Eight Bengals Qualify for State Wrestling Tournament

Blythewood freshman Ronald Parker (top) works his RNE opponent into the mat.

The Blythewood wrestling team earned a playoff berth for only the third time in school history, but unfortunately they were saddled with the challenge of facing the number one team in the state, Lexington. The heavily favored Wildcats pinned the Bengals down this past Saturday 82-0. Despite the playoff loss, Blythewood head coach Paul Watson takes a lot of pride in just making an appearance in the post-season.

“Making the playoffs this season is just a stepping stone for us,” Watson said. “Our program will build off this for years to come.”

Blythewood is a team that is in a rebuilding mode and a vast majority of its roster was made up of first year wrestlers. As a team, Blythewood’s season is over, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any more Bengals hitting the mat. Eight Bengals qualified for the individual 4A lower state championships by placing in the top four in their respective weight class. Included in those eight are the Lane brothers. Junior Derek Lane and sophomore Derrell Lane are ready to make their assault on the 4A field. In addition to the Lane brothers, Dmitir Gianopulos, Tyler Knotts, Mario Celso, Ben Ruiz, Julian Lara and Randy Davis qualified for the individual championships, which take place Feb. 15-16 at Lugoff-Elgin.