NEWBERRY — After battling a two-hour delay due to sleet and ice, five Newberry County wrestlers had to continue battling to claim Region Champion status on Saturday.
Mid-Carolina had two wrestlers who claimed individual All-Region titles by winning their individual weight classes: Zane Spigner at the 113-pound weight class (15-4 season record) and Noe Hernandez at the 126-pound weight class (12-6 season record).
Coach Ethan Campbell said he “was very proud of the two young men that he had who claimed region titles, but noted that he had a few other wrestlers who he thought could make a good run at qualifying for the state tournament in a few weeks.”
Newberry High School also had three individuals who claimed region titles. Davon Powell at the 106-pound weight class (24-4 season record), Jacob Hopper at the 138-pound weight class (28-0 season record), and Eric Gallman at the 285-pound weight class (15-1 season record).
Coaches Brian Gordon and Kyle Cannon both were impressed with what their wrestlers had to offer after a lack of preparation due to inclement weather and cancelled practice on Friday.
Gordon and Cannon said they have several wrestlers who have an excellent chance at qualifying for the state tournament with the upcoming weeks of practice. Those wrestlers include Davon Powell (106-pounds), Jacob Hopper (130-pounds), Chris Wadsworth (195-pounds), who is coming off an injury, and Eric Gallman (285-pounds).
The biggest moment of the afternoon came when it turned to voting for the Region II-AA Region Wrestler of the Year: Newberry High School’s Hopper claimed the award.
According to Gordon and Cannon, “there was no wrestler more deserving of this award. Jacob was devastated that he finished fourth in the state last year and has literally prepared since then to accomplish his goal of achieving a state championship before graduation this spring.”
Mid-Carolina, Whitmire, and Newberry will prepare for the 1A/2A Upper State Championships to be held Feb. 15 and Feb. 16 at Liberty High School.