Spartans secure 4th straight wrestling title
Sun Valley High secured its fourth straight Southern Carolina Conference wrestling title with a convincing 55-15 home win over archrival Porter Ridge on Thursday.
Both teams entered the match with 3-0 records in the SCC. The Spartans are now 33-5 overall while Porter Ridge is 24-4.
Sun Valley won 11 of 14 matches, including seven by pin. SV won eight straight matches and led by as many as 52 points (55-3).
“My hat goes off to the seniors, who pumped everybody up for this match,” said Sun Valley coach Sean Greiner. “Our philosophy is to not look too far ahead and take it match by match. Even though we won this match, it’s still not over, we have to beat Parkwood next Wednesday.”
Sun Valley’s only remaining conference match is on Feb. 6 against Parkwood, which entered Thursday’s trip to Anson with an 0-3 league record.
The Spartans have clinched at least a share of a fourth SCC title, and Greiner is proud of the program’s accomplishment.
“It’s a culmination of all the hard work of a lot of key people going from the youth program to the high school,” Greiner said. “It was a struggle at first going to tournaments with six to eight kids but we had a plan to build the program and build the community and that’s what we’ve done. It took us a few years to get there but our hard work has definitely paid off.”
Earning pins for the Spartans on Thursday were: 106 freshman Chris Godwin (19-7 record), junior 132 Billy Benfield (48-3), senior 138 Brian Inouye (44-4), 152 senior Michael Last (40-7), 160 senior Brad Isaac (32-8), senior 182 Michael Macchiavello (47-1) and 195 senior Keenan Whalen (28-6).
Sun Valley sophomore Thierry Washington (28-11) picked up a big win at 113, defeating Pirates sophomore Bryan Newsome (30-7) 12-5.
Junior Adam Godwin (10-9) rallied from a 4-1 deficit to beat PR senior Kyle Whiting (16-12) at 120, 7-5.
Junior 145 Julian Fernandez (20-8) also had an impressive win, downing senior Mason Hadley (31-7) 9-4.
Sun Valley junior 170 Logan Farlow improved his record to 45-4 with a major decision (8-0).
Macchiavello is among the group that has helped build the Spartans into a four-time conference champion.
“You come out that first year, my freshman year, and we win conference it kind of becomes an expectation at that point instead of a goal,” Macchiavello said. “At that point you expect to win conference. You don’t expect it to be easy, you have to work harder and harder for it each year. You know the other teams are trying to knock you off the top.”
Macchiavello, Inouye, Benfield, Last and Farlow have all contributed at least 40 wins so far this season.
Inouye is excited about going out as a four-time champ.
“This was probably one of the best matches in my entire high school career,” Inouye said. “I felt that everyone wrestled well. Everyone definitely took it to Porter Ridge. They were out to get us but we took it to them harder. I feel this was one of the biggest wins in Sun Valley history.”
Inouye isn’t too young to see the achievement in its historic perspective.
“I just feel like I’ve been a part of something special, something historic,” Inouye said. “No other team in Sun Valley has done that. No other team has won four straight conference championships.”
Sun Valley 55, Porter Ridge 15
106: Chris Godwin (SV) p. Logan McMahan 1:46
113: Thierry Washington (SV) d. Bryan Newsome 12-5
120: Adam Godwin (SV) d. Kyle Whiting 7-5
126: Dominic Ignacio (PR) d. Andrew Dunn 11-7
132: Billy Benfield (SV) p. Dion Knafo 1:18
138: Brian Inouye (SV) p. Trey Merritt 0:45
145: Julian Fernandez (SV) d. Mason Hadley 9-4
152: Michael Last (SV) p. Josh Mull 0:59
160: Brad Isaac (SV) p. Grant Vandervoort 4:43
170: Logan Farlowe (SV) md. Yasin Uzun 8-0
182: Michael Macchiavello (SV) p. Taylor Stringer 0:36
195: Keenan Whalen (SV) p. Montana Propes 0:23
220: Patrick Phillips (PR) p. Andrew Stegall 1:58
285: Drew Lair (PR) p. Daniel Corey 4:32