Each week throughout the high school wrestling season, we recognize the standouts from the previous week’s action with the Lowco Wrestling Spotlight presented by Reverence Wrestling Club.
We select our Lowco Hammers of the Week recognizing the week’s most impressive wrestlers, as well as a Team of the Week, and highlight the biggest match of the coming week. Here’s this week’s installment of the Lowco Wrestling Spotlight presented by Reverence Wrestling Club.
LOWCO HAMMERS OF THE WEEK
Adam Burvenich, BHS: The Eagles are light on quality depth this season, but they boast several individuals who are putting together outstanding seasons, and Burvenich is one of them. Ranked fourth in Class 4A at 160 pounds, the Beaufort senior went 3-0 with three pins Wednesday at Hilton Head High, and he’s poised for a big postseason. Burvenich is long and lanky, and he knows how to use his wiry frame to his advantage, making him a tough matchup for more compact 160-pounders.
Mack Ford, HHIHS: Ford could end up being the odd man out of the individual qualifiers in the Seahawks’ strong lower weights if star Zao Estrada gets down to 113 pounds, but he is a key part of Hilton Head’s dual success, providing another solid option for lineup flexibility. Ford flexed his muscle over the past two weeks, going 4-0 with three pins and a forfeit to help the Seahawks to a 3-1 dual record.
Colton Phares, BHS: The top-ranked wrestler in Class 4A at 182 pounds, Phares backed up his No. 1 ranking with a 3-1 decision over May River’s Chris Snowden — ranked second at 182 — on Wednesday. The win was the highlight of a 3-0 night for Phares, who also picked up two pins. Phares was the runner-up at 170 pounds as a sophomore last season, and he appears to be the favorite to capture gold in 2022.
EJ Seman, MRHS: Seman has been one of the most reliable wrestlers in a May River lineup loaded with experience. A state placer as a sophomore in 2020, Seman is ranked third in Class 4A at 138 pounds and on track to claim another medal as a senior. He had an especially strong run over the past two weeks, going 4-0 with three pins and a forfeit as the Sharks racked up four more dual victories.
Drew Vigh, HHIHS: Vigh is the elder statesman of the Seahawks’ squad, a three-time state qualifier who earned his first medal last year and wants to go out with gold. Currently ranked third in Class 4A at 132 pounds, he took the upper-hand in a season-long rivalry with May River’s Isaiah Wysong — the top-ranked wrestler in the weight class — with a 6-5 decision in a 43-28 loss to the Sharks, highlighting a 4-0 stretch with one pin that could shake up the top of the rankings next week.
Honorable Mention: Miguel Cavalheiro, MRHS; Shaun Chisolm, HHIHS; Oscar Dircio Flores, BLHS; Zao Estrada, HHIHS; Billy Hall, MRHS; William Jakeway, HHIHS; Gabe Juarez, MRHS; Santiago Rueda, MRHS; Brayven Shapiro, HHIHS; Gage Thomas, CCHS
TEAMS OF THE WEEK
May River Sharks
The Sharks essentially have locked up yet another region title, which they will make official when they face James Island and Lucy Beckham on Wednesday, and while their lineup isn’t without weaknesses, it gets stronger by the week. The middle weights are on lock, with opponents needing to run through a gauntlet that includes Emilio Mendoza, Isaiah Wysong, EJ Seman, Santiago Rueda, Miguel Cavalheiro, Gabe Juarez, and Chris Snowden — all ranked in the top six in Class 4A in their weight classes — and other reliable wrestlers are emerging from the pack. Billy Hall has become a pin machine at 285 pounds, and 113-pounder Kadin McCallum seems to have turned a corner. The Sharks will face some stiff competition in the Lower State bracket, including a likely rematch with Hilton Head High, but the road to the state championship match still goes through The Tank.
Hilton Head High Seahawks
Don’t sleep on the Seahawks in the Lower State playoffs. The margins were razor thin in Hilton Head’s loss to May River in the regular season, and the Seahawks still have a couple of wrestlers working to move down a weight class, which would only strengthen the lineup. Hilton Head has its share of seasoned veterans, including three-time state qualifier Drew Vigh and phenom Zao Estrada, but coach Patrick Boulware and his staff have done a terrific job of developing newcomers to the sport into contenders to qualify for the state tournament, and perhaps lead the Seahawks on a deep playoff run. William Jakeway and Mack Ford have been rock-solid in the lower weights, Darnell Brawner and KJ Holland are consistent winners in the middle of the lineup, and Brayven Shapiro looks like a state medal contender since dropping to 220 pounds, making Boulware’s squad a scary matchup.
MATCH OF THE WEEK
Region 7-4A Qualifier at Beaufort High (Saturday)
While the state dual playoffs are right around the corner, the individuals take center stage this weekend with the first stage of qualifying, and Beaufort will be the epicenter for Lowcountry wrestling. Beaufort High is hosting the Region 7-4A qualifier with the top four wrestlers in each weight class advancing to the Lower State qualifier.
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