Entering this season, Austin Farmer didn't expect the Bluffton High School wrestling team to be where it is now.
"We didn't think we were going to be that good," Farmer said. "But our team's just pulled together and pulled out so many wins."
What started with a region title and a first-round playoff win over Dreher continued on Saturday, as the Bobcats claimed four champions in the Region 7-AAA individual tournament Saturday at Hilton Head Island High.
Bluffton sent 13 wrestlers in all to Lower State, as the top four in each weight class qualified for the tournament, which will be held next Saturday in Georgetown.
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"It feels like the old Bluffton again," said the Bobcats' Levi Joly, who won the 113-pound title to earn all-region status. "Just being able to steamroll through some teams and have as many people as we have in the finals (is great)."
Bluffton and Cane Bay led the way with 13 qualifiers each. Berkeley had 11, Battery Creek 10 and Hilton Head High will send eight to Lower State.
Joly was the first Bobcat to win a championship on the day, recording an 18-3 technical fall over Cane Bay's Austin Huntington. It was the first all-region honor for Joly, who fell to Hilton Head High's Label Lewis in the finals last season.
Farmer added his own title at 132 pounds, as the junior earned a second-period pin of Cane Bay's Eddie Brookshire. Farmer sat out Bluffton's win over Dreher due to an injury.
Michael Meyerink (138) and Harry Chirinos (145) also won region titles for Bluffton.
"Everybody cares for each other and the coaches treat everybody with respect," Farmer said. "That, combined with everyone's heart, pulled everything together for us."
Not to be outdone, Battery Creek also had four region champs, highlighted by heavyweight David Ratliff. The 285-pounder tallied his 32nd pin of the season when he took down Bluffton's LaDarius Hughes in the first period.
"We always fight," Ratliff said of the Dolphins. "We never give up at Battery Creek."
Ratliff, attempting to earn his second consecutive state title, is 39-0 in matches this season. The senior -- ranked No. 1 in the state by scmat.com -- also will take part in the Senior Nationals in Virginia Beach, Va., in late March.
His teammates Chris Bockelman (106), DeAndre Johnson (160) and Shakill Gause (220) also earned all-region honors.
Hilton Head High had three wrestlers earn region titles in Label Lewis (120), Chris Ordonez (126) and Nick Bautista (195). Bautista, who is ranked No. 1 in his weight class, returned to the Seahawks' lineup last week for the first time in about a month but declined to comment on his absence.
REGION 7-AAA WRESTLING TOURNAMENT
Saturday, at Hilton Head Island High School
Champions earn all-region honors; Top four finishers at each weight qualify for Class 3-A Lower State tournament
106 pounds -- 1. Chris Bockelman, Battery Creek; 2. Lloyd Williams, Bluffton; 3. David Waddell, Hilton Head High; 4. Albert Ednilao, Cane Bay
113 pounds -- 1. Levi Joly, Bluffton; 2. Austin Huntington, Cane Bay; 3. Caleb Weaver, Battery Creek; 4. Byrd, Berkeley
120 pounds -- 1. Label Lewis, Hilton Head High; 2. DeAndre Robinson, Berkeley; 3. Paul McKeever, Cane Bay; 4. Evans Beach, Bluffton
126 pounds -- 1. Chris Ordonez, Hilton Head High; 2. Waner Velasquez, Bluffton; 3. Dominick Gadson, Berkeley; 4. Josh Green, Battery Creek
132 pounds -- 1. Austin Farmer, Bluffton; 2. Eddie Brookshire, Cane Bay; 3. Joey Kasper-Little, Battery Creek; 4. Isaiah Harris, Berkeley
138 pounds -- 1. Michael Meyerink, Bluffton; 2. Tillman Reeves, Cane Bay; 3. Brian LaBean, Battery Creek; 4. Hunter Massey, Hilton Head High
145 pounds -- 1. Harry Chirinos, Bluffton; 2. Michael Green, Cane Bay; 3. Trevon Rawls, Hilton Head High; 4. Zack Moore, Berkeley
152 pounds -- 1. Dustin Pope, Cane Bay; 2. Tyler Mills, Berkeley; 3. Sherman Smalls, Bluffton; 4. Chip Mullen, Hilton Head High
160 pounds -- 1. DeAndre Johnson, Battery Creek; 2. Alex King, Berkeley; 3. Dylan Pope, Cane Bay; 4. Alex Ruppert, Bluffton
170 pounds -- 1. Alonzo McGill, Berkeley; 2. Kyle Waddell, Bluffton; 3. Ryan Stovall, Cane Bay; 4. Javon Livingston, Battery Creek
182 pounds -- 1. Matt Rudy, Cane Bay; 2. Daniel Driggers, Berkeley; 3. Edgar Prada, Bluffton
195 pounds -- 1. Nick Bautista, Hilton Head High; 2. Josh Knight, Battery Creek; 3. Chris David, Cane Bay; 4. Daryus Smalls, Berkeley
220 pounds -- 1. Shakill Gause, Battery Creek; 2. Blake Perez, Cane Bay; 3. Jeremy Hardy, Berkeley; 4. Isai Hernandez, Bluffton
285 pounds -- 1. David Ratliff, Battery Creek; 2. LaDarius Hughes, Bluffton; 3. Eddie Felkel, Cane Bay; 4. Doug Bell, Hilton Head High