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Plymouth, SC wrestlers kick off season

By Reflector Sports Staff • Dec 5, 2016 at 1:30 PM

The Plymouth Big Red wrestling team competed in the Hillsdale Invite on Saturday placing seventh out of 11 teams. The Big Red went into the meet without three starters in the line up missing Seth Bailey. The 2-time district qualifier is still recovering from knee injury in football. Placing for the Big Red were: Cordell Sipe third at 120, Jacob Echelbarger third at 132, Luke Cox fourth at 138, Josh Dove fourth at 160, Tony Vazquez third at 170, Peyton Young sixth at 182 and Jared Lewis fifth at 220.

“Overall I was happy with our performance,” Plymouth coach Jeremiah Balkin said. “Last year we did not start out the year as strong as we did this year. The young guys stepped up and I was happy with our overall performance. Josh Dove had three victories before losing 1-0 to go for the championship.

“In the finals he was got a little high and got caught. Jacob and Cordell improved on last years performance and both ot them wrestled well throughout the day. Tony is a freshman and showed a lot of promise, and potential. Tony has a lot of natural strength. He is only going to get better as the year progresses. Luke improved on last years performance and listens well on the mat. The future is looking promising and with 10 middle school wrestlers there is not doubt in my mind that good things will continue for the Big Red.”

Trojans take eighth

The South Central Trojans took eighth place at the Tom Ellis Invitational in Madison on Saturday with 102 points with just five wrestlers competing. Jorge Gabriel took second in 113 with a 4-1 record while Dakota Blanton also took second in 126 with a 3-1 record. Chase Greaser took third in 152 with a 302 record and Matt O’Dell took fourth in 160 with a 2-3 record.

The entire team wrestled well all day,” South Central coach Ken Johnson said. “We saw a great deal of improvement out of some of our young guys compared to their performance a year ago. Both Jorge Gabriel and Dakota Blanton wrestled very well on their way to the champonship bout. Each gave a good effort in the finals despite coming up short.

“At this time of year a loss is not all that critical. If anything it gives a good indication of some things they need to work on to improve. Chase Greaser in his finals match had to defeat an individual that beat him earlier in the day. He had a solid performance and a convincing win. We do not have big numbers, but we do have guys with heart and a desire to compete. With some time and the opportunity to improve, it will be interesting to see how each of them get better.”

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