John Hollman has put out fliers, made announcements over the public address system and held open tryouts. It's all been in an attempt to get just a few more kids out to Bluffton High School's wrestling practices.
"I've issued the public challenge, I've made the invitations," Hollman said. "We've done everything but carry them to practice."
The outcry for help hasn't aided the Bobcats much of late, however, as three more forfeits led to a deflating 57-12 loss to Region 8-AAAA rival Summerville on Wednesday night. A handful of losses joined quickly by the trio of forfeits sealed Bluffton's fate before the strength of Hollman's team could even take the mat.
"It's kind of indicative of our season," Hollman said. "It's tough to deal with because I've never had that problem. I've never had that problem as a coach. ... The program has always been successful and we've always done well."
The Bobcats fell to 0-3 in their new region, with the most deflating loss coming last week at Beaufort High. Bluffton had a chance to win in the final weight class of the night, despite the forfeits in the heavier weights, but fell short.
This time, the outcome was known much earlier. Bluffton opened with Talon Seitz's pin at 132 pounds before reclaiming a 9-6 advantage minutes later thanks to Alex Waddell's 11-5 decision over Robert English at 145. But the Green Wave, ranked No. 4 in Class 4-A by scmat.com, won each of the next seven weight classes -- including forfeits at 160, 220 and 285 -- to build an insurmountable 43-9 advantage.
"They're here in the building, they're wandering the halls," Hollman said of potential wrestlers joining the team. "Even though Summerville's more than twice our size, we've still got bodies in this building. We've still got kids walking around this building that can help us out.
"You can't compete at the highest level when you're relinquishing 18 points right off the bat."
The Bobcats did see some positives, however. Seitz, ranked No. 2 at 132, joined Levi Joly (113) and Waddell (145) with wins. Joly, ranked No. 2 at 113, earned a 3-1 decision over Justin Connelly.
Bluffton will have to win its two remaining region matches in order to qualify for the postseason. The Bobcats will travel to Ashley Ridge in the coming weeks before hosting Colleton County in the region finale.
Summerville 57, Bluffton 12
Note: Match started at 132. Summerville was penalized one team point for unsportsmanlike conduct.
106: Dylan Wyman (Summerville) dec. Buddy Drew, 11-10
113: Levi Joly (Bluffton) dec. Justin Connelly, 3-1
120: Tyler Fachko (Summerville) pinned Eddie Salvador, 2nd period
126: Gavin Perkins (Summerville) pinned Khadeil Ergas, 1st period
132: Talon Seitz (Bluffton) pinned Marc Thompson, 1st period
138: Daniel Smith (Summerville) Collin Placke, 1st period
145: Alex Waddell (Bluffton) dec. Robert English, 11-5
152: Chad Wood (Summerville) maj. dec. Michael Meyerink, 15-7
160: Anthony Collins (Summerville) wins by forfeit
170: Kyle Sullivan (Summerville) pinned Andreas Nava, 1st period
182: Austin Walters (Summerville) pinned Kyle Waddell, 1st period
195: Adam Blocker (Summerville) dec. Edgar Prada, 7-2
220: Robet Carson (Summerville) won by forfeit
285: Wesley Privette (Summerville) won by forfeit