Phone: 800-489-0649 - Email:
Timberland High School
St. Stephen

Timberland wrestling primed for playoff run

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

St. Stephen—The Timberland wrestling team had been one of the biggest surprises in the Class AA ranks this season, putting together an 18-3 record and recently defeating No. 2-ranked Bamberg-Ehrhardt, 42-31.

Head coach Ryan Rhoades said the Wolves have come on a little quicker than even he imagined.

“At the beginning of the season, I thought we might be a year or two away because of the number of younger guys coming up. As the season has gone along, there has been a lot of growth. A lot of guys have stepped up and put in the work and bought in. We’re right there with the best teams in 2A,” Rhoades said.

Carlos Tinajero (138 pounds) and Aaron Meree (113 pounds) are the senior captains, with the former qualifying for the state tournament a season ago.

“He’s a very quiet kid that gets good grades,” Rhoades said of Tinajero. “He’s more of a leader by example. He works hard every day in practice and you can tell he’s hungry to finish his senior year on a high note. He’s got a strong work ethic and he’s helped the younger guys behind him.

“Aaron a vocal leader that makes sure the guys are doing what they’re supposed to be doing. He might not be as physically gifted as some wrestlers, but you can depend on him to be at practice every day and watch film. He’ll do all the little things that it takes.”

Heavyweight Ian Balzano qualified for the state tournament as a sophomore before missing most of last year with an injury. Now healthy, he is another key cog in the Timberland lineup.

“He’s doing well. He’s still got a little ways to go to be where he wants to be, but he’s been healthy all season. Now it’s about getting him ready for those tough matches that will come in the state duals. He’s one of the main guys we rely on for wins,” Rhoades said.

Several newcomers have stepped in and made a difference for the Wolves as well, including freshman 106-pounder Austin Morris.

“He’s been a surprise and won some clutch matches for us. I didn’t know what to expect from him, but he’s continuing to learn,” Rhoades said.

Fellow freshmen Pedro Kinard (132) and Roman Wadford (145) are other youngsters to watch.

“They’re wrestling really well right now. They’ve had some tough matches against some 4A and 5A wrestlers, but lately they’ve turned it up,” Rhoades said.

Other wrestlers in the lineup for Timberland are C.J. Martin (120), Hunter Cales (126), Desjuan Jenkins (152), David Williams (160), William Chandler (170), Dominick Milligan (182) and Hunter Elswick (195). Tanner Flood, William Martin and Roderick Sumpter are all splitting time in the 220-pound weight class.


© 2017 High School Sports Report

Scroll To Top