Hillcrest High’s wrestling team entered the Steadman Hawkins Sports Medicine Southern Slam without Ellison Sanders, a three-time state placer who’s ranked No. 1 in Class AAAA among the state’s 170-pounders.
So the Rams adjusted their expectations slightly, hoping to record a top-10 finish, and they did so, placing ninth in last weekend’s event at Eastside High School.
Hillcrest coach Tommy Bell said junior Nathan Roberts, who took seventh in the 113-pound weight class, “was probably the bright spot in our weekend.”
“Nathan Roberts had a really good weekend,” Bell said. “He’s a former JV state champ, and he wrestled really, really well.”
Roberts won his first two matches, lost in the semifinals and then won two of three in the consolation round. He pinned Dreher’s Kenyante Bush in the third period to clinch seventh place.
Hillcrest had one wrestler reach the finals, junior Landon Sayegh, who lost by pin against Harrison Schmid of Parkview. Sayegh entered the third period tied 2-2, but he was injured on a takedown.
“He beat a really good kid in the semifinals and beat him really good,” Bell said of Sayegh’s 12-2 major decision against South Pointe’s Corey Morgan, “and he really wrestled pretty well in the finals too. It’s just that at the end, he kind of banged his shoulder up, and it kind of got out of hand.”
The Rams’ Alex Roberts lost in the semifinals in the 106-pound weight class, but he won by pin and then major decision in the consolation round to take third place.
Hillcrest’s other placers were Jeremy Higgins (fifth at 126) and Joel Madak (sixth at 145).
Mauldin had a pair of placers: Charlie Cook, third at 120, and Thomas Stroud, sixth at 126. J.L. Mann’s Ian Shannon took fifth at 182.
In the duals portion of the tournament, Hillcrest won three of four matches, losing only to Woodward (Ga.) Academy.