SAVANNAH, Ga. — In one of the most competitive tournaments in the Southeast, the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets came away with an impressive fifth place finish at the USMC Seahawk Slam.
The tournament featured 51 teams and despite being hosted by Hilton Head High, the tournament has gotten so big it had to be moved to a bigger venue, the Savannah Convention Center. It was won by high school wrestling powerhouse Brandon (Fla.). Fort Mill was the highest finishing team from South Carolina.
“I have nothing to complain about,” said Fort Mill head coach Chris Brock. “There are some high caliber national teams here. I’m very pleased.”
Despite not having any wrestler win in his weight class, Fort Mill had six wrestlers place in the top eight, the best of any local team there, which included South Pointe, Indian Land and Clover.
Fort Mill had just one finalist in senior Eddie Byrams at 120 pounds. Byrams suffered his first loss of the year in the finals, falling to Camden County’s (Ga.) Denton Spencer in double overtime on a ride out decision after the match was tied 2-2. Earlier in the tournament, Byrams picked up his 100th career win.
Freshman AJ Leitten finished third after beating Effingham County’s Isiah Royal 19-3 at 113pounds and Jake Strong finished third at 126 pounds after being Camden County’s Andrew Holcomb 10-4.
At 106 pounds, the Jackets’ John Brotemarkle finished fifth winning 10-1 over Camden County’s Lucas Nelson and at 195 pounds, senior BJ Hurst finished fifth after pinning Brandon’s Joe Marcano in the second period.
And finally, Fort Mill’s Nigel Bostick finished seventh by beating Jonesboro’s Jermaine Millens 5-4 at 145 pounds.
Fort Mill could have finished higher, had the Jackets fielded a full team, but they only had 10 wrestlers participate in the tournament. Senior Tyler Turner was out with possible nerve damage in his shoulder. However, he’s expected to come back at some point in the season.
Indian Land had one wrestler place – 120 pound Dalen Byerley, who won 10-4 over White Knoll’s Rian Burris. Byerley lost to Byrams in the semifinals 1-0. Byerley said he was happy with how he performed.
“I feel like I wrestled good on my feet,” Byerley said. “I wrestled well. The competition is strong here.”
South Pointe finished 11th and had three wrestlers place in the top eight. Clover finished 27th with one wrestler placing and Indian Land finished 34th.