With two reigning state champions among a lineup featuring 10 returning state qualifiers, the Dolphins are the top-ranked team in Class 3A heading into Wednesday’s opening duals against Military Magnet and host Whale Branch.
Beaufort and Hilton Head Island also hold top-5 spots in the Class 4A preseason rankings compiled by SCmat.com, with the Eagles opening at No.4 and the Seahawks right behind in fifth. Those teams open against each other Wednesday, joined by Summerville in a tri-match at Beaufort.
Whale Branch opens at No.17 in the Class 2A-1A rankings.
Battery Creek is led by state titleholders Omar Daniels (126 pounds) and Cooper Kaminsky (195), both winning at the Class 2A-1A level a year ago. Tyrus Singleton (120) and Turhon White (160) also reached the state semifinals.
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The Dolphins were beaten in last year’s Class 2A-1A Lower State final by Marion, which went on to beat Liberty for the state title.
Beaufort has a two-time returning titleholder in Tramone Jenkins (113 pounds), while brother Tramon was runner-up last year at 120 pounds. Hilton Head, runner-up to Eastside at Class 3A last season, returns two former champions in Billy Christie (160) and Alex Braden, who lost last spring’s 138-pound final after winning at 132 the previous year.