Codrian Smalls didn't need drastic measures to drop to his desired weight, just practice, a sensible diet and trips to the sauna twice each week.
The Beaufort High School senior wrestler wanted the competition at 182 pounds, and he didn't need much work to get there. He wrestled his first matches at his new weight this past weekend at Battery Creek High School, with good success. He entered his final home match Wednesday confident, despite facing the No. 6-ranked wrestler at 182 in Class 4-A, Ashley Ridge's Joe Pringle.
Smalls thought he held the advantage, having been heavier and with experience wrestling heavier competition. Pringle surprised Smalls with his technique early but was overmatched on the Eagles' senior night. Smalls earned a decision to give Beaufort High its first lead en route to a 46-23 victory.
"All the competition is at 182," Smalls said. "I tried to go as low as I can without starving myself."
Beaufort High finished the regular season 20-6 overall and 4-1 in Region 8-AAAA. The first round of individual state qualifying is next week at the Region 8-AAAA meet at Ashley Ridge.
The Eagles' final home match of the season unfolded as expected. Beaufort High coach Bill Damude was able to wrestle all 10 of his seniors without affecting the outcome. Seniors Michael Holmes, Brandon Blackmon, Trey Arant, Smalls, Clint Wright and Tyler Wilson each earned victories on the night they were recognized. Blackmon, Arant, Wright and Wilson won with pins.
Damude didn't know why Ashley Ridge didn't wrestle Zach Armstrong, the No. 2-ranked wrestler in Class 4-A at 170. But the absence allowed the Eagles more flexibility with the lineup.
"I was real happy to get all the seniors in there," Damude said. "The beginning of the week, a big region match, we weren't sure we'd be able to get all those seniors in there. ... I figured our upper weights were strong enough to bring us victory, get that separation that we get."
Smalls' match might have been the most anticipated. Pringle's takedown during the second period brought him within a point, at 8-7, but Smalls' reversal and back points put him in control.
Smalls has worked on his duck-under takedowns and this summer learned the "super duck." He will keep his new weight into the postseason. Damude thinks his senior will be listed when the new rankings are released.
The Eagles' seniors and parents recognized Damude on Wednesday for his 25 years coaching and more than 350 victories. He received a plaque and an Ohio State football jersey bearing the name of Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller.
"I've been hanging around here," Damude said. "I'm just an old-timer."
Beaufort High 46, Ashley Ridge 23
106: Jake Sharp (B) dec. Ben Whitney, 4-3
113: William Spann (B) pinned Ty Jameison, first period
120: Demetri McNeal (AR) pinned Michael Pirozzi, first period
126: Christian Cuttino (AR) major dec. Tommy Collins, 12-4
132: Chandler Conlee (AR) major dec. William Valentin, 10-1
138: Tyrell Robinson (AR) pinned David DeRepentigny, third period
145: Chris Hudgens (AR) dec. Forrest Kimbrell, 6-4
152: Michael Holmes (B) major dec. Jack Whitney, 12-0
160: Brandon Blackmon (B) pinned Kendal Felder, third period
170: Trey Arant (B) pinned Colton Remika, third period
182: Codrian Smalls (B) dec. Joe Pringle, 16-9
195: Clint Wright (B) pinned Tyler Moore, second period
220: Tyler Wilson (B) pinned Devin Parker, first period
285: Kentrell Seabrook (B) pinned Kenny Glover, second period