Wrestling: With Foundation Poured in 2011, BHS Crew Hammers Framework

Head wrestling coach Paul Watson is entering his second season at Blythewood High School. Watson spent the previous three years at Orangeburg-Wilkerson. During the 2010-2011 season, Watson led O-W to the state playoffs for the first time since 1996. Before that, Watson spent nine years at his alma mater Dreher. During those nine seasons Dreher won a region title three times and qualified for the state playoffs five times.

Watson looks forward to bringing that success to the Bengals wrestling program.

“Last year we laid a concrete foundation,” Watson said. “Hopefully this year we can start putting up the wooden frame.”

Blythewood made tremendous strides last year despite their 3-20 record. Those three wins were their most in the last two seasons and they competed in their most total matches since 2008. The Bengals ended the year with 48 total wrestlers, which is the most in school history. Watson believes these are signs that point to success down the road.

“Fans will see Blythewood grow and get much better from December into January,” Watson said.

Last season the Bengals were led in individual wins by junior Levias Peterson with 17. Finishing in a close second were sophomores Tucker Smith and Mario Celso with 16 victories. Smith is also the second-string kicker on the football team and he placed first at the Ridge View Blazer tournament.

A key date on the 2012-2013 schedule is Jan. 26 when Blythewood will travel to Lugoff to compete in the Region IV 4A tournament. It’s a date that is especially important because the Bengals will wrestle each region team (five) in one day.

Watson looks forward to getting his wrestlers back on the mat.

“Once they experience earning a pin they’re hooked,” Watson said.

Individual matches consist of three two-minute periods, and it takes one pin to win. The season starts with home matches against Lower Richland, Keenan and Swansea on Nov. 28.