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Colleton Prep High School

Burke building wrestling program at Colleton Prep


 By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Walterboro – Though few in numbers right now, the two-year old wrestling program at Colleton Prep Academy is sure to take flight in the future with an energetic coach at the helm.

Packy Burke is heading up the new program, coming over to Colleton Prep after building a competitive program at Colleton County High School. Burke will slowly build the numbers up and that will give the program a chance to compete.

Colleton Prep recorded their first dual win earlier this season, beating Burke, and have shown competitiveness against larger and more established wrestling programs this season.

“This is a very new program,” Burke reports. “All of the wrestlers are first or second year wrestlers. I have made a very active schedule with many different teams, ranging from public school (SCHSL), all classifications, as well as SCISA.

“We will have an opportunity to get at least 40 matches this season. With the addition of summer wrestling and team camp, I expect to see some wins coming. This year we are looking to get experience.”

Burke lists nine wrestlers that compete on a regular basis. Some have wrestled up in weight class to give everyone an opportunity to gain mat experience.

Sixth-grader Landen Banis is wrestling in the 106-pound weight class and shows great potential. Carter Sims, a seventh-grader, is competing at 113 pounds, and seventh-grader Nicholas Blubaugh is working at 126.

Sophomore Nathaniel Blubaugh wrestles around 120 and freshman Gavin Padgett is listed at 126 pounds as well.

The lone senior on the team is Francis Blubaugh and he is wrestling at 132 and 138. Junior Ryan McMillen competes well at 152 and junior Thomas Craven is listed at 170. Freshman Jackson Sims rounds out the team as a 182-pounder.

It has been a rough road to hoe in region play for the Colleton Prep basketball teams but both teams are looking to end the 2019-20 on a positive note over the next three weeks.

The girls team, coached by Nicole Cain, has experienced some success during the non-region schedule. Entering play against Thomas Heyward Academy on January 21, the Lady Warhawks were 5-8 overall but started off region play with three losses.

The team has shown potential, however, and a strong finish could land them a spot in the playoffs. Forward Langely Harter is the team’s top overall performer, averaging in double figures for the season. Harter recently scored 17 points in a win over Jefferson Davis Academy.

Other key players this season include Rachel Wright, Taylor Tomedolskey, Rianna Bailey, Becca Martin and Heather Davis.

The boys team has been beset by injuries and illness under first-year coach Aaron Bishop, leading to an 0-13 start. The team, however, has been competitive in many games, especially early in the season before injuries started to mount.

Guard John Tomeldosky is the most experienced player and is having a solid season offensively. Junior Kyle Hooker is a 6-3 forward that is widely known as a baseball prospect but is a solid inside player on the floor.

Seniors Will Dandridge and Gabe Barnes also work as starters, along with sophomore Artie Prennell. Senior Clay Griffin is a key performer off the bench.



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