Of the 29 Beaufort County high school wrestlers to qualify for the individual state tournament this weekend, 14 still have a chance at winning championships after the first day of action in Anderson.
In Class 4-A, Beaufort High and Bluffton had particularly strong showings, as six Eagles and three Bobcats will try to claim gold today after advancing past the first round.
Trey Arant and Clint Wright led the charge for Beaufort High, moving on to the semifinals after pins in their Friday matches.
Bluffton, which only qualified three wrestlers for the state meet, has all three in the semifinals. Austin Farmer won his opening match by pin and Mike Meyerink scored a major decision. Levi Joly won a close decision and will face Beaufort's William Spann in today's semifinals at 113 pounds.
"All our guys have been here before, all our guys know what it's all about," Bluffton coach John Hollman said. "Everybody's good at this point. You've got to go out there and give it everything you've got. You've gotta act like there's no tomorrow, and trust in your abilities."
Hilton Head Island High didn't have much success on Friday in the Class 3-A portion, as only 132-pounder Label Lewis will be trying for a state title today. Lewis (58-2) cruised into the semis with a major decision. He will face Greenville's William Cody Ferguson (55-5) for a spot in the finals.
In Class 2-A/1-A, three of Battery Creek's five state qualifiers kept their title hopes alive Friday. Joseph Cuevas, DeAndre Johnson and Isaiah Sloan won their opening bouts for the Dolphins. Johnson won with a technical fall and Sloan registered a pin in the first round.
Whale Branch had very little luck on the opening day, as only heavyweight Max Ford advanced to the semifinals. The Warriors' five other state qualifiers all lost Friday.
Individual State Wrestling Championships
106: Jake Sharp -- dec. Devon Faile (Rock Hill), 7-2
113: William Spann -- dec. Trevon Davis (Byrnes), 6-4
145: Forrest Kimbrell -- lost to Charlie Conner (Byrnes), 4-0
152: Michael Holmes -- pinned by Will Thomas (Dorman), first period
160: Trey Arant -- pinned Kris Hughes (Rock Hill), second period
182: Codrian Smalls -- maj. dec. Ian Shannon (JL Mann), 10-2
195: Clint Wright -- pinned Landon Sayegh (Hillcrest), second period
220: Kentrell Seabrook -- dec. Zach Conrad (Clover), 6-2
285: Tyler Wilson -- lost to Beau Nunn (York), 9-4
113: Levi Joly -- dec. Eddie Byrums (Fort Mill), 6-4
138: Austin Farmer -- pinned Varlee Kelleh (Woodmont), first period
152: Mike Meyerink -- maj. dec. Cole Gregory (Clover), 17-5
Hilton Head Island
106: Matt Levy -- lost to Scout Davison (Broome), 6-2
113: Tyler Fick -- pinned by David Walker (Eastside), second period
126: Brock Massey -- lost to Cole Anderson (Eastside), 5-0
132: Label Lewis -- maj. dec. Aaron Woodard (Broome), 13-3
152: Trevon Rawls -- pinned by Chris Bloch (Dreher), first period
195: JC Graham -- lost to Alex LeCroy (Chapman), 7-5
106: Joseph Cuevas -- dec. Fisher Flemming (Pendleton), 16-12
138: Brian Labean -- pinned by Jacob Hopper (Newberry), second period
160: DeAndre Johnson -- tech. fall Robert Kelly (Cheraw), 18-3
195: Isaiah Sloan -- pinned Jared Fowler (Chesnee), second period
285: Jonathan Wright -- lost to Morris Williams (Keenan), 1-0
113: Chris Conn -- lost to Dalen Byerley (Indian Land), 15-0
126: Javon Gardner -- pinned by Taylor Pendleton (Indian Land), first period
170: Mark Rivers -- lost to BJ Yeargin (Crescent), 8-5
182: Juan Allen -- pinned by Dylan Deese (Indian Land), first period
195: Trey Nelson -- pinned by Ben Glace (Abbeville), second period
285: Max Ford -- dec. Avery Thompson (Abbeville), 6-3