Bradley Smith’s pin lifts Dolphins to region win over Hawks


With his Battery Creek wrestling team trailing by one point heading into the final match of the night, senior captain Bradley Smith strode to the center of the mat with the outcome in the balance. 

He returned less than a minute later, victorious. 

Smith came out aggressive early and pinned his opponent at 145 pounds in just 34 seconds to seal a key 42-37 victory over region rival Hanahan on Thursday. 

Creek opened the match with back-to-back losses but Nate Gallego (160) got the Dolphins on the board with a pin. Battery Creek secured two more wins before going on a run in which Reily Doray (113), Sam DeGroat (120) and Elmer Linares (126) each picked up victories by fall. 

With a loss at the 132, that set the table for Smith’s quick pin to secure the win. 

“I’m extremely proud of this program,” Dolphins coach Alex Rutherford. “I told the kids it would be a tight match and that it would come down to Bradley. He showed what it means to be a captain and a senior.” 

A day earlier, the Dolphins were dominant in pair of wins, beating Bluffton 78-6 and John Paul II 75-6. The Bobcats started on a high note with Bradley Denmark’s pin in the 285-pound weight class for a 6-0 lead before Battery Creek won the next 13 bounds, including eight pins and five forfeits. 

Riley Doray, Sam Degroat, Bradley Smith, Sebastian Sanchez, Nate Gallego, Hunter Smith, Daniel Sunkins, and Leroy Tyus all won by pin for Battery Creek, and John Coker, Elmer Linares, Aiden Northway, Keegan Doray, and Dre’shaun Brown won by forfeit. 

The home team kept it rolling with a 75-6 win over the Golden Warriors, benefiting from eight forfeits. Coker, Ryan Israel, Hunter Smith, and Brown won by pin, Aiden Northway earned an 8-4 decision over Oliver Witkowski at 132, and Sunkins, Tyus, Anthony Phelan, Riley Doray, Degroat, Linares, Bradley Smith, and Gallego picked up wins by forfeit. Jack Brock won by pin at 152 for the Golden Warriors’ lone victory. 

The Bobcats opened the night with a 33-24 win over John Paul II despite winning only one contested match, as they racked up 30 points on forfeits. Anthony Garcia, Bradley Denmark, Danny Solorzano, Oscar Dircio Flores, and Kevin Lagos Juarez all won by forfeit for Bluffton, and Gabe Fulton clinched the victory with a 12-8 decision over Noah Snyder at 170. Daniel Snyder and Kohl Woodham picked up pins against the Bobcats, while Brock and Chris Orta earned decisions, and Witkowkski won by forfeit. 

Battery Creek will break for the holidays before returning to the mat on Dec. 29, participating in the Shark Invitational at May River High School. 

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