Braves earn state title shot with victory over Sharks

socwrestle-hodge2For the first time in school history, the Socastee High wrestling team is headed to the state championship match.

The Braves (23-1) defeated visiting rival St. James 42-30 in Saturday’s Class 3A Lower State Championship, sending Socastee to the state final against Monday’s winner between Eastside and Belton-Honea Path on Wednesday night at River Bluff High in Lexington.

The Braves defeated the Sharks on the same mat at the Braves Wave for the region title last week, and this one also went down to the wire. Socastee’s Kyle Burton pinned St. James’ Logan Richards in the 220-pound class to clinch the state title bid.

Socastee also got pins from Dylan Martin (120), Jordan Hodge (132), John Leggett (152) and Zac Moor (182) and earned decisions from Justin Knipper (126), Brad Melnytskyy (138) and Joe Smolenski (195) for wins in eight of the 14 weight divisions.

St. James got pins from Mackenzie Tecco (106), Chase Smith (112), Steven Deible (160) and decisions by Michael Mcwhorter (145) and James Sanders (170). John Foster (285) won by forfeit after the outcome of the match was already decided.

Socastee 42, St. James 30
(106 lbs.) Mackenzie Tecco of St James pinned Eugene Utley of Socastee.
(113 lbs.) Chase Smith of St James pinned Quin Gammon of Socastee in 5 minutes and 43 seconds.
(120 lbs.) Dylan Martin of Socastee pinned Larry Miller of St James in 2 minutes and 48 seconds.
(126 lbs.) Justin Knipper of Socastee beat Jason Wiggins of St James 17-2 (Technical Fall).
(132 lbs.) Jordan Hodge of Socastee pinned Randall Nielsen of St James in 2 minutes and 45 seconds.
(138 lbs.) Brad Melnytskyy of Socastee beat Jacob Seifert of St James 4-0 (Decision).
(145 lbs.) Michael Mewhorter of St James beat Sam McKinney of Socastee 5-1 (Decision).
(152 lbs.) John Leggett of Socastee pinned Alex Mauricio of St James in 1 minute and 02 seconds.
(160 lbs.) Steven Deible of St James pinned Andrew Badoo of Socastee in 1 minute and 04 seconds.
(170 lbs.) James Sanders of St James beat Aydin Imani of Socastee 4-0 (Decision).
(182 lbs.) Zach Mor of Socastee pinned Bradley Mewharter of St James in 3 minutes and 11 seconds.
(195 lbs.) Joe Smolenski of Socastee beat Barrett Coker of St James 12-0 (Major Decision).
(220 lbs.) Kyle Burton of Socastee pinned Logan Richards of St James.
(285 lbs.) John Foster of St JamesĀ  by forfeit.

Photo by Rancier Photography

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