Thursday, January 16, 2014
The Pinewood wrestling team participated in the King of the County Wrestling Tournament held in Charleston County last weekend.
The Panthers, which formed a wrestling team just last year, tallied 90 points to place ninth out of 14 teams at the tournament. Pinewood was the only SCISA team that participated.
Pinewood’s Austin Murphy placed third in the 106-pound weight class. Matthew Latham placed second at 120 after losing 13-0 in the finals to Alex Cullen, a Wando wrestler ranked fifth among the S.C. public school Class AAAA wrestlers in his class. Brad Richards placed fourth at 170. Grayson Charpia placed fourth at 195. Cameron Poaps placed second at 220.
The Pinewood team also wrestled at home on Tuesday night against two of their SCISA conference opponents. Pinewood defeated Augusta Christian 60-16 and Orangeburg Prep 66-12.
“It was a critical evening for two of our wrestlers that had to make scratch weight for the state qualification,” Panther coach Ben Cheatham said. “Austin Murphy made 106 pounds by two-tenths of a pound and Alex Nelson made 160 by six-tenths of a pound. After making their respective weights they also led the team by winning both of their matches by pin.”
In Nelson’s first match, he scored nine takedowns before pinning his opponent in the third period.
Mills Rowland also had a strong evening. He received a forfeit, won a preliminary match by pin and his first varsity match by pin.
Others who wrestled and added wins to their belt were: Steven Kennedy, Latham, Samuel Yun, Charpia, and Poaps.
“This was the first time all season we had filled 11 out of 14 weight classes with wrestlers,” Cheatham said. “It has been a big factor having seniors like Alex Nelson and Clayton Are coming out for the team with no prior wrestling experience. Both wrestlers have now added wins for Pinewood. You don’t find many seniors at any school with the guts and confidence to step-up like they have.”
In the preliminary matches Sam Westbury also scored his first win for the season. At the end of the second period, he was losing 5-6. In the last minute of wrestling he scored 3 points by earning an escape and then secured the takedown to win 8-6 in the final seconds.
Pinewood’s last regular season match is Jan. 21 at home against Cardinal Newman and Academic Magnet.
Pinewood hosts the SCISA state duals on Jan. 25 and will finish out its season with the Individual State tournament at Cardinal Newman Feb. 1.