Bengals Shut Out at Individual Meet

Blythewood sophomore Mario Celso chalked up the only victory for individual Bengals.

The Blythewood wrestling team had eight wrestlers qualify for the 4A lower state individual tournament last weekend at Lugoff-Elgin. Sophomore Dimitri Gianopulos (108 lbs.), freshman Tyler Knotts (128 lbs.), sophomore Mario Celso (134 lbs.), senior Ben Ruiz (147 lbs.), junior Derek Lane (154 lbs.), junior Julian Lara (162 lbs.), sophomore Derrell Lane (197 lbs.) and sophomore Randy Davis (222 lbs.) all represented the Bengals with a chance to move on to the next round. None of the Bengals qualified to move on, however, and Celso was the only Bengal to win a match. Head coach Paul Watson was disappointed with the outcome but has been impressed by his team’s progress throughout the season.

“We didn’t have the type of performance we wanted,” Watson noted. “But it has been a successful season.”

Blythewood was able to qualify for the 4A duals state championship for only the third time in school history and earned fourth place out of Region IV-4A with a team comprising mostly first-year wrestlers. Watson will have the advantage of a more experienced team coming back next season as all but one of his starters are predicted to return. The Bengals will spend the off-season in the gym lifting weights and participating in freestyle wrestling through USA Wrestling. Watson is already looking forward to next season.

“We’re going to take a few weeks off and next season will be here before we know it,” Watson said happily.