.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

IL nets 3 upstate crowns

-A A +A

Curtsinger, Byerley, Komorous lead Warriors

By Robert Howey

The Indian Land Warriors posted an impressive mat showing in the Class A-AA Upper State tournament at Liberty High School over the weekend, Feb. 21-22.

The Warriors, who took eight wrestlers to the Upstate tourney, captured three weight classes in the two-day event.

IL advanced six wrestlers, with the trio of Dalen Byerley, Devin Curtsinger and Eric Komorous leading the way with each capturing an individual Class A-AA Upstate crown.

Byerley, 45-2, won the 120-pound weight class, while Curtsinger, on the strength of four pins, took the 145-pound weight class to push his record to 41-4 on the season.

Byerley and Curtsinger were each seeded second in their respective weight classes heading into the Class A-AA Upstate field on Friday.

Senior Eric Komorous, a No. 1 seed at 182, proved his top seed as he posted a 4-0 mark with three pins and a decision to up his mat mark to 40-2 on the season.

“Our guys wrestled well today and they did an outstanding job of representing our school and region,” IL wrestling coach Rondale Truesdale said. “I feel we will take a lot of momentum into the state tournament next weekend.”

The Warriors’ Class A-AA Upper State champions will be joined by three other IL teammates in the state field at the Anderson Civic Center this weekend.

Senior George Morris, who compiled a 3-1 effort at Liberty in the 152-pound class, finished as a Class A-AA Upper State runner-up.

Two other IL wrestlers were fourth to earn bids to the state field.

David Ovecka, in the 170-pound class, was 3-2 to qualify for the state along with Will Van Hoose, who also went 3-2 in the 195-pound class.

Ovecka is now 15-14 on the season, while Van Hoose is 33-20 in his weight class.

“Our wrestlers did a good job of keeping the matches close and taking care of business,” Truesdale said.

The Warriors had a seventh wrestler who just missed qualifying for the state tournament as Dylan Curtsinger was 3-2 in the 126-pound class. Nick Sheheen was 0-2 at 106.

u Buford qualified two Jackets’ grapplers for the Class A-AA state field as Scottie Moser, at 160, placed second after going 3-1 in his weight class.

Moser, a sophomore, is 32-5 on the season. He will be joined by BHS 106-pounder Devon Craig, a sophomore, who placed fourth to earn a bid to the Class A-AA state tournament in Anderson. Craig is 29-12.

“Both of these wrestlers have worked hard this season and I’m proud of them,” BHS wrestling coach John Mahaffey said. “Both are sophomores, so to make it to the state tournament is an outstanding accomplishment. The experience should be a real boost.”

u Andrew Jackson, in its second season of wrestling, made history at the Class A-AA Upper State tournament.

The Volunteers’ Dalton Haven fashioned a 3-1 effort for a second-place finish in the 138-pound weight class to become the first AJ High wrestler to earn a state berth.

Haven, 35-3 on the season, was one of five Vols’ wrestlers to compete in the Class A-AA Upper State field, but the lone AJ grappler to advance to the state field in Anderson.

“I am proud of Dalton. It’s a great accomplishment to qualify for states as a freshman,” AJ coach Rob Tomalis said. “He’s a great competitor, so I am looking forward to seeing him compete against the best in the state.

“Dalton has a bright future ahead of him, on and off the mats,” Tomalis said. “Dalton’s success is great for the future of the Andrew Jackson wrestling program.”