ANDERSON — When Gavin Perkins captured the Class AAAA state title at the 126-pound weight class Saturday, he pushed Summerville into the lead as the South Carolina high school with the most individual state wrestling champions.
Summerville and Rock Hill entered the championships with 90 titles each, but Perkins gave the Green Wave the edge with an 11-3 victory over York’s Robert Cunningham.
Other area wrestlers to win state championships were Academic Magnet’s Josh McDermett (Class AA-A, 126 pounds), Hanahan’s Dennis Flores (Class AAA, 170 pounds), Timberland’s Bernard Harmon (Class AA-A, 170 pounds and Stratford’s Nicholas Young (Class AAAA, 132 pounds).
“It’s amazing. I’m speechless,” Perkins said of his victory over Cunningham, who pinned Perkins earlier in the season. Perkins said he vowed after the loss, which came in about 25 seconds, not to let it happen again.
Perkins said tips he received on offense during his career from former four-time state champions Aaron Hanson and Jordan Wigger, both of Summerville, helped him win the championship.
“That’s (offense) how I won my match today,” Perkins said.
Summerville coach Darryl Tucker said Perkins win’ was good but he felt bad for his other two wrestlers (James Sass and Chad Wood) who finished as runners-up in their divisions.
“It means a lot to Summerville to move in front of Rock Hill,” Tucker said.
The championships weren’t so good for Hanahan’s J.J. Johnson.
Johnson, a past state champion, two-time All-American and two-time national qualifier, watched from the stands having been unable to compete in the qualifiers following a recent appendectomy.
“It’s pretty difficult (having to watch),” Johnson said after watching teammate Flores win his third championship.