SCMAT Exclusive Wrestling Article 11-22-07
4x4 pinnacle ... the magnitude in perspective.
J.C. Oddo became the first SC wrestler to finish with 4 Individual State titles and 4 Team State titles to his credit, now known as a 4x4 career! J.C. Oddo of Eastside finished last season as one of the most decorated and accomplished wrestlers in South Carolina wrestling history. He won more matches in his high school career than any other SC wrestler, finishing with a total of 210 wins. He was an All-American at NHSCA Junior Nationals back in 2006 at 189 finishing 6th in the nation (note - he did not wrestle at Senior Nationals due to surgery after last season.) Oddo was also honored as a 2007 Wrestling USA Magazine All American. He was the S.C. Dave Schultz High School Award winner as awarded by The National Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was the South Carolina Wrestling Coaches Association Senior Wrestler of the Year - a career of 210-7. He was an All-American at Cadet National Championships, Fargo, ND in 2005 finishing 3rd in the nation. He was an All-American at USA Kid's Nationals in 2003 finishing 1st - a National Champion! These records are just a few of his many, many achievements. We know that 8 South Carolina wrestlers have won four individual state titles in a row, but how many schools have accomplished that feat? Only three schools believe it or not! Lower Richland ('72-'75) Rock Hill ('82-'86, '94-'97) Eastside ('04-'07) That means only these three schools have given their wrestlers a chance to possibly be 4x4. Lower Richland and Rock Hill have never had a 4 time individual state champion, but Eastside finally put it all together with four team titles in a row and a cornerstone in the program named JC Oddo. Let's first look at the numbers, and then we will analyze the magnitude of the 4x4 accomplishment with four of the wrestlers that finished a close 4x3 prior to Oddo's sensational career finish. Here are our 4 time state champions and how their quest for four team titles went: Years Class Wrestler School Individual State Titles Team State Titles ----- ----- ------------------ ------------- ----------------------- ----------------- 04-07 3A J.C. Oddo Eastside 4 4 03-06 3A Matt Leach Eastside 4 3 97-00 3A Ben Connell Lugoff-Elgin 4 3 78-81 2A Barnell Mack Swansea 4 3 75-78 4A Carl Van Sewell Airport 4 3 95-98 4A Robby Bell Hillcrest 4 0 87-90 3A Dan Wirnsberger Greer 4 0 78-81 2A James McKinney Buford 4 0 In addition, we have several wrestlers with a good shot of going 4x4 in their career (or 4x3 in Dalton's case): 05-08 3A Corbin Martin Eastside 3 (1 season to go) 3 (could make 4x4) 06-09 3A Eddie Coles Eastside 2 (2 seasons to go) 2 (could make 4x4) 07-10 1A Elijah Burr Chesterfield 1 (3 seasons to go) 1 (could make 4x4) 07-10 1A Ian Harper Chesterfield 1 (3 seasons to go) 1 (could make 4x4) 05-08 2A Dalton Harper Chesterfield 3 (1 season to go) 2 (could make 4x3) So, how close were the 4x3 wrestlers to making it a 4x4? Was Eastside/Oddo heads and toes above the pack? Not exactly, since all of the 4x3 wrestlers came within a slim margin of defeat and could have been 4x4. Let's take a look at where those 4 defeats took place ... one elusive team title got away from each of them. Carl Van Sewell of Airport 1975-1978 - 4x3 in his career - here's how his one elusive team title got away: Van Sewell's Airport teams would finish as team state champs his Sophomore, Junior and Senior years. His Freshman year was a 2nd place team finish - Lower Richland won the team title with 73 points compared to Airport's second best 57 points (this was prior to the Dual format which settles team titles now). In Coach Jim Barnes' fantastic career, Carl Van Sewell became SC's first 4x state champion, though Carl would be Barnes' only 4x state champion. Barnell Mack of Swansea 1978-1981 - 4x3 in his career - here's how his one elusive team title got away: Mack's Swansea teams would finish as team state champs his Sophomore, Junior and Senior years. His Freshman year was a 2nd place team finish - Woodruff won the team title with 187.5 points compared to Swansea's second best 167 points (this was prior to the Dual format which settles team titles now). Ben Connell of Lugoff-Elgin 1997-2000 - 4x3 in his career - here's how his one elusive team title got away: Connell's Lugoff-Elgin teams would finish as team state champs his Freshman, Sophomore and Junior years. His Senior year was a 2nd place team finish - Eastside defeated Lugoff-Elgin in the State Dual finals by a score of 31-27. The rivalry between these two teams had been developing but never would it reach such a peak as in 2000. Eastside led the final's match 31-21 with the HWT match to go, and they forfeited the last match while Connell had his hand raised in obvious resent. Connell had expected to anchor the 4th team championship with his heavyweight class possibly deciding the outcome. Instead, an upset at 171 lbs. gave Eastside the swing points it needed and created a wild celebration two matches later when Eastside also won at 189 and 215 to claim its first of six state team titles, all in this decade!! Eastside reversed the 1999 title results when Lugoff-Elgin won the team title over Eastside 39-25. The rivalry between these teams continues to be one of the best in the state and the payback comes with the next wrestler going for 4x4! Matt Leach of Eastside 2003-2006 - 4x3 in his career - here's how his one elusive team title got away: Leach's Eastside teams would finish as team state champs his Sophomore, Junior and Senior years. His Freshman year was a Semi-Final loss in the Dual State Tourney - Lugoff-Elgin this time revenged another payback from Connell's senior season. Lugoff-Elgin made it to the State Dual Finals for the 7th consecutive year in 2003 and would defeat Leach's Eastside squad 30-27 in the Semis. The rivalry had reached a higher peak than in 2000, and continues to this day! In the 14 years that the 3A team title has been decided by a Dual format, Lugoff-Elgin and Eastside have met 11 of those 14 years with Eastside holding a 7 to 4 advantage. As you can see from the JC Oddo era below, Eastside went from trailing 3-4 in State Dual match-ups to dominating the series with 4 consecutive state dual victories. Matt Leach played a big part in 3 of those Dual tourney victories (2004-2006), but I'm sure he will always remember 2003. For most of us in wrestling, we all seem to remember vividly our losses more than our victories. J.C. Oddo of Eastside 2004-2007 - 4x4 in his career! Eastside would defeat Lugoff-Elgin 4 straight years in the State Dual Semi-Finals to make a powerful statement in the rivalry between these two schools and shake the monkey off the 4x4 curse that denied every wrestler in 39 prior years this "mat of dreams" success. Not only did Eastside as a team provide 4 consecutive titles, JC Oddo handled his success on the mat like it was all business. During his freshman year, he humbled an impressive senior who was a returning state placer named Tony Washington. After high school, Washington has been nationally ranked in college and wrestles at Newberry College. The Silverberg brothers from North Myrtle Beach next experienced the Oddo final's factor. In Oddo's sophomore year, returning senior state champion Matt Silverberg was pinned by Oddo in the finals. And, in Oddo's junior year, younger brother Jon Silverberg was able to avoid the pin but lost by major decision. In Oddo's senior season, Alex Rivchun was pinned to cap the first perfect 4x4. 2007 3A Dual Finals - Eastside 41, North Myrtle Beach 24 ---- Semi-Finals Eastside 36, Lugoff-Elgin 32 2006 3A Dual Finals - Eastside 41, North Myrtle Beach 19 ---- Semi-Finals Eastside 39, Lugoff-Elgin 24 2005 3A Dual Finals - Eastside 46, Chapin 24 ---- Semi-Finals Eastside 50, Lugoff-Elgin 27 2004 3A Dual Finals - Eastside 59, Lake City 12 ---- Semi-Finals Eastside 33, Lugoff-Elgin 27 2007 - 189 lbs. 3A State Finals J.C. Oddo of Eastside pinned Alex Rivchun of Hilton Head (a Sr.) 2006 - 189 lbs. 3A State Finals J.C. Oddo of Eastside won 23-7 over Jon Silverberg of North Myrtle Beach (a Jr.) 2005 - 171 lbs. 3A State Finals J.C. Oddo of Eastside pinned Matt Silverberg of North Myrtle Beach (a Sr.) 2004 - 135 lbs. 3A State Finals J.C. Oddo of Eastside won by DQ stalling over Tony Washington of Georgetown (a Sr.) Before Oddo arrived into the Eastside starting line-up, Eastside had a 43% winning percentage against their main foe Lugoff-Elgin in State Duals and Eastside only had won the state wrestling title as a team twice before. The tide turned when Oddo arrived, though credit can never go to just one person. Oddo was surrounded by good coaches and good teammates. Teamwork aside, let's break down Oddo's run through each of his 4 state tourneys. If you will take just five more minutes I want you to read this paragraph because it puts these accomplishments all in perspective, with a touch of unwritten awe up to this point, and why the magnitude and legand will grow over time (I believe). Since only 8 wrestlers have gone undefeated in 4 state tournament brackets, it now becomes a matter of studying the breadth of defeat inflicted in the 12 matches each would likely have had. JC Oddo never had to finish a 7 minute match in his high school career during the 3A state tournament. Let me write it one other way ... Oddo dominated the 3A state tournament like no other wrestler in the last 39 years and he NEVER had to finish a match at 3A State in a decision or major decision. No other wrestler in SC state tournament history finished their career 12-0 with zero matches going the full 7 minutes, until 2007 when Oddo decided to raise the bar. Seven prior 4 time state champs all wrestled with opponents in fear, but they did not wipe the mat up quite like this. Calculating the points, out of a possible 72 team points a wrestler can get for his team in 4 years of state tournaments, Oddo earned 71 team points. Only Jon Silverberg held him a point shy of perfection. We'll have to see if anyone can ever reach 72 team points in a career at State. Let's take a quick look at the details and domination: 3A State tournament results: 2004 - as a Freshman Oddo pinned his first two opponents and recived a victory by DQ for stalling in the finals. 2005 - as a Sophomore Oddo pinned his three opponents. 2006 - as a Junior Oddo pinned his first two opponents and recived a technical fall in the finals. 2007 - as a Senior Oddo pinned his three opponents. That's just total domination folks. 7 minutes never ticked off. 4 straight years. 10 pins. 12-0. There's a good chance that within 3 years there will be four other SC wrestlers to accomplish the same 4x4, but Oddo will always be the first 4x4 and possibly most remembered. The magnidue of it all was worth one last article. If you're wondering what's next for JC Oddo, he is at The Citadel as a freshman, and continuing his wrestling career. Hopefully in this SCMAT exclusive article for 2007-2008 the history of SC wrestling is defining itself as an exciting past with a future awaiting more greatness. These historical articles at SCMAT will hopefully provide accurate facts though we may always have missed some data at some point. If you notice a correction, addition or just want to comment please send a reply to firstname.lastname@example.org thanks, Mark Buford