Since the 1A classification began its own duals tournament in 2006, there had only been one champion and one second-place finisher.
That all changed at Dreher High School on Saturday, as Bamberg-Ehrhardt
finally knocked off Chesterfield in the finals. The Red Raiders won 35-32
"This is awesome," Bamberg-Ehrhardt wrestling head coach Cody Slaughter told the Orangeburg Times and Democrat. "This is the first one in school history, and we took a butt cutting from Chesterfield four years in a row in this thing. We finally came back, gave them all they wanted and came out on top."
The state championship was the first in wrestling in school history for the Red Raiders. They took a 21-20 lead late in the match with a win by 103-pounder Damion Johnson and then got a forfeit at 112 pounds.
Up next was the 119-pound match. Slaughter sent out Malcolm Jones, the state's third-ranked 112-pounder, to face off with the top 119-pounder in the state. Jones won by decision.
"After the 112-pound weight class took the forfeit, we knew that if Malcolm (Jones) could go out and upset their guy, we knew the match was over because we knew Lan (Hiers) was going to win his match," Slaughter told the paper.
Hiers did just that and helped wrap up the title.
Bamberg-Ehrhardt wasn't alone in winning a state title on Saturday, as all four classifications crowned champions. The West-Oak (Westminster)
Rams won the 3A title, erasing a 17-year drought, as Jeff Jordan's team toppled Chapin 31-27 in the finals.
The Rams were losing by one point heading into the final match, which 130-pounder Bill Sexton won by a technical fall to seal the win. It gave West-Oak its first state team title since 1994 in any sport.
"I just tried to stay relaxed and focused as the match came down to the end," Sexton told The State. "My teammates kept coming up to tell me they had confidence in me. I was a little nervous at first, but then I settled down."
While his was the winning match, the Rams got big wins across the board. In six matches that pitted wrestlers ranked in the top three of each weight class, the Rams won five of those.
"We put our best kids against their best kids, and we got more than maybe we expected," Warriors coach Jeff Jordan told the paper. "We've been in close, tough matches all season, so we were ready for this. We knew it was going to be this close. It was all down to the team that made the fewest mistakes."
In 2A wrestling, Hanahan
toppled Chesnee, a third-year program, 53-25 for the title. It was especially sweet for Hanahan, as the team was kicked out of the playoffs last season for using an ineligible wrestler. The Hawks won seven of the first nine matches, earning pins in each victory.
"I'll sleep very well tonight, and so will all of the boys," Hawks coach Ray Adkins told the Charleston Post and Courier after the win. "We can forget about what happened last year."
After needing a win in the final match to clinch the 4A upper state title, the Hillcrest Rams didn't waste much time in winning the state championship. Lexington won the first match and then the Rams steamrolled to a 23-3 lead after six matches.
"I guess I still have tunnel vision with the individual tournament coming up, so it probably won't hit me that we finally won a state championship until March," Hillcrest coach Tommy Bell told The State.ALL-STAR TEAMS NAMED
The South Carolina all-star basketball teams were named last week and the teams are loaded with talent from across the state.
These teams will play in the Carolinas All-Star Basketball Classic on March 19 at Socastee High School. The South Carolina seniors will play teams the North Carolina all-stars. The girls game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the boys game for 8:30 p.m.Mann (Greenville)
coach Jeff Craft will get to coach his standout, guard Damien Leonard
, in his final prep game. Leonard has signed with the South Carolina Gamecocks. Another standout is Westside forward Fred Mattison
, who signed with Winthrop.
The other boys on the team are: Jonathan Rumph
, Brookland-Cayce; Jeremy Clinkscales
, Irmo; C.J. Bray
, James Island; Eric Washington
, Keenan; Ron Trapps
, Lancaster; Cortell Busby
, Lewisville; Jerrell Adam
, Scott's Branch; Kameron Dunnican
The girls team is: Hayden Latham
, Christ Church; Eboni Ross
, Eau Claire; Britney Holliday
, J.L. Mann; Briana Robinson
, Spring Valley; Jazma Green
, Darlington; Aleighsa Welch
, Goose Creek; Jasmine Phillips
, Hartsville; Geneika Brantley
, Marion; Shatia Cole
, Myrtle Beach and Kayla West
, North Augusta.HOOPS PLAYOFFS BEGINNING
Basketball playoffs began in the state on Monday, with more first round games on the slate for Tuesday and Wednesday.MaxPreps South Carolina boys basketball playoff bracketsMaxPreps South Carolina girls basketball playoff brackets
Like in years past, the state semifinals will be played in two different locations.
The upper state title games will be played at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville on Feb. 25-26, while the lower state finals will be played on the campus of The Citadel on the same weekend. The state finals will be played at the Colonial Center in Columbia on March 4-5.
Only one team - the Christ Church Episcopal (Greenville)
girls - are going for a three-peat. The Cavaliers have won back-to-back 1A titles, knocking off Hardeeville the past two seasons.EASTSIDE HIRES THOMASON
The Eastside (Taylors)
Eagles found a familiar face to fill their coaching job. Jeff Thomason, who graduated from nearby Greer High School, was named Eastside's football coach last week.
Thomason, who spent the last three years at Emerald and coached in Alabama for seven seasons, takes over for Jeff Feltz, who steps down after five seasons. Thomason played at Clemson and also spent time coaching at Southside and Mauldin, both Greenville County schools like Eastside.
"From the minute I walked in the door for the first interview, I felt at home here," Thomason told the Greenville News. "The more I've gotten to know these kids over the past couple days and the more I've talked to some of them, the more I know that this is exactly where I want to be."Jason Gilmer is an award-winning writer who has covered football in South Carolina for more than a decade. He does a statewide high school football blog on GoUpstate.com. You can reach him at email@example.com.