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Lake City High School

Lake City wrestlers closing in on region title

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

 Lake City—The 2018 season came to a disappointing finish for the Lake City wrestling team, and the Panthers have been motivated throughout the winter to make up for that this year. Head coach Kevin Graham has his team off to a 13-3 start, including a 3-0 mark in conference action.

“Our first goal is to repeat as region champs. We made it to the third round of the playoffs last year so we want to make it at least to the Lower state championship this year. We thought we had a chance last year, but injuries kept us out,” Graham said.

The region meet is scheduled for Jan. 26, and a first-place finish would give Lake City at least two home matches in the Class AAA playoffs. However, they are not overlooking any of their rivals.

Marion, Aynor, Cheraw are all good programs and Loris is solid. It’s all about matchups and trying to eliminate injuries. Every team can beat you so you have to bring your ‘A’ game,” Graham said.

Leading the attack for the Panthers is senior Damien Lee, who has been a state qualifier at 106 pounds for each of the last two seasons.

“I think he has a real good chance. He beat the kid from Loris for the first time in three years, so that was a big feat for him. He pinned him in the first period. He’s been working real hard and I’m hoping things have turned at the right time for him so he can go in with confidence to try to win it all,” Graham said.

Senior Antonio Skipper (182 pounds) is another two-time state qualifier while junior Tyzai Gaskins (126) and sophomore Daquan Washington (138) also competed at the state meet a year ago.

Other veterans in the starting lineup include seniors Gerardo Corea (120), Darius Gamble (195) and Desmond Lee (195).

Several youngsters have made their mark early on as well. Jermaine Graham (113), Camron Butler (132) and Henry Fulmore (145) are freshmen and Deandre Taylor (160) and Antonio Lopez (170) are sophomores.

Christian Hanna and Khalil Fulton rotate at the 220-pound and heavyweight divisions.

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