Nation Ford’s Caden Brandenburg is the only local wrestler to come away with a 5A Upper State title from Saturday’s competition.

A total of nine wrestlers from the three local high schools will be heading to Anderson next week to compete for individual state championships.

Both Fort Mill and Nation Ford had four wrestlers qualify for the 5A state tournament and Catawba Ridge had one wrestler qualify for the 4A state tournament.

In the 5A Upper State tournament held at Nation Ford, the host school set a school record by qualifying four wrestlers for the state tournament held at the Anderson Civic Center Feb. 25 and 26. Nation Ford entered nine in the two-day Upper State tournament.

The Falcons’ Caden Brandenburg (152) led the way for Nation Ford by winning the Upper State championship with a 15-8 win over Dorman’s Owen Hendricks. The other Nation Ford wrestlers qualifying were Clayton Rygol (220), Isaac Nieves (170) and Mitchell Ladamus (126).

“This is good for the kids,” said Nation Ford head coach Tony Forte. “It has been a rough dual year for us.”

Forte said Ladamus really shined in the last couple of weeks. Ladamus finished fourth overall in his weight class.

“He has been dialed in,” Forte said. “We knew what he was capable of.”

Nieves was also another wrestler that has turned around a season where he has struggled because he had to be out and miss time because of close contacts regarding COVID. Forte said he never used the time he was forced to miss as an excuse.

“He has had a tough season,” Forte said. “It has been a testament to his hard work.”

Nieves and Rygol also finished fourth in their weight classes as well.

For Fort Mill, the Jackets entered 13 in the tournament with the four qualifying for the state tournament being Aidan Eubanks (113), Logan Shope (120), Noah Kitchton (138) and Henry Debbout (195).

Eubanks, Kitchton and Debbout all finished second at the Upper State tournament and Shope finished fourth. Eubanks lost in the finals 12-11 to TL Hanna’s Nathan Fendley and Kitchton fell to Spring Valley’s Blue Stiffler by first period pin. Debbout also lost in the first period by pin to Northwestern’s Noah Lee.

Shope lost 7-2 in the consolation finals to JL Mann’s Jack Doran.

“Realistically, we figured we would have four or five qualify, six in the best case,” said Fort Mill head coach Chris Brock. “Henry was a pleasant surprise. I feel like everyone we are taking we can be in the conversation for a title.”

The 4A Upper State tournament was held at Eastside High School. Catawba Ridge took 11 wrestlers to the double elimination tournament with only Jarrett Eubanks moving on to the state tournament at 152-pounds.

Eubanks went 5-1 in the tournament and finished third by beating York’s Anthony Wherry 18-2 in the consolation finals. He is just the second wrestler in Catawba Ridge history to qualify for the state tournament behind RJ Lincoln two years ago.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep

Fort Mill’s Henry Debbout was one of four Fort Mill wrestlers to qualify for the 5A state tournament next weekend in Anderson.