Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Two-time wrestling state champion Bernard Harmon knew some day he’d serve as an inspiration to the next generation of aspiring Timberland Wolves wrestlers to follow in his footsteps.
He didn’t think it would be so soon.
Sean Brown, just six years old, followed in Harmon’s footsteps to become the second state champion to wear the green and orange when he captured the South Carolina Youth Wrestling Association state championship on March 12 at River Bluff High School in Lexington.
Operating in conjunction with Timberland High School and the Bonneau Recreation Department, the Bonneau Takedown Club enjoyed its most successful season yet sending 20 young wrestlers to the mat to compete under the Wolfpack banner.
Under the tutelege of THS assistant wrestling coach Ryan Rhoades and assisted by volunteer coaches Tony Youngblood, Brock Mitchum, and T.C. and Tanya Cales, the Wolfpack
earned a whopping 33 gold, 34 silver medals and 23 bronze medals competing throughout the state.
“Coach Rhoades offers an amazing personality and love for the sport that he passes on to athletes of all ages,” said BTC coordinator April Elswick. “His experience as a wrestler and a coach makes him the essential piece to a successful youth program.”
DeMarco Gadsden, Emanuel Moultrie and Jamall McKenney captured three rookie state titles this season along with three second place finishes and a pair of third place finishes.
The BTC competed at SCYWA Lower State Tournament at Stratford High School taking home four Lower State Championships earned by DeMarco Gadsden, Cooper Youngblood, Jamaal McKenney and Sean Brown.
The Wolfpack also place eight other wrestlers in the top three.
Sending 11 youth wrestlers and three high school wrestlers, the BTC competed against 400 other wrestlers from around the state for a shot at a SCYWA state championship medal.
In addition to Brown’s state championship, Cooper Youngblood captured second place and a silver medal and DeMarco Gadsen and Hayden Redders took third and a bronze medal.
Other top finishers include Jamaal McKenney, Alex Rush, Gauge Cales, and Dylan Owens in fourth place; Austin Nichols, Hunter Elswick, and R.J. Brown Jr. finished fifth.
Also, the BTC sponored the first annual Wolfpack Strong Open Tournament at Berkeley High School in February, hosting more than 240 wrestlers in the single day competition.
Elswick said the tournament could not have happened without the support of Berkeley High School and wrestling coach Shane Judy, Berkeley Monument and Sign Co., Zaxby’s, Bi-lo, Piggly Wiggly, Home Medical Supplies and Equipment, Victory Baptist Youth as well as Timberland’s two-time state champion “V.A.” Harnon, who spoke with the kids during the tournament.
For more information on upcoming summer samps and the Bonneau Takedown Program please contact Bonneau Recreation Director Danny Tracy at (843) 312-1655 or April Elswick at (843) 367-9659.