As one of the state’s premier high school wrestling programs, Summerville enters every season with high expectations.
But the Green Wave’s last duals state championship came in 2008, a drought that coach Daryl Tucker said needs to end.
Summerville has won 12 state titles and has perhaps its best opportunity since 2008 to win another title. The Green Wave is ranked second in Class AAAA by scmat.com.
“Our goal every year is to compete for and win a state championship — that never changes around here,” said Tucker, himself a former Summerville wrestler. “I feel really good about this group. I can’t really put my finger on one thing, but there is something about this team that tells me we will be a strong contender.
“It’s a cohesive group and we have great leadership. I really feel this team is one of the top teams in the state. Now we have to go out and prove it.”
Last weekend, Summerville competed in the Military Duals Classic, one of the top tournaments each year in South Carolina. The Green Wave reached the finals, losing to Lexington, the state’s top-ranked AAAA team.
Summerville and Lexington will likely collide again in the Lower State playoffs next month, possibly in the Lower State finals.
“They got the better of us but I thought we competed very well,” said Tucker.
Of course, before reaching the playoffs, Summerville must survive a brutal run through Region 8-AAAA. In addition to Summerville, 8-AAAA members Ashley Ridge, Beaufort and Fort Dorchester are ranked in the top 15. Summerville is off to a 2-0 start in the region with wins over Bluffton and Ashley Ridge. The Green Wave faces Beaufort, ranked fifth in AAAA, on Monday night.
“It’s the most competitive region in the state in my opinion,” Tucker said. “We’ve got two down but we have two very tough matches coming with Beaufort and Fort Dorchester. Wrestling in this region will certainly prepare us for the playoffs.”
Anchoring Summerville’s run this season is senior Gavin Perkins, currently ranked the top 126-pounder in Class AAAA. Perkins is 26-1 this season and was named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the Military Duals.
“He’s really focused and determined and he is having an outstanding season so far,” Tucker said.
Chad Wood is currently ranked the top wrestler in the 152-pound weight class, while James Sass is the third-ranked competitor in the 106-pound weight class.
“We have good balance through the lineup but we have to improve in some areas,” said Tucker.
“We have a few more weeks to peak. If we can get there, I like our chances.”