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Green Wave wrestlers aiming high as No. 2 team in state

Green Wave wrestlers still aiming high

After leading the Green Wave wrestling team into the state finals and claiming an individual state championship last season, senior Brayton Killiri returns to the mat with unfinished business. 

Summerville enters the high school wrestling season as the No. 2-ranked Class AAAAA team in the state.

Hillcrest, which defeated the Green Wave, 36-33, to win the Class AAAAA state championship in February, is ranked No. 1 in the preseason rankings compiled by the  S.C. Wrestling Coaches Association. Northwestern is ranked third, Ashley Ridge fourth and Clover is fifth in the Class AAAAA rankings. Cane Bay is ranked 11th while Wando is ranked 17th and Fort Dorchester is ranked 20th.

“We feel we are about where we thought we would be coming into the season,” Summerville coach Darryl Tucker said. “We have three returning state runner-ups  and a returning state champ in the lineup, and we look for a lot of leadership from those guys. We also have a really good mix of talent throughout the lineup.”

Summerville senior Brayton Killiri returns to the Green Wave lineup after winning a state championship in the 126-pound weight class last season. He placed fourth at 120 the year before. Summerville junior Ben Guilliam (113) and seniors Kyle Combs (182) and Gavin Butler (106) all also return after runner-up finishes last season.

Tucker expects his team to be strong after many of them wrestled all summer.

“We are looking for big things from senior Ryu Brown, junior Hunter Hickman, sophomores Hassan Williams and Xavier Anderson and freshmen Caleb Herring and Landon Deaton,” Tucker said. “Also providing quality depth in the upper weights will be sophomore Jacob Cotterill and junior De’Andre Jones. Senior Preston Hernandez is coming off an injury, but we are expecting big things from his as well.”

In the Class AAAAA ranks, only Hillcrest is expected to return more state qualifiers than Summerville. The Rams anticipate returning seven state qualifiers including a state champ and two other wrestlers who placed in the top 3 for their class.

Ashley Ridge is expected to return four state qualifiers. Senior Weston Eadie won a state championship at 145 last season. Senior Ben Singletary placed fourth at 113. Senior Justin Mata placed third at 120 and Christian Garland qualified at 195.

Cane Bay sophomore J.J. Peace won a state championship at 106 last season and Cobras’ senior Delshaun Peace-Robinson placed fourth at 120.

Fort Dorchester seniors Rayshawn Springs and Demetrius Watson are state qualifiers expected to return to the Patriots' lineup once the football season is over. Springs placed fourth at 152 last season and Watson qualified as a heavyweight.

Summerville opens its season by hosting Wando at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 in The Firehouse. The Green Wave then hits the road for matches at Timberland, Eastside, Cane Bay, Berkeley, Lugoff Elgin and May Riger. As part of that string of matches on the road, Summerville will participate in the Southern Slam on Dec. 3-4, Cane Bay Duals on Dec. 11 and Demon Classic on Dec. 17-18.