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The Indian Land High School Warriors will send five wrestlers, including two Class A-AA Upper State champions, to the Class A-AA state championship tournament at the Anderson Civic Center in Anderson this weekend, Feb. 22-23.
“Our wrestlers were in the wrestling mood this weekend,” Indian Land High coach Rondale Truesdale said. “This was impressive. We stepped it up and performed well this weekend.”
The Warriors will be led by freshman Dalen Byerley and senior Dylan Deese.
Byerley, in the 113-pound weight class, captured the Upstate title at the Class A-AA Upstate tournament at Liberty High School in Liberty with a 4-0 record.
“This is Byerly’s first trip to the Upper State tournament and he won and is going to the state,” said Truesdale, a former state champion. “You don’t see that a lot out of a freshman, but that says a lot about him.”
Deese, in the 182-pound weight class, topped his weight class as he fashioned a 3-0 effort in Liberty.
“Dylan hasn’t wrestled since the ninth grade, but he came on and gave an outstanding effort in his final season,” Truesdale said. “He battled in a tough weight class. He’s making the most of his senior season.”
The Warriors, who finished the season at 21-11 and ranked No. 11 in the final Class A-AA state poll by SCMAT, had a pair of wrestlers earn Upstate runner-up efforts.
Junior Taylor Pendleton, in the 126-pound weight class, was second with a 3-1 showing. Eric Komorous, an Indian High junior, placed second at 170 in the Upstate meet with a 2-1 performance.
The fifth Warriors’ wrestler who did well was junior Devin Curtsinger, third in the 138-pound weight class with a 4-1 showing.
Byerley, Pendleton, Curtsinger and Komorous each captured region titles at the All-Region IV-AA tournament at Buford High School on Saturday, Jan. 26.
Truesdale noted IL’s region competed well.
“The coaches were impressed by our wrestlers and our region as a whole,” he said. “We had six of 11 wrestlers in the semifinals, and three of our wrestlers, Thomas Seamon, James Daley and Richie Wilkinson were a match away from qualifying for the state.
“Buford had two in the finals, with a winner in Dylan Altman and Cheraw had three in the finals with two winning.”
IL athletic director Mike Mayer lauded the IL effort.
“These wrestlers have done well this season and they are to be congratulated on their effort in the Upper State tournament,” Mayer said. “We wish them the best this weekend in their quests for state titles.
“I know coach Kersey would be proud of the wrestlers and coach Truesdale in keeping the Warriors’ wrestling tradition going strong,” Mayer said.
The Warriors, in the Class A-AA Upper State dual tournament, advanced to the Class AA Upstate semifinals where they fell to Liberty. Liberty won the Upper State duals title with a win over Crescent. Liberty finished as the state runner-up after falling to Lower State champion Bamberg-Ehrhardt.
Altman leads Buford
Buford’s Dylan Altman led the Jackets’ mat effort in the Class A-AA Upper State wrestling tournament at Liberty High School.
Altman, a BHS senior 132-pounder, captured his second straight Class A-AA Upper State championship with a 3-0 record for the day. Altman had a pin and two decisions.
“Dylan has worked hard in the last year,” BHS coach John Mahaffey said. “Last year he was a state runner-up and I feel like that has been his motivation this season to work harder.”
Altman, no matter how he finishes in the Class A-AA state tournament, has been selected to wrestle in the annual North South All-Star Classic at North Myrtle Beach High School on March 1.
Buford’s Jeremy Broyles, 2-1 for the day, was second at 182. Indian Land’s Dylan Deese was the Upstate winner at 182.
BHS senior Josh Mullens, with a 3-1 mark, placed third in his weight class at 170.
Mahaffey noted the Jackets just missed having freshman Scottie Moser qualify as he fell a match short.
“That’s quite a feat for a freshman,” Mahaffey said.
Buford had a total of 11 Jackets wrestlers qualify for the AA Upstate field. The Yellow Jackets Upstate qualifiers included Ronnie Watts (113), Nick Jones (120), Jonathan Mackey (138), Garrett Johnson (145), Kyle Norcia (160), Matt Bass (195), and Brandon Carnes (220).
The Jackets were 13-9 on the season, falling to Columbia High School in the opening round of the Class AA Upper State duals tournament Saturday, Feb. 2.