Wrestlers from across the state found out there is little room for error when it comes to the state individual wrestling championships.
The South Carolina High School League held its 2013 Individual Wrestling Tournament last weekend in Anderson. Only eight wrestlers qualify for the tournament in each weight division so the competition is stiff.
This year a dozen grapplers from the Summerville area advanced to the tournament, but only one won his weight class to claim a state title.
Green Wave grappler Gavin Perkins earned an 11-3 major decision over York’s Robert Cunningham in the championship match for the Class AAAA 126-pound class. Cunningham entered the match as the top-ranked wrestler for the division while Perkins was ranked second.
 “If anyone deserves to win a state championship it’s Gavin,” Summerville coach Darryl Tucker said. “He wasn’t the most gifted wrestler as far as ability when he first stated but he worked so hard to get to this level.  It was not what he did during the season that made him successful; it was the time he put in during the off-season. Whenever there was a tournament he went to it. He probably wrestled 200 matches out of season.  That is what is takes to get to this level. I hope some of his other teammates see that and emulate his work ethic.”
Perkins advanced to the title bout with wins over White Knoll’s Emil Colin and Riverside’s Gabriel Fehrenbach. Just like in the championship match, his wins in both matches were decisive.
Summerville has now claimed more individual state wrestling titles than any other school. Summerville and Rock Hill reportedly had 90 individual champions entering this year’s tournament.
It was a fitting end to a Green Wave career. Perkins, a senior, was a two-time captain for Summerville who is now being recruited by Limestone, Newberry, The Citadel and Coker College.
“He is a great leader,” Tucker said. “The team will definitely miss his leadership.”
Some other local wrestlers came close, but couldn’t secure a title.
Summerville’s James Sass placed second at 106 while teammate Chad Wood placed second at 152. Ashley Ridge’s Zach Armstong placed third at 170 after defeating Fort Dorchester’s Jacob Hutchinson in the third-place match. Fort Dorchester’s Tyre Wright placed fourth at 113. Cane Bay’s Matt Rudy placed third at 182.
Summerville’s Tyler Fachko (120) and Anthony Collins (160), Fort Dorchester’s AJ Alford (145), Ashley Ridge’s Tyler Moore (195), and Cane Bay’s Albert Ednilao (106) also qualified for the tournament, but didn’t place among the top four wrestlers for their division.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or rlee@journalscene.com