Pedro Kinard (copy)

Timberland’s Pedro Kinard is a returning starter for the Wolves.

The Timberland High School wrestling team, coming off an appearance in the Class A-AA Lower State final last season, has begun the 2019-20 season No. 3 in the Class A-AA poll by SCMAT.com.

The Wolves’ grapplers open the season at home against St. John’s and Bishop England Dec. 3 and travel to North Charleston Dec. 4.

They travel to the Swamp Fox Duals in Marion Dec. 7 and host Cross and Georgetown on Dec. 11.

“We have a group that is pretty diverse in experience,” THS wrestling coach Ryan Rhoades said. “About half of our current team is made up of first-year wrestlers while half are returning starters. There are about four or five guys who are in their second year, so I am looking for them to make a bigger contribution this year.”

Last winter, the Wolves claimed the region crown and ultimately advanced to the Lower State final for the second time in three years.

Rhoades said his team is locked in on having another strong campaign on the mat.

“We have a goal to repeat as region champs but will be tougher this year with more teams in the region (North Charleston, Philip Simmons, Burke, Baptist Hill, St. Johns, Military Magnet and Cross),” Rhoades said. “We also have the mindset of going to Lower State finals every year. It’s a tough task getting past Bamberg-Ehrhardt. They have a lot of returners so that will always be a challenge.”

Bamberg-Ehrhardt is the defending state champion.

Rhoades is in his fifth season as the program’s leader. Timberland product Byron Addison is returning for his third year as an assistant coach.”

“We feel pretty good about the next few years,” Rhoades said. “We have a young group and are looking to follow in the footsteps of the successful football and basketball programs, and capture our first team title. I have had the fortune to work with a lot of successful coaches who have shown me what it takes to compete at the highest level. I’m always looking to improve. Connecting with the student-athletes and finding ways to get them to overcome adversity is also something we look forward to doing with our program.”

The Berkeley Stags begin the wrestling season Dec. 4 at home against Stall High School and take on Ashley Ridge on Dec. 11 before competing in the Cane Bay Duals at CBHS Dec. 14.