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Seventeen KC wrestlers headed to state tourney
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CAMDEN SENIOR JEVONTAE SALMOND, the Region 4-AAA Wrestler of the Year for 2018-19, won the AAA Upper State title at 285 pounds this past weekend in Powdersville. (Photo provided)

Led by 10 state qualifiers from AA-A Upper State champion North Central, 17 wrestlers from Kershaw County qualified for spots in this weekend’s South Carolina High School League’s state individual championships to be held in Anderson.

In addition to the nine Knights who finished in the top four spots in this past weekend’s AA-A Upper State tournament in Boonetown, Lugoff-Elgin had four qualifiers emerge from the 5A Upper State event in Laurens while Camden returned home from the AAA Upper State event in Powdersville having qualified a trio of wrestlers.

Five KC wrestlers earned Upper State titles on Saturday. North Central had four of those. Freshman Dalton Smith (51-6) won at 106 pounds while senior teammate Kyle Lesso (45-9) took the 126-pound championship. NC junior Cameron Hoffman (49-9) battled his way to the Upper State title at 132 pounds.

The Haven brothers, senior Hunter (18-0) and sophomore Kalab (49-2) took the Upper State crowns at 160 and 171 pounds, respectively. Hunter Haven was second at 152 pounds last year while having won the AA-A state title at 138 pounds in 2017 while attending Andrew Jackson High School. Kalab Haven is seeking a second state championship medal after having won at 160 pounds as a freshman in 2018 at Andrew Jackson.

Camden senior heavyweight Jevontae Salmond (34-8) won the AAA Upper State title and is seeking his first state championship after having finished second at heavyweight as a junior and third as a sophomore.

Finishing in second place for the Knights in the AA-A Upper State qualifier was junior Wade Bowers (25-10) at 145 pounds. Coming in third place were sophomore Zach Roberts (31-12) at 120 pounds and junior Jordan Small (47-10) at 152. Fourth-place finishers for Jason Brazell’s troops were freshman Jake Wilson (6-10) at 113 and freshman Jack Tilton (31-22) at 195 pounds.

In addition to Salmond, Camden received third-place finishes from senior Jalen Holliday and Jyheem Macklin. Holliday (35-5) was second at 160 pounds a year ago while Macklin went 29-6 at 182 pounds for first-year Bulldog head coach Daniel Sisk.

Lugoff-Elgin’s best finish came from junior Jay Wilson who was second at 106 pounds. Senior Jacob Vincent, who was second at 106 pounds as a junior, was fourth at 126 pounds. Junior Scotty Dean was third at 195 pounds while senior Brett Carder was fourth at 182 pounds for Ted Monroe’s Demons.

This weekend’s SCHSL state championships will be contested at the Anderson Civic Center. The AAA quarterfinals will begin at 11 a.m. with the AA-A action starting at 12:30 p.m. the 5A matches hit the mats at 2 p.m.

The consolation rounds will begin Saturday at 9 a.m. with the finals slated to begin at 4:30 p.m.

Admission is $6 Friday with admission set at $8 for Saturday.