Jackets, Warriors both bring home wrestling champions

mbanks@comporium.netMarch 1, 2014 

— Both Fort Mill and Indian Land made history Saturday at the 2014 State Individual Wrestling Championships at the Anderson Civic Center.

Fort Mill, in 4A, and Indian Land, in 2A, each had three wrestlers make it to the state championship match in their respective weight classes.

The Jackets brought five wrestlers into the tournament with one getting bumped into the consolation bracket after day one.

Jackets senior Eddie Byrams finished his prep career by beating Byrnes’ Alex Spencer 4-2 to win a state title at 120-pounds in the 4A classification.

“He has been around forever,” said Fort Mill head coach Chris Brock. “He works and works and works and it paid off. He has really developed technically as a wrestler.”

Byrams was ecstatic after his match.

“Everything hurts, but I feel great,” he said.

He’s the first African-American wrestler to win a state title at Fort Mill.

Byrams said he hopes that it not only inspires other African-American wrestlers, but other African-American students at Fort Mill High. He plans on going into the military after graduation.

Freshman AJ Leitten and junior Jake Strong each finished second falling in the finals of their weight class.

Leitten was upset in the finals by Summerville’s James Sass, despite leading 6-2 in the second period. Leitten got caught and was pinned rather quickly before he could break free. Sass and Leitten were ranked 1-2 in the state in their weight class.

Strong was beaten in the finals by Lexington’s Jackson Myers 6-0.

Senior BJ Hurst finished third for Fort Mill at 195 pounds after falling in the semifinals to Hillcrest Landon Sayegh 5-2. Hurst would bounce back and place third by beating Lexington’s Andrew Carnes 3-0.

"I was hoping to have BJ wrestling (in the finals)," Brock said. "I am excited about our three finalists. I was hoping we would be able to push for a team title, but we had a couple cracks in the plan."

Indian Land brought the most local wrestlers with six in the tournament. Three of those wrestlers lost in the first round, while the other three advanced through their bracket and into the finals.

"They have been wrestling sound and not making a lot of mistakes," said Warriors head coach Rondale Truesdale. "I am always pushing them to do better."

Indian Land also crowned a state champion at 120 pounds with sophomore Dalen Byerley getting a technical fall victory 19-4 over Aynor’s Landon Lawson. Indian Land senior Devin Curtsinger at 145 pounds and senior Eric Komorous at 182 pounds, both finished second and junior David Ovecka at 170 pounds, finished fourth.

Byerley took third last year and said he was going to make sure that didn’t happen this year.

“It pushed me to work harder,” Byerley said. “I had to go even harder. I didn’t want to regret anything this year.”

Nation Ford had two wrestlers in seniors Collin Godbout and Michael Allen at the tournament, neither one of which placed in the top four.

"In these type of moments, we need to overcome the challenges ahead," said Falcons head coach Leon Boulware. "I think the pressure in some of the matches got to us. We will grow and be back stronger and better."

4A-2A Individual State wrestling championships

Winners and local placers

Key: Aynor (A), Ashley Ridge (AR), Beaufort (Bea.), Byrnes (B), Burke (Bur.), Clover (C), Cane Bay (CB), Dutch Fork (DF), Eau Claire (EC), Fort Dorchester (FD), Fort Mill (FM), Gaffney (G), Goose Creek (GC), Hillcrest (H), Indian Land (IL), Marion (M), Lexington (L), Lancaster (Lan.), Laurens (Lau.), Lake City (LC), Lugoff-Elgin (LE), Liberty (Lib.), Loris (Lor.), Rock Hill (RH), Summerville (S), South Pointe (SP), Stratford (Str.), Sumter (Sum.), Timberland (Tim.), Wando (W), Waccamaw (Wac.), White Knoll (WK)

4A: 106:1. James Sass (S), 2. AJ Leitten (FM), 3. Aaron Burton (DF), 4. Allen Moran (GC) 113: 1 Zack Clary (G) 120:1. Eddie Byrams (FM), 2. Alex Spencer (B), 3. Austin Chandler (G), 4. Tyre Wright (FD) 126:1. Jackson Myers (L), 2. Jake Strong (FM), 3. Chris Jackson (LE), 4. Tyler Fachko (S) 132:1. Andrew Szalwinski (L), 2. Mike Miller (SP), 3. Josh Davis (DF), 4. Ben Crutchfield (W) 138:1. Austin Palmer (WK) 145:1.Daniel Smith (S) 152:1. John Van Slooten (S) 160:1. Chad Wood (S) 170:1.Anthony Collins (S) 182:1. TJ Deveaux (Str), 2. Daniel Bannister (L), 3. Ryan Hughes (Lau), 4. Quinshon Evans (Lan.) 195:1. Matt Rudy (CB), 2. Landon Sayegh (H), 3. BJ Hurst (FM), 4. Andrew Carnes (L) 220:1. Cameron Bell (RH), 2. Kentrell Seabrook (Bea.), 3. Zach Conrad (C), 4. Julian Gibbs (S) Hwt:1. Patton Gossett (WK), 2. Nathan O’ Conner (Sum.), 3. Travis Strait (RH), 4. Kenny Glover (AR)

2A: 120:1. Dalen Byerley (IL), 2. Landon Larson (A), 3. Tristan Oglesby (Lib.), 4. Bobby Walters (Wac.) 145:1. Kevin Grant (M), 2. Devin Curtsinger (IL), 3. Shea Burke (Wac.), 4. Santarion Frasier (Bur.) 170:1. Bernard Harmon (Tim.), 2. Steven Welch (Lor.), 3. Daquan Smith (A), 4. David Ovecka (IL) 182:1. Tanner Chambers (Lib.), 2. Eric Komorous (IL), 3. Damien Wells (LC), 4. Kareen Jones (EC)

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