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SMC Pioneers sign Hood

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LHS wrestler first signee for Boulware

By Robert Howey

 

   

Lancaster High School senior wrestler Desmond Hood halted a Bruins’ mat drought on Tuesday, May 28.

Hood, a four-year starter in the LHS wrestling program, signed with Spartanburg Methodist College to give LHS its first wrestling signee in eight seasons.

Hood made it official in the LHS media center, signing with the Pioneers as his family along with LHS coaches and school officials watched.

“This is a banner moment for our wrestling program,” LHS wrestling coach Leon Boulware said. “This is real exciting for us and I’m thrilled for him. This is a stepping stone to give us some well-deserved recognition because it reflects the strides we’ve made on the mat in the last few years. Desmond has a chance to walk in at SMC and compete.”

Hood was a strong competitor for the Bruins.

He posted a 24-6 mat record this past season, competing in the 152-pound weight class despite a nagging knee injury.

He finished as a region runner-up for the Bruins, who were 13-7 last winter.

“I feel good and I’m excited,” Hood said. “This is the first Lancaster High School wrestling team member to sign in a few years.

“Wrestling in college is going to be an adventure,” he said.  “I’m looking forward to going there, competing hard, getting an education and winning a national title. Spartanburg Methodist has a good wrestling program and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

SMC recruiting coordinator Wells Shepard said he’s pleased to add Hood to the Pioneers’ fold.

“We’re excited to have an athlete with his academic standing and character,” said Shepard, who is also the SMC assistant wrestling coach.

“It’s so important to have, good quality people in your program. That’s what you build off each season.

“I like Desmond’s character and attention to academics and the fact that he is a good wrestler who will get better as time moves one,” Shepard said.

Hood has a 3.0 or higher GPA

“He will be hard to replace,” Boulware said. “He has a good work ethic, and I know he will do well at SMC which is an established program and a good place for him.

“This is great recognition for our wrestling program and I hope what he did today will inspire our younger wrestlers to work hard and follow on what he’s done with wrestling.”

Hood, in addition to wrestling, also played football for the Bruins, earning a letter for his play on defense in the LHS secondary and at defensive end.

“I’m real happy for Desmond,” Bruins’ athletic director Mark Strickland said. “He’s worked hard on the mat and field and in class for this chance to continue his education and athletic career.

“I look forward to following his career and seeing him excel at the next level. We’re proud of him and I know his family has the same feeling. This is a big week for him, signing with SMC for his future and graduation.”