Panthers win SCISA Battle of the 'Ville
Only nine independent high schools in the state field a wrestling team and two of them are in Summerville.
Ridge Christian Academy has participated in SCISA wrestling for about five years and this year Pinewood Prep founded a team. Despite facing competition that has been at it longer than they have, both Summerville teams have experienced some success.
“We have done better than I thought we would this season,” Pinewood coach Bentley Cheatham said. “It's still a work in progress. Depending on the day we might only fill nine or 10 of the 14 weight classes but we are building interest in the team and have some promising wrestlers.”
The schools met on the mat Thursday at Pinewood, which entered the match ranked fourth in the latest SCISA coaches' poll. Ridge Christian, which had some high-placed finishes at last year's individual state tournament, entered the match ranked fifth.
The Paladins jumped out to a 27-0 lead, but the Panthers won the final eight weight classes to claim a 46-27 victory.
Pinewood picked up bonus points with pins by T.J. Wilson (160-pound class), Grayson Charpia (220) and Cameron Poaps (285) and a 15-6 major decision by Zach Heaton (145). Jeremy Hunt (152), Cameron Rylance (170), Dallas Dial (182) and Jeremy Gray (195) won by forfeit.
For Ridge Christian Brycen Gibson (106) and Nate Shumpert (113) won by pin fall and
Daniel Fuchs (126) earned a 5-3 decision. Pinewood forfeited the 132-pound and 138-pound classes.
The Paladins have three wrestlers ranked in the latest SCISA coaches' poll. Cody Mayberry is the top-ranked wrestler at 120. Terrell Peterson is ranked second at 160 and Jonathan Driggers is ranked second at 195.
Pinewood doesn't have any ranked wrestlers, but that doesn't mean it won't have any place at this year's individual state tournament.
Dial, one of only two seniors on the Panther team, has only lost two matches this season. He and Wilson both placed second for their division at last weekend's Charleston County wrestling tournament that featured teams from both public and private schools. Panther grappler Steven Kennedy placed fourth in his weight class. Wilson and Kennedy are both sophomores.
“Some of our young wrestlers are really doing well,” Cheatham said. “Austin Murphy and Matthew Latham are only seventh-graders but they have been very competitive. We are very strong in certain weight classes and we are young so I'm looking forward to seeing how this team develops both the rest of this season and next year.”
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