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Kersey pleased with IL mat effort

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Team strong in holiday tournaments

By Robert Howey

A long two-day road trip to Hilton Head could go a long way in the Indian Land Warriors’ wrestling season.

IL coach Mike Kersey was pleased with the Warriors’ effort in the Seahawk Duals at Hilton Head High School on Monday and Tuesday.

The Warriors won their pool and went 4-2 in six matches.

“We accomplished what we wanted at Hilton Head,” Kersey said. “We were down four starters, so we felt, as a team, we wrestled well against an outstanding field.

“We gained a lot of experience against some tough competition,” Kersey said.

The Warriors defeated Class AAAA Berkeley High School 42-27, Effingham (Ga.) 63-6, Groves (Ga.) 60-12 and St. James High School of Murrell’s Inlet 42-24.

The IL losses were to Hilton Head 65-12 and Myrtle Beach 53-28.

“We worked against a variety of teams in the tournament and were exposed to Lower State competition, which we don’t see much of over the course of the wrestling season,” Kersey said. “That Hilton Head High School team is outstanding. They won the Class AAA Lower State title last year and they have a loaded team.”

The week prior to the Hilton Head tournament, Indian Land competed in the Demon Classic at Class AAA Lugoff-Elgin High School in Kershaw County where four IL grapplers placed.

Trevor Jones, at 135, and IL’s 145-pounder Thomas Harris each placed third. Dakota Landry had a fifth-place finish and Jared Smith, at 103, was sixth in the field.

Indian Land placed 11th in the 32-team field. The Warriors, at one point in the tournament, were as high as sixth.

“Our work over the holidays is going to make a difference for us,” Kersey said. “I feel it will make us a better team over the long haul.”

Indian Land will open the 2009 portion of its wrestling schedule on Wednesday when the Warriors travel to Chesterfield to face the host Rams, Buford and North Central in a Conference III-A quad match.

ILHS hosted the same trio last month and went 2-1.

The Warriors will compete in the Bearcat Classic at Rock Hill High School on Jan. 9-10.

“We’re shooting for a top 10 finish and at least one individual title and multiple places,” Kersey said. “It’s a challenge, but I feel our wrestlers are capable.”