Patriots, Green Wave receive Top 10 rankings
It looks like the Lowcountry is in for another competitive high school wrestling season.
Both the Fort Dorchester and Summerville teams are ranked among the state’s Top 10 Class AAAA teams in the 2012 coaches association preseason poll and two other Summerville-area teams made the Top 20.
Coming off a 31-22 loss to Lexington in the third round of last year’s team playoffs, Fort Dorchester will enter the 2012-13 season ranked fourth in the state. Lexington holds the top ranking while Hillcrest and Fort Mill round out the Top 3.
The Patriots stand to have four grapplers return who advanced to the individual state tournament last season. Senior Dallas Brown qualified in the 112-pound weight division while junior Daquan Buksha qualified at 132, senior Austin Ziliak qualified at 145 and sophomore Joseph Huthinson qualified at 160.
Summerville enters this season ranked ninth. The Green Wave is coming off a 59-21 loss to White Knoll in the third round of last year’s playoffs.
Summerville stands to return three state qualifiers. Senior Gavin Perkins placed second in the 132-pound division last year after also qualifying for the state tournament as a sophomore. Sophomore James Sass placed third last year at 106. Junior Chad Wood placed fourth at 138.
Ashley Ridge will enter the season ranked 15th, one spot below new region foe Bluffton and two spots ahead of Cane Bay. Both the Cobras and the Bobcats are preparing for their first wrestling season as a 4-A team. Beaufort is ranked fifth while Stratford is 11th, Wando is 16th and Goose Creek is 20th.
The Swamp Fox grapplers didn’t make the playoffs last season, but also stand to return three state qualifiers. Senior Zach Armstrong finished as the state runner-up at 152 last year. Junior Christian Cuttino qualified at 132 and senior Joseph Pringle qualified at 182.
Cane Bay is coming off a 56-16 loss to Chapin in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs last season. Cobra grappler Matt Rudy, a sophomore, placed third at 182 during last year’s 3-A state championships. Senior Albert Ednilao qualified for the 3-A state tournament at 102 and junior Eddie Brookshire qualified at 132.
Most teams open the 2012-13 season in early December.