The High School League’s wrestling season is over, but Dennis Flores hasn’t quit working.
James Sass106 poundsSummervilleSophomoreTyre Wright113 poundsFort DorchesterSophomoreJ.J. Johnson120 poundsHanahanSenior Gavin Perkins126 poundsSummervilleSeniorNicholas Young132 poundsStratfordSeniorHaven Horleback138 poundsHanahanJuniorFrank Cromwell145 poundsJames IslandJuniorChad Wood152 poundsSummervilleJuniorZorrie Green160 poundsStallJuniorDennis Flores170 poundsHanahanSeniorNoah Shuler182 poundsStratfordSeniorMalcolm Nazon220 poundsBishop EnglandSeniorChris Flynn285 poundsJames IslandSeniorHonorable mention:Albert Ednilao, Cane Bay; Tyler Fachko, Summerville; Alex Cullen, Wando; Ben Crutchfield, Wando; A.J. Alford, Fort Dorchester; Anthony Collins, Summerville; Jacob Hutchinson, Fort Dorchester; Zach Armstrong, Ashley Ridge; T. J. Deveaux, Stratford; Matt Rudy, Cane Bay; Daniel Dees, Stratford; Dominick Gadsden, Berkeley; Brian Joseph, Hanahan; Forest Bowman, Hanahan; Alex King, Berkeley; Cole Zakis, Hanahan; Alonzo McGill, Berkeley; Mikey Pascual, St. John’s; Austin Rentzel, Timberland; Andrew Collins, Bishop England; Josh McDermott, Academic Magnet; Ivan Wiggins, Military Magnet; Davontae Wilder, Burke; Sterling Campbell, Garrett Tech; Rashawn Lowry, Burke; David Sottile, Bishop England; Tramaine Carroll, Baptist Hill; Brooks Morgan, Timberland; Bernard Harmon, Timberland; Leonard Brown, Baptist Hill; Jacob Garibay, Hanahan; Mario Dela Rosa, Bishop England; Di’Andra RobinsonBerkeley; Jeremy Hunt, Pinewood Prep; T.J. Wilson, Pinewood Prep; Dallas Dial, Pinewood Prep.
Flores, Hanahan’s three-time state champion, recently competed in the National High School Wrestling Championships in Virginia Beach, Va.
And after participating in the ultimate high school wrestling event, he will turn his attention to college. He will wrestle at Division II power Newberry and hopes to make an impact his freshman season.
“I got better every year in high school,” said Flores, the Class AAA 170-pound state champion. “I want to continue that trend. I know it will take a lot of hard work. But, I’ll do it.”
That hard work is one of the reasons why Flores is The Post and Courier’s Wrestler of the Year. The other reason is talent. After getting his feet wet as a freshman, Flores made a big splash in the wrestling community. He posted a 136-2 record his last three years, claiming three individual state titles and helping win one team championship.
“He is an extremely hard worker,” coach Ray Adkins said. “He stays after practice to make sure everything is just right. He works hard in practice and even harder during the match. He lost one match in overtime as a freshman and one match as a senior, and that had a questionable call. Everybody in the gym knew he won.”
Flores was part of one of the most dynamic duos around. His teammate J.J. Johnson, who is All-Lowcountry at 120 pounds, battled back from an emergency appendectomy to help the Hawks win the Lower State championship and reach another state match. He also will compete in Virginia Beach, then he will wrestle for the University of Missouri.
“It’s incredible to have one elite wrestler in your program,” Adkins said. “It’s unbelievable when you have two. It’s pretty amazing.”
The Hawks have three on the All-Lowcountry wrestling team. The other is Haven Horleback, a junior who is All-Lowcountry at 138 pounds.
Summerville has three wrestlers on the team: James Sass (106), Gavin Perkins (126) and Chad Wood (152).
Stratford and James Island both had two picks. The Knights’ selections include Nicholas Young (132) and Noah Shuler (182). The Trojans’ representatives are Frank Cromwell (145) and Chris Flynn (285).
Tyre Wright (113) of Fort Dorchester, Zorrie Green (160) of Stall and Malcolm Nazon (220) of Bishop England round out the team.
Ben Cheatham, who led Pinewood to a third-place finish in the SCISA state match, is the coach of the year. Pinewood fielded a team for the first time and had three state champions.
Follow Philip M. Bowman on Twitter: @PandCPhil.