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L-EMS runs table at Carolina Duals

Leopards ready to defend Crolina Invitational title

Posted: January 21, 2014 9:36 a.m.
Updated: January 22, 2014 5:00 a.m.

This was a perfect tune-up for this Saturday’s Carolina Invitational for the Lugoff-Elgin Middle School wrestling team.
Ted Monroe’s troops won last Saturday’s Carolina Duals in Rock Hill with a 5-0 record while extending their dual match win streak to 52 straight victories in the process.
“We had a really, really good day,” Monroe said of his team’s performance on Saturday. “The competition there was very good, but we wrestled exceptionally well.”
L-EMS downed Chapin in its opening and closest match, 47-24. After that came wins over Irmo (66-15), Sullivan Middle (65-18) and York (56-18) before earning the championship trophy by pounding Castle Heights, 59-23, in the finale.
Ten Leopards finished the day with perfect 5-0 records led by Grant Wells, a 141-pounder, who was named as the most outstanding wrestler for the tournament. Other L-EMS wrestlers who went unbeaten in Rock Hill were Seth Wages (85 pounds), Devin Wilson (93), Elijah Dixon (108), Jacob Carron (115), Lorenzo McGee (122), Reddek Kelly (129), Cameron Payne (135), Gavin Ferguson (148) and Seth Branham at 188 pounds.
On Saturday, the Leopards will head to Lexington High School for the Carolina Invitational, the unofficial state championships for middle school and junior varsity wrestlers. L-EMS will head to the annual event seeking to defend their 2013 Carolina Invitational title, a tournament which it has won three times in the last four years and eight times in the previous 11 seasons.
Monroe will take 16 Carolina Invitational qualifiers to Lexington  for the Carolina Invitational. That is six more wrestlers than any other team in the field which is determined through a series of qualifiers held throughout the state.
Monroe said his team is peaking heading into Saturday’s tournament.
“We’re really excited about our chances,” Monroe said of the Carolina Invitational. “I feel that if we wrestle like we did (last) Saturday, that we’re going to be hard to beat.
“This has been a really good group to work with and they deserve everything that they get. They are a great group of kids who does everything that I ask of them.”
Before traveling to Lexington, the Leopards will have a chance to extend their string of dual match wins to 54 when they make the short trip up Highway 1 to meet Stover Middle School tonight in a 6 p.m. tri-match which also includes a dangerous Chapin squad.
“Chapin has a very good team,” Monroe said. “They match up well with us. It’s going to be a challenge because the last time we wrestled them, a lot of the matches went the distance.”

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