beating Hillcrest’s Jeremy Higgins 4-2 and Collin Godbout placed seventh in the 126-pound weight class by beating Summerville’s Tyler Fachko 4-1.

Falcons’ head coach Leon Boulware said his team is making strides in the young season.

“We had a good tournament,” he said. “We came in and got better. Collin had the best tournament out of the whole team. We are closing the gap.”

Earlier in the week, Fort Mill beat both Charlotte Latin and Clover to open the season 2-0. Nation Ford beat Columbia and fell to Dutch Fork to start 1-1.

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