May River’s Santiago Rucda nearly gets pinned by Beaufort’s Jack Miller during their 138-pound match of Saturday’s Region 7-4A wrestling tournament at BHS. Rucda managed a quick reversal and eventually pinned Miller for the win. Photo by Bob Sofaly.

Eagles send 9 wrestlers to Lower State


May River wrestlers claimed five titles and qualified for the Class 4A Lower State qualifying meet in 13 of 14 weight classes to lead a strong showing by the Lowco contingent at the Region 7-4A meet Saturday at Beaufort High.

The Sharks had five champs, six runners-up, and one wrestler each who finished third and fourth to lead the way, but Hilton Head High was right on their heels. The Seahawks had three champions and four runners-up among their 12 qualifiers, and they might have had more champions if 106-pounder William Jakeway and 113-pounder Zao Estrada had taken the mat. Jakeway was unable to wrestle due to an injury but was advanced to the Lower State qualifier by the coaches, as was Estrada, who was busy claiming her second straight de facto girls state title at the Carolina Invitational.

The host Eagles also had a strong showing with nine wrestlers qualifying, including a pair of champions, and Bluffton also boasted two champs and matched James Island and Lucy Beckham with seven qualifiers. Colleton County had one wrestler qualify for Lower State.

May River’s Jorge Valdez (106), Emilio Mendoza (120), Isaiah Wysong (132) Santiago Rueda (138), and Gabe Juarez (170) all won titles, along with Hilton Head’s Darnell Brawner (145), KJ Holland (152), and Carter Saleeby (195), Beaufort’s Peter Adam Burvenich (160) and Colton Phares (182), Bluffton’s Israel Salmeron (220) and Bradley Denmark (285), and James Island’s Nino Petrie (113) and Jacob Baker (126).

The qualifiers advance to the Lower State qualifying meet Feb. 18-19 at Bluffton High School, while May River will host the first two rounds of the state dual playoffs on Saturday with the Seahawks, Bobcats, and Eagles traveling for the first two rounds.

Region 7-4A 

Lower State qualifers

106: Jorge Valdez, MRHS; Josh Haire, LB; William Jakeway, HHIHS; Jesse Kemp, JI

113: Nino Petrie, JI; Kaiden McCallum, MRHS; Jack Severrino, LB; Zao Estrada, HHIHS

120: Emilio Mendoza, MRHS; Cody Chanthabane, JI; Tayrique Legree, BHS; Mack Ford, HHIHS

126: Jacob Baker, JI; Ian Newell, BHS; Cash Luther, LB; Jacob Nix, MRHS

132: Isaiah Wysong, MRHS; Drew Vigh, HHIHS; Barrett Lanese, BLHS; Brandon Bolles, BHS;

138: Santiago Rueda, MRHS; Gino Cirnigliaro, JI; Kelly Enright, LB; Jack Miller, BHS;

145: Darnell Brawner, HHIHS; EJ Seman, MRHS; Nick Cook, JI; Peter Graf, LB

152: K.J. Holland, HHIHS; Will Durham, MRHS; Ryan Brozek, BHS; Walker Hussey, LB;

160: Peter Adam Burvenich, BHS; Devin Espinoza, HHIHS; Cory Foulk, MRHS; Gabe Fulton, BLHS

170: Gabe Juarez, MRHS; Chris Crosby, HHIHS; Casey Buck, BLHS; John Bechtold, BHS

182: Colton Phares, BHS; Chris Snowden, MRHS; Alex Ruckno, HHIHS; Oscar Dircio-Flores, BLHS

195: Carter Saleeby, HHIHS; Josh Echeverria, MRHS; Sean Sullivan, LB; Thomas Rice, BLHS

220: Israel Salmerno, BLHS; Brayven Shapiro, HHIHS; Jon Garrett, JI; John Legree, BHS

285: Bradley Denmark, BLHS; Billy Hall, MRHS; Jessie Salines, HHIHS; Brock McHugh, CCHS

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