(2003 - 2004) - Wrestling


BACK-to-Back  Region  Championships!

2003 - 2004   SEASON RECAP

Few were predicting at the beginning of the season that the Maverick wrestling team would accomplish much. Ten seniors and two junior starters had departed from the previous year's region championship team, and Head Coach Mike Frye was looking at a lineup with only one starter who had wrestled varsity the entire prior year - Sophomore Elliott Courter, the returning 103 lb 2003 state champion. 

Coach Frye, and the team, knew there was much more talent than what the black-and-white prior year statistics indicated. Senior Brian Ibarra, a transfer from Georgia, had joined the 2003 team at midseason along with Senior Chris Tidmarsh. Senior Brad Miller, a 2002 state qualifier, had rejoined the team and Junior Brad Bagwell, who had placed 4th in his weight class as a freshman at the 2002 Greenville County Tournament, was also on the squad. Clint Culbreath, Logan Smith and Jeff Smith, while not full-year starters, had each gained considerable experience during the previous season. 

Senior Luke Berglind was available for a middle weight class, as was Sophomore Chris Burford who had transferred to Mauldin from Seattle. Carl Hiller, Cale McWatters, Andrew Chin, Jordan Yarborough, Evan Cohen, Alex Slessman, Austin Yoder and Josh Bracken were available to fill the remaining starting slots and "plug holes" in the lineup that invariably arise during the season due to injuries and illnesses. Never the less, the preseason chat around the region was that Hillcrest and TL Hanna would battle for the top spot with Mauldin and Easley contending for third place.

The Mavericks were quick to change that thinking as they opened up the year with a solid showing in the preseason Maverick Takedown Tournament. They followed that up with tournament victories at the Maverick Invitational and the Wade Hampton Open. As the season progressed, the Mavs fought through a sizable number of injuries and illnesses and established themselves as region contenders with an 80-0 shutout of Easley and a lopsided 78-6 victory over Greenwood. 

The team finished fourth at the Anderson County Invitational despite fully half of their starting lineup not being available. They moved up two places from the prior year with a sixth place finish at the highly competitive Beavercreek Invitational Tournament outside of Dayton, Ohio and registered a second place finish in the Greenville County Championships. The Mavs hit their low spot of the season, going 2-3 in the Wildcat Duals at Lexington, but quickly focused themselves on preparing for the remainder of their region meets. 

In what was expected to be a very close contest, the Mavericks won decisively at TL Hanna by a 51-21 score. They followed that up with a 72-6 rout of Westside to set up a winner-take-all meet at Hillcrest High School for the region championship. Both teams entered the fray with identical 4-0 region marks. The Mavericks left no doubt about who was the region's best team with a convincing 44 -19 win over Hillcrest, making it back-to-back Region 1-AAAA championships for the Mavs.  The Mavericks ended the duals season with an excellent 16-5 record and finished in the #10 slot in the final SCVarsity AAAA state rankings.

Of note is the way that the Mavericks won their region and captured two tournament titles during the regular season. In a sport where individuals are showcased, the Mavs showed how much "team" there is in the sport. Despite achieving little recognition during the year in the state individual rankings, the Mavs demonstrated that they were an excellent TEAM from top to bottom. The day to day commitment from ALL the team members - front line starters to first year rookies - is what allowed the Mavs to attain their accomplishments. The principal goal from the start was to win their second straight region title. The Mavericks knew prior to the start of the year that under the South Carolina High School League 2004-2006 region realignments, this would be their final season in Region 1-AAAA.  They were determined to go out as winners.  Job Well Done! 


2004 State Tournament Results

In the state duals tournament, the Mavs earned a bye in the first round by winning their region. The Mavericks lost to #3 state-ranked Fort Mill High School in the second round. In the 47-15 loss, Jeff Smith (125) and Cale McWatters (160) pinned their opponents and Elliott Courter (112) won by decision. 

At the Region Individual Tournament, the team qualified wrestlers in 12 of 14 weight classes for the Upper State Tournament. The top three placers in each weight class earned a trip to the upper states.  Jeff Smith (125), Cale McWatters (160) and Brian Ibarra (189) had first place finishes.  Alex Slessman (103), Elliott Courter (112), Brad Miller (119), Evan Cohen (140), Clint Culbreath (145) and Chris Tidmarsh (215) finished second in their weight classes.  Chris Buford (135), Carl Hiller (152) and Andrew Chin (171) secured third place finishes.  

Brian Ibarra and Chris Burford both qualified for the AAAA state finals by placing in the 2004 upper state tournament.  Chris is the new 135 lb. upper state champion. Seeded ninth coming into that tournament, Chris put in a terrific performance and secured first place by defeating the #5, #3 and #1 seeds in his weight class. Brian placed a solid third in the 189 lb. weight class to earn his trip to "the show".  Great job gentlemen!


Congratulations to Brian Ibarra for his performance at the AAAA state championships which were held at Furman University on February 28th.  Brian placed fourth in the 189 lb. weight class. Way to go Brian!  


           2003 - 2004 AWARDS


Most Valuable Wrestler: Brian Ibarra

Coaches Award: Chris Tidmarsh

Most Improved Wrestler: Jeff Smith

Most Valuable JV Wrestler: Andrew Thrailkill


2003 - 2004 Lettermen

Logan Smith (So)

Alex Slessman (Fr)

Brad Miller (Sr)

Elliott Courter (So)

Jeff Smith (So)

Brad Bagwell (Jr)

Chris Burford (So)

Evan Cohen (Jr)

Austin Yoder (So)

Luke Berglind (Sr)

Clint Culbreath (Jr)

Carl Hiller (So)

Cale McWatters (So)

Andrew Chin (So)

Brian Ibarra (Sr)

Chris Tidmarsh (Sr)

Jordan Yarborough (So)






Brad Miller

Luke Berglind

Brian Ibarra

Chris Tidmarsh