HSWR: Boatwright’s pin lifts Seahawks to thrilling win

The thing about a wrestling dual is that any individual match can get lost in the shuffle, just one of 14 results. Unless the bout comes down to the night’s final match — and it happens to be yours.

That was the case Wednesday for Hilton Head High’s AJ Boatwright, and the sophomore was giving up 10 pounds to his opponent in the 195-pound class. But Boatwright weathered the first period and scored a second-period pin to lift the Seahawks to a season-opening 41-37 victory over visiting Effingham County.

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The lead changed hands after 10 of the 14 bouts, with Boatwright’s pin giving the Seahawks the upper hand — one of five HHIHS pins to go along with a forfeit and a technical fall. Peter Rougeux, James Levy, Drew Vigh, and KJ Holland also recorded pins for the Seahawks, while Zao Estrada won by technical fall, and Alex Ruckno won by forfeit.

Levy gave the Seahawks their first lead of the night with a pin that made it 17-12, and after an Effingham pin, Vigh put HHIHS ahead again at 23-18. Two straight victories put the Rebels back in the lead, but Holland’s fall and Ruckno’s forfeit swung the momentum back to the Seahawks at 35-27.

Photos by Mary Beth Lyons

After the Rebels scored a major decision and a pin to claim a 37-35 lead, it all came down to Boatwright’s bout at 195. He weighed in at 184. His coach was more concerned than he was about the disadvantage.

“I told him to simply have fun, win or lose this match wasn’t on his shoulders,” HHIHS coach Patrick Boulware said. “And before i could say another word, he simply slaps me on the shoulder and says, ‘I got you coach” and ran over to the table.”

Boatwright gave up a takedown and two back points in the first period, but he chose to go back to the neutral position to start the second period and quickly scored a takedown before locking up a cradle and finishing off the Rebels.

“I tell you, man, it was something out of a movie,” Boulware said. “This is a moment in his life he will never forget.”

The Seahawks travel to Chapin on Tuesday.

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