Chiefs make statement with convincing win over Sharks

Wednesday night might have signaled a changing of the guard for wrestling on the Grand Strand and in the Region 8-3A opener.

North Myrtle Beach defeated reigning three-time region champion and defending Lower State runner-up St. James by a commanding 58-9 score. The Chiefs improved to 9-0 on the season and 1-0 in the region.

The Chiefs dominated the match from start to finish, winning the lowest three weight classes by two quick pins and a major decision. NMB’s Logan Stump (106) and Codie Aube (113) pinned Dalton Smith and Thomas Parker, respectively in the first minute and Steven Small (120) took a 10-0 verdict over Randall Nielson.

St. James got on the board with Josh Varn’s hard-fought 9-4 decision over Tyler Stump, but the Chiefs went on to win the next nine matches to establish itself as the team to beat in the region this year.

NMB’s William Lewis (132) pinned Tiger Spencer in 1:44; Brandon Moore (138) scored a major decision over Jacob Seifert 14-2; Jared Woody (145) did the same by a 9-1 score over Michael Mewhorter; JaQua Evans (152) pinned Jude Belanger in 55 seconds to put a Sharks’ comeback out of reach.

The Chiefs’ Brian Meier-Beck (160) decisioned Cameron Volpe 8-2; Hampton Harmon (170) defeated DeEante Salaam 3-2 in the match of the night. Both wrestlers are returning seniors and state qualifiers who are expected to compete for the state crown again this season.

Gerodie Graham (182) pinned Riley Gentz in 3:44; Mikhaail Vlahas (195) pinned Brandon Christian in 26 seconds; and Harrison Smith (220) scored a major decision over James Sanders, 12-4. 285. St. James heavyweight John Foster scored the Sharks only pin against Mackenzie Angel.

The Chiefs won’t have much time to celebrate the victory before being put to the test again this weekend. The North Myrtle Beach Duals will be held Friday and Saturday with some of the top teams in this state and others competing.

Photo by Rancier Photography

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