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South Effingham looking to bring home Area 2 wrestling title
Gilbert Miller for the Effingham Herald South Effingham High School’s Enrique Santana, top, is shown in action during a wrestling match earlier in the season, Santana and the rest of the Mustangs will compete Saturday in the Region 6A Area 2 Duals Championship.

By Donald Heath

Special for the Effingham Herald

GUYTON — Mention one team and the ears of South Effingham wrestlers perk up through their head gear.

“Ninety percent of our wrestling room talk is about getting past Brunswick,” Mustangs coach Christopher Bringer said. 

“That’s just about all we talk about and I think we’re definitely the team to beat them.”

Determined SEHS hopes to get that chance at the Class 6A Area 2 Duals Championship at Glynn Academy on Saturday.

Effingham County joins action as well with similar aspirations for a high finish.

The top four teams in the seven-team area qualify for state. 

The area champions will host a four-team Sectional the following weekend Jan. 14, while the other three area teams would be on the road.

The eight Sectionals winners advance to Gainesville to compete for the Class 6A Team Dual Wrestling State Championship on Jan. 21.

A year ago, South was involved in a three-team dogfight for area dual supremacy. The Mustangs slipped by Richmond Hill 31-30 in an emotional semifinals, but fell short in the finals to Brunswick, 33-25.

That loss bracketed SEHS with eventual state champion Buford. Brunswick and Richmond Hill had easier four-team draws and moved on to the Elite Eight. 

Bringer says his wrestlers have waited a year for payback. They should be confident after defeating Brunswick at the 32-team Rebel Invitational, hosted by Effingham County High School, on Dec. 9-10.

But coaches often move wrestlers up and down in weight classes in hopes of securing maximum team points.

“I truly think (the area duals) is ours to lose,” Bringer said. “We match up well and if we stay healthy and everyone wrestles to his ability, I think we’ll be fine.”

Bringer said winning the May River Invitational on Dec. 29-30 should provide extra confidence. SEHS placed wrestlers among the top six in 13 of the 14 weight classes.

Bringer’s son, Brandon “Moose” Bringer, has been a leader with a 35-1 record. Moose, who placed fifth at state last year, was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the Rebel Invitational.

At May River, 120-pounder Nicholas Sessions topped the career 100-win mark, joining heavyweight Ashton Anderson, 157-pounder Enrique Santana and Stephen Tootle in the triple-digit club.

Bringer said a key difference between this year’s squad and last year’s group is the improvement of wrestlers in the higher weight classes. 

At 190, William Christmas went 12-0 over the holiday break and C.J. Lord and DaMyon McFarlin have been impressive at 215 and 175.

“I just think we’re a confident team this year,” Bringer said. “We’re excited.”