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SEHS’ Moose Bringer shines at Rebel Invitational
Donald Heath For the Effingham Herald South Effingham’s Brandon “Moose” Bringer holds his most outstanding wrestler trophy while posing with his teammates at the Rebel Invitational.

By Donald Heath

Special for the Effingham Herald

SPRINGFIELD – South Effingham’s Brandon “Moose” Bringer entered last weekend’s Rebel Invitational intent on starting a new winning streak.

Mission accomplished. The sophomore recorded four pins and a technical fall en route to winning the 138-pound weight class and earning the most outstanding wrestler award for the two-day event.

“I had to step up my game and do right for the team and get the win,” said Bringer, who won his first 22 matches of the season before losing in the finals of the Creekview Invitational on Dec. 3. “I just have to get stronger and get smarter with my moves to be successful.”

It was an outstanding weekend for Bringer and his teammates at the 22nd-annual event hosted by Effingham County High School. SEHS had 10 top-five finishers to score 274 points and win the traditional-style event against 32 competing teams.

Bringer and Enrique Santana, at 165, captured individual titles.

Conner Nevin won at 132 for Effingham County, which placed 12th in team points.

The finals finished about 6 p.m. on Saturday to conclude a grueling tournament that ended its first day (Friday) at about 10:30 p.m.

“I think this was one of our more memorable tournament wins,” SEHS coach Christopher Bringer, Moose’s father, said. “I think I have some tough dudes who have been fighting hard. They stayed focused.”

Coach Bringer sees one of those tough dudes across the breakfast table every morning. Moose compiled a 53-9 record while finishing fifth at state last season as a freshman.

Moose pinned Ryan Gallagher in the first round of the finals at the Rebel Invitational.

“The loss at Creekview didn’t sit well with Moose and he went out on a mission to beat everyone as badly as he could. He was impressive,” coach Bringer said.

Santana, another fifth-place finisher at state last season, also showed a gladiator’s mentality. The senior battled through a bloody nose and a late head butt to hold off West Laurens’ Drake Wood 7-5 in the finals. Wood placed second at state in 4A last season

Nevin won five decisions, including 8-4 over Bishop England’s Sam Cherichello in the finals. Cherichello was second in South Carolina’s Class 3A state tournament.

“Conner still has some things to fix, but he’s one of the hardest workers we have so we’ll get them fixed,” ECHS coach Nico Guggino said.

For the Rebels, Mal Santiago advanced to the finals at 113. Elijah Johnson and freshman Kevin Poythress won six matches to come out of the consolation brackets and finish fifth at 132 and 150.

South’s Stephen Tootle and Ian Wood advanced to the finals at 120 and 144 respectively. Daniel Galindez went 6-1 at 106, Jacob Stellhorn went 5-1 at 132 (with his only loss to Nevin) and heavyweight Ashton Anderson won seven matches, each placing third. Nicholas Sessions and William Christmas finished fourth at 157 and 215. Ashton Tootle placed fifth at 175.