ROCK HILL – Both the Nation Ford Falcons and Catawba Ridge Copperheads each had five wrestlers place in the Bearcat Invitational.
The two-day tournament at Rock Hill High had 23 teams from both Carolinas and was won by Eastside. Nation Ford finished tied for 10th with South Pointe as each of them had 74 points. Catawba Ridge was 13th with 70 points. Clover was the highest finishing local school as they took third place.
For Nation Ford, the highest finisher was Caden Brandenburg who took third place at 152-pounds with a pin in the first period of Byrnes’ Asher Fink. The Falcons also had a fifth-place finisher, a sixth-place finisher, a seventh-place finisher and an eighth-place finisher.
“I was very pleased with how they wrestled Friday night,” said Nation Ford head coach Tony Forte. “Caden (Brandenburg) was a high placer. Alan (Minarro) made it to the semis. Danny (Gilstorf) is coming along. Overall, we got things to build off of.”
Finishing fifth for Nation Ford was Jake Moore (106) with a second period pin over Mallard Creek’s Isaac Marez and Minarro finished sixth at 220-pounds dropping a 4-3 decision to Lugoff-Elgin’s Nate Auten. Nation Ford’s Gilstorf won by forfeit to finish seventh over Lake Norman’s Noah Carleton at 113-pounds and the Falcons’ Isaac Nieves (170) finished eighth to Indian Land’s Chase Recroe falling 8-0.
Nation Ford returns to action Monday at the fourth-ranked 4A Indian Land.
Catawba Ridge’s highest finisher was Tony Atkins finishing fifth at heavyweight with a forfeit win over Indian Land’s Malachi Jefferson and Jakob Kees (132) fell to Clover’s Carson Enix in the first period by pin to finish sixth.
The Copperheads had two wrestlers finish seventh in Aiden Shaffery (106) who got a forfeit win over Chester’s Eduardo de Paz and Nate Teel (182) won 4-0 over Lancaster’s Jaquan Chisholm to finish seventh as well. Jarrett Eubanks (152) lost a 10-9 decision to Mallard Creek’s Davion Crawford-Harris to finish eighth.
Head coach Allen Runyon said having this many wrestlers place was a good thing.
“I feel like we did well,” he said. “It is a tough tournament. Having guys place in the top eight is a step in the right direction.”
Catawba Ridge returns to action Wednesday with a tri-match at Clover against the seventh-ranked 5A Byrnes and the ninth-ranked 5A Blue Eagles.
In Johnson City, Tenn., Fort Mill carried a small group of five wrestlers to the Fandetti-Richardson Brawl and came back with five placers from the tournament.
Bella Hoffman won the girl’s 120-pound division going 5-0 in the tournament. Hoffman won all her matches by pin and her longest match went to the second period twice. She had three of her five pins within in the first minute of the match.
Jacob Nally (106) placed fifth winning 8-6 in sudden victory for the Jackets. Logan Shope (126) finished seventh with a pin for Fort Mill. Caleb Brock (138) finished 11th with a forfeit win and Harrison Noll (170) finished 10th falling in the ninth-place match.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @fortprep