WARE SHOALS, SC – Leading up to the JV/Middle School Wrestling Upper State Qualifier at Hillcrest High School on December 14th, Ware Shoals eighth grader Seth Childress said that he wasn’t expecting to do much in the tournament. Childress, along with teammate Eian Wood, placed third at the Upper State Qualifier this past weekend, an impressive feat for the pair of eighth grade grapplers.
While Wood was unavailable for comment due to illness, Childress explained that his performance in the tournament significantly surpassed his personal expectations.
“I did a lot better than I thought I would,” Childress explained. “That’s mostly from hard work in practice and Coach (Dale) Gilbert helping me.”
Childress competed in five matches during the weekend, losing to Emerald’s Luke Newton in his fifth and final match. According to Gilbert, the Ware Shoals Head Wrestling Coach, both Wood and Childress have superior work ethic that has put them in a position to succeed on the mat.
“Probably the thing that makes them the best is that they don’t miss practice,” Gilbert said. “They work hard and both show up to practice prepared to work, every single day.”
Gilbert is hoping that the duo’s performance in Hillcrest will show that there are quality athletes throughout the state, regardless of classification.
“To get to this point, they (Childress and Wood) had to compete against kids from Eastside, from BHP, some bigger schools,” Gilbert said. “At the JV/Middle School ranks, you go against all schools, 1A through 4A. So hopefully this will help show that smaller schools can compete with the bigger schools.”
While Wood made it to the State Tournament in 2011 as a seventh grader, Childress was named an alternate. According to Childress, he has a new found confidence as he prepares for the final Upper State Qualifier that will be held January 5th at Dorman High School.
“I think the next step for us is to go up there and win state,” Childress said. “I just want to go up there, not hold anything back, and leave it all on the mat.”