Nation Ford’s Reed Spilmann gets his head twisted around during a match at the Clash at the Creek at Mallard Creek High. Spilmann would recover from the move and go onto win the match.

CHARLOTTE – The Nation Ford Falcons finished eighth out of 32 teams in a tough Clash at the Creek wrestling tournament before Christmas.

                Nation Ford had seven wrestlers place at the two-day tournament at Mallard Creek High School with three of them coming in the top four. The Falcons scored 104.5 points for the eighth-place finish as they were three points ahead of ninth place, but 10 points behind York who finishes seventh. Clover finished fourth in the tournament and Rock Hill won the tournament with a total score of 198 points.

                “There are some areas we are happy with and other areas we got work to do,” said Falcons’ head coach Tony Forte. “We aren’t at full strength yet. It has been more of a health thing. Overall things are going well.”

                Nation Ford fielded 11 of the 14 weight classes for the event. The Falcons were led by a second-place finish from Ryan deLeon, who lost in the finals at 195-pounds 12-1 to Christopher Dickey of East Meck. Nation Ford had two third place finishers in Isaac Barahona at 160-pounds and Sean Grennan at heavyweight. Barahona won 9-1 by pin in the first period and Grennan won by pin in the second period.

                The Falcons’ Reed Spilmann came in sixth at 132-pounds falling to Clover’s Dorian Brown 5-2 and Caden Brandenburg game in seventh at 145-pounds winning by forfeit.

Nation Ford had two eighth place finishers in Solomon Moore and Steven Franco. At 113-pounds, Moore lost 5-3 over host Mallard Creek’s Jeffrey Rion and Franco lost 3-0, also to host Mallard Creek’s Demetrius Shaw.

                In the girls’ bracket, the Falcons’ Arianna Davis finished 10th in the 106/113-pound weight class.

                Catawba Ridge took their JV team to that aspect of the tournament and fielded just one varsity wrestler in RJ Lincoln at 182-pounds, who finished in sixth place, the first wrestler to ever place in a tournament for the school.

                Nation Ford will now turn their attention to the Bearcat Invitational Jan. 3-4 before starting their Region 3-5A schedule at Clover Jan. 9.

Mac Banks:, @MacBanksFM