Eastside too strong for Hawks in AAA title match
It wasn’t until the very end that Hanahan’s move up to Class AAA proved to be too tall a task for the Hawks’ wrestling program.
They ran into a buzzsaw in the Class AAA final on Saturday, losing to perennial power Eastside 38-27 in Columbia. The top-ranked Eagles led 38-9 before forfeiting the final three matches.
“We wrestled our best match today and the score is pretty indicative of how good of a team Eastside is,” HHS coach Ray Adkins said. “… Our kids fought hard but it wasn’t enough to win a state championship.”
Adkins’ team won the last two state titles in Class AA and breezed through the playoffs before ending the season in disappointment. They finished the team portion of the season with a 23-4 mark. The individual Lower State and state finals lie ahead.
“Our goal was to win the championship and they were good enough to get here and wrestle for it but not good enough to beat Eastside,” Adkins said. “… The kids were disappointed and that’s hard to see.”
Adkins’ team figures to be a player in the chase for the title next season too, though. The Hawks return 10 of the 14 starting wrestlers on Saturday.
Hanahan won three of the first five matches via decision and led 9-7 before Eastside proved to be too strong. A pin at heavyweight gave the Eagles a 13-7 lead and they pulled away in the four lightweight matches, where they had a clear talent and experience advantage.
It was the ninth state championship for the Eagles under coach Jack Kosmicki since 2000, but the first in four years.
Eastside has secured more state championships and posted playoff wins (51) that any other Class AAA program since the classification adopted a dual meet playoff system in 1995.
The other two state champions crowned on Saturday were Lexington in Class AAAA and Bamberg-Ehrhardt in Class AA-A.
160: John Thorpe (E) dec. Forrest Bowman 6-4.
170: Brett Maddox (H) dec. Taylor Chemell 6-4.
182: Dennis Flores (H) dec. Michael Fernandez 14-8.
195: Zach Lake (E) dec. Lyndon Young 12-2.
220: Jacob Garibay (H) dec. Faud Serdah 7-6.
285: John Long (E) pinned Anthony Tolliver 1:06.
106: Zane Mitchell (E) dec. Devin Hatchell 9-0.
113: David Walker (E) pinned Tyler Talacko 3:36.
120: Charlton Clark (E) pinned Elijah Wortham 0:51.
126: Cole Anderson (E) pinned Dalton Coker 5:11.
132: Clay Walker (E) dec. J.J. Johnson 5-0.
138: Haven Horleback (H) won by forfeit.
145: Brian Joseph (H) won by forfeit.
152: Dariell Flores (H) won by forfeit.