Wrestlers Levi Joly of Bluffton, Martin Duane of HHH earn All-America honors

mmccombs@islandpacket.comApril 1, 2014 

Bluffton wrestler Levi Joly shows off his award for being named an All-American by the NHSCA.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Bluffton senior Levi Joly and Hilton Head Island High School sophomore Martin Duane earned All-American status after their performances over the weekend at the 25th annual NHSCA High School Wrestling Championships at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

The top eight in each weight class in each division are named All-Americans. Both wrestlers are the first wrestling All-Americans in the history of their respective schools.

"It's huge for us, it's huge for him," Bluffton coach John Hollman said of Joly's fourth-place finish in the 106-pound senior division. "There's not a more deserving kid. He puts in the time and effort. Now he can always say he was an All-American. It's forever."

According to Hollman, Joly is a four-time state qualifier with 183 wins in his career.

"Now you throw in an All-American on top of it," Hollman said, "it's pretty neat."

For Hilton Head Island, Martin lost his first match on Friday night in the first round and had to turn around and win five straight matches in one day in order to become a 182-pound sophomore All-American.

"To win five matches in one day against that kind of competition is kind of remarkable, I think," Seahawks coach Mike Newton said.

Newton said Hilton Head Island has been taking guys to the national championships since 1995, and the closest to an All-American the Seahawks have had was Label Lewis, who came up a match short last year. He said he has taken state champions that have gone 0-2.

"I always tell the guys that everyone always has that one moment when they become a wrestler," Newton said. "Well, Martin has accomplished a lot, but Saturday, that was his moment. Winning those five matches, that was fun to watch, I can't wait to see what that springboards him to."

In addition to Joly, Mike Meyerink (senior, 132) went 2-2 and Talon Seitz (sophomore, 138) was 1-2 for Bluffton.

"Both represented the school very well," Hollman said.

For the Seahawks, Brock Massey (junior, 132) was 2-2 and Matt Levy (junior, 120) was 0-2.

"(Massey had) two dominating wins," Newton said. "He wrestled real well. ... I would have liked to have seen (Levy) win a couple."

Beaufort High's William Spann (120) went 1-2 in the sophomore division.

Newton said that after experiencing a big competition like this, his wrestlers should be more than prepared for anything they might encounter at a high school match in South Carolina.

Hollman said these events are an opportunity to make a statement, as well as learn about themselves.

"It's a tremendous opportunity any time you get to compete at the national level," Hollman said. "It gives you a chance to prove yourself, and in a lot of cases, showcase yourself to colleges and coaches.

"And it's a good litmus test. It acts as a barometer to show you where you're at."

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