SC Wrestling Weekly Stories and Photos - Monday - October 10, 2005

Returning All-American Wrestlers in South Carolina

Matt Leach 1 Brantley Hooks 1
Matt Leach from Eastside ------------------ Brantley Hooks from Byrnes

Bryant Blanton 1 JC Oddo 1
Bryant Blanton from Summerville --------------- JC Oddo from Eastside

Photos Copyright 2005 Mark Buford.

Do we have the best Senior Class of SC wrestlers ever?

I believe that this is the Best Senior Class of SC wrestlers ever! And here is why ...

South Carolina has "never" (that I recall) had 9 senior wrestlers in one year
that could all have 3 or more state titles by the end of the season ...
... this should be a wrestling season for the record books!

We have One SC wrestler pursuing his fourth state title:
Matt Leach - Eastside (Sr., 2005 125 1st, 2004 103 1st, 2003 103 1st)

We have Eight SC wrestlers pursuing triple state titles:
Tyler Thompson - Spring Valley (Sr., 2005 112 1st, 2004 103 1st, 2003 103 2nd)
Corneilius Selke - Dutch Fork (Sr., 2005 119 1st, 2004 112 1st, 2003 103 SQ)
Brantley Hooks - Byrnes (Sr., 2005 145 1st, 2004 130 1st, 2003 119 4th)
Bryant Blanton - Summerville (Sr., 2005 171 1st, 2004 160 1st, 2003 152 2nd)
Lance McClester - Lugoff-Elgin (Sr., 2005 135 1st, 2004 125 1st)
Danny Curtis - Chesterfield (Sr., 2005 119 1st, 2004 112 1st)
Freeman Cooler - Bamberg-Ehrhardt (Sr., 2005 130 1st, 2004 130 1st, 2003 119 3rd)
Derek Royster - Woodruff (Sr., 2005 145 1st, 2004 140 1st, 2003 145 SQ)

All-American Hardware so far for our Seniors Leach, Hooks, Blanton ....
All-American at Junior Nationals - 125 lbs - Matt Leach (Eastside) finishes in 4th
All-American at NHSCA National Open - 125 lbs - Matt Leach (Eastside) finishes in 4th
All-American at Junior Nationals - 145 lbs - Brantley Hooks (Byrnes) finishes in 4th
All-American at Junior Nationals - 171 lbs - Bryant Blanton (Summerville) finishes in 2nd

Toss in JC Oddo's All-American hardware and we have 4 All-Americans already at the beginning of this season!
J.C. Oddo of Eastside Fargo Nationals summer 2005 in Freestyle 171 lbs 3rd Place, All-American Honors!

Can South Carolina as a team finish in the Top 10 of the Nation for all states?
The elite Senior class in the state of South Carolina finished 10th in nation at the Junior Nationals
in Cleveland this past Spring thanks to our 3 All-Americans. If we have a strong showing of other SC Seniors
this Spring at Senior Nationals, I believe SC will crack the Top 10 for the first time at Senior Nationals!

If we look at past South Carolina accomplishments at Senior Nationals (see below), SC has only performed the
double All-American hat trick during six different years. If we can land 3 or more as All-Americans next
Spring then the verdict will be easy ... Best Senior Class ever!

Before we look too far in the future and give extra credit before the test, let's remember there is a lot of wrestling
that will have to take place to reach all the future accolades we would like to see come our way in SC.

It's almost Mat Time, so, best wishes this season to our SC wrestlers and especially the Senior class
we hope continues to excel Nationally!

NHSCA Senior National Championships 1990-2005 All-Americans
2001 112 2nd Ryan McClester (Lugoff-Elgin)
2000 275 1st Ben Connell (Lugoff-Elgin)
1999 103 8th Berry Carlton (Greer)
1999 275 4th C.J. Frye (Irmo)
1998 119 8th Travis Drake (Cheraw)
1996 152 8th Dennis Mitchell (Conway)
1996 275 2nd Nick DiBenedetto (Rock Hill)
1994 103 5th Clay Cavanaugh (Lexington)
1994 275 3rd Shelton Benjamin (Orangeburg-Wilkinson)
1993 145 8th Charles Barton (Beaufort)
1993 160 8th Brian Collier (Summerville)
1991 145 1st Lamar Thompson (Rock Hill)
1991 189 5th Damon Poage (Rock Hill)
1990 103 3rd Harris Lawton (Beaufort)
1990 145 2nd Dan Wirnsberger (Greer)

Article by Mark Buford